This is sort of a complicated novel to try to review. It feels like two stories gathered into one. I definitely enjoyed the second half more than the first. Let me explain...
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 of the novel flew by. Great plot, great pace, and lots of heart pumping excitement. I really enjoyed it and had trouble putting it down.
But I do have a few bones to pick about "Surrender".
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 Lily. 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.
It felt like two short novels pasted together to make a longer novel:
At about 40% in to the novel, I was dreading writing this review. For the reasons above, I was really not liking the novel. 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 reader and said "Wow, that was good."
But here lies my quandary... I feel like I have read one three-star "okay" book, and one four star "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 have already read Little White Lies. The beginning might make more sense if you have read the first novel in the series.
But if you find you are not fond of the beginning, don't hate me... just get to about the 40% point and enjoy the rest of the ride. The second half of the novel really moves, and it is an enjoyable, tense read right up until the last few pages.