I wrote the header for this post, and then I sat and stared at it for a while. I’m not even sure how to review this book. Let’s try to start with the basics.
Were there any explosions? Yes, there was, but you’d miss it is you blinked. I had to re-read the section to make sure what happened…. But there was an explosion, so she earns an extra cookie for her efforts.
What POV was it in? Second person. That was fine… but it switched back and forth between the character of Lily and Cael. For half of the book, this worked wonderfully. The other half, it didn’t work for me. I’ll explain later.
Okay… let’s get into the good stuff
Aimee Laine has a sharp writing style. She is crisp, concise, and not overbearing on her settings. I prefer a novel that moves, and for the most part, Surrender does keep flowing.
The last 40% or so (yeah, I read on a Kindle) flew by. Great plot, great pace, and lots of heart pumping excitement. I really enjoyed it and had trouble putting it down.
Okay… so… here is my problem. I completely understand why she skipped between points of view in the end of the novel. I worked beautifully.
However, it didn’t work so well for me in the beginning. I think I could have gone through almost all of the beginning entirely in Lily’s POV and not missed out on much.
I think the author tried to keep it consistent, and made sure we saw Cael’s POV in the beginning so it was not jarring at the end. For me, it backfired, because I found I wanted to stay with Lily.
Too many characters.
There were just too many characters in Surrender. Half the time I was lost and had no idea who was who. Now, in saying this, there was a “book one” that I did not read. This may be part of my confusion. But my mind wanted to focus on Cael and Lily and the family that Lily went to live with. But Cael was always involved with long conversations with other people that just seemed to go on forever (from my perspective) because I wanted to get back to Lily.
Aimee Laine did her job, in that I cared about Lily… but I just didn’t care about all the rest of them… even if they were trying to save Lily.
I touched on this a second ago. I feel like there were too many extended conversations. Honestly, I started to skim from time to time, thinking: “Let’s get back to Lily.”
Was this two short stories that became a novel?
At about 40% in to the novel, I was dreading writing this review. For the reasons above, I was really not liking it. It felt like it was winding down, and it pretty much did, with one loose end. But there was still 60% of the novel to go.
All of the sudden, when the characters grabbed onto that little loose end, my interest became peaked. Suddenly, I was drawn in. I cared. I stayed up late reading. I hid from my kids trying to get a few extra pages in. We had company, and I was bored, so I scooted upstairs and got a chapter in and slipped back before anyone wondered about me. I was interested. I was hooked. It came together.
I did have a slight cringe when three or so new characters were introduced into the ensemble, but the pacing kept me going. Right up until the very last page you find yourself on a roller-coaster ride of awesomeness.
When I finished, I closed my Kindle and said “Wow, that was great.”
But here lies my quandary… I feel like I have read one three-cookie “okay” book, and one four cookie “really great” book. So how the heck do you tie that all together?
I’m just not sure. I wish that the author had found a way get past the first half of the book faster. There just seemed to be too much fat there, when all the beefy good stuff was at the end.
Would I recommend Surrender?
Yeah, I think so. Especially if you read Little White Lies. The beginning might make more sense if you have read the first novel in the series.
But if you find the beginning a little “tame”, don’t hate me… just get to about the 40% point and enjoy the ride. The second half of the novel really moves, and it is an enjoyable, tense read right up until the last few pages.