Saturday, January 7, 2012

Surrender (Haunting Emma #3) by Lee Nichols

Publisher: Bloomsbury Teens
Pages: 272
Series or Stand Alone: Book 3 in the Haunting Emma trilogy
SummaryAfter a devastating battle at headquarters in New York, the ghostkeeping world is in shambles. When Emma and Bennett return home, they are determined to defeat the wraithmaster, Neos, forever. But it's not going to be easy. Bennett's parents kick him out when they realize he is still using drugs to enhance his powers. Emma is convinced her aunt has come back from the dead to warn her of a new threat. And worst of all, Neos is using wraiths to possess the students at Thatcher Academy. If the ghosts manage to take over the entire school, even Emma won't be strong enough to stop them. But if either she or Bennett sacrifice his or her powers, they might be able to save the ghostkeeping world once and for all-and break the "ghostkeepers lose their powers when they fall in love" curse. The question is: who will be the one to surrender all power? 
Fast-paced and romantic, this conclusion to the Haunting Emma trilogy will thrill readers as it brings the ghostly mystery to a close.


The third and final installment of the Haunting Emma novels, Surrender, culminates in the battle between ghostkeepers and Neos and his band of evil wraiths. And, go.
More people are dead. Bennett’s parents, AKA the uptight sticks in the mud, are now in charge of Emma, Natalie, and Lukas at the mansion. They kicked Bennett out with the condition that he had to kick his asarum habit—and his attachment to dear Emma (which may or may not have had to do with their walking in on the young couple in a compromising position—JK. It’s because they don’t want their son to lose his powers to her). In the meantime, Emma and the other teen ghostkeepers are placed under the strict tutelage of the Sterns. There’s a lot of tense situations, trying to understand one another, and heart to hearts between everyone that lead up to the major conflict at the end. Emma and Bennett must find a way to destroy Neos before he kills Emma and everyone else.
This one continued in the same vein as the second—the characters and storyline were slightly more developed that they were in the first. I found that more action played out instead of being brushed over by Emma’s narration (as it had been in the first one). I liked Natalie and Lukas still—I thought their relationship was an interesting addition to the series. It would have been easy to use Emma’s and Bennett’s relationship as a deterrent, but I liked that they were going against all the warnings and the example as to why it couldn’t work that existed right in front of them. The back story provided for the two of them made each the most well-established characters, and therefore my favorites. I found that some of the characters were less than well-rounded still (Bennett, this is still me looking at you, though the asarum addiction keeps you off my boring paranormal romantic lead list) but at least some of the characters were well-explored.
The concluding battle was satisfactory and definitely more well done than some of the previous action scenes. Surrender provided for a good conclusion to the Haunting Emma books. I’m still not totally in love with this series, but I’d probably recommend it for younger young adult readers. It’s a different take on the whole paranormal ghost stuff.

Rating: 3 – okay/good. 

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