Mitch's Reviews > Surrender

Surrender by Elana Johnson
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's review
Jun 05, 2012

liked it
Read on June 05, 2012

I really didn’t like Possession, but I’m glad I gave Elana Johnson another try. Surrender's a massive improvement over the first book, and I really think this series is morphing into one that I’ll really like, and I’m not saying that lightly, I’m not a fan of dystopians at all. Maybe the next book will really impress me.

But what most impressed me about this book was how Johnson seems to have taken the criticism of her first one to heart, I know I wasn’t alone in thinking Possession was too confusing and had too much hard to follow technobabble and weird geography and was just generally weird, and Surrender is *almost* nothing like that. The futuristic world building felt a lot more natural, seamless, didn't make me want to bash my head against my desk at how confusing everything was. Liked the new characters, Raine and Gunner, I really felt like I connected with them and their struggle to break free from the Director's power as the book progressed, maybe because with how confusing Possession was it was really hard to get a read on Violet and Jag and especially Zenn. Even better, liked how Violet, Jag, Zenn, even Violet's father Assistant Director Myers are all back and all play huge roles in the plot. The twist with AD Myers I can say I did not see coming, but given what I knew about Lyle Schoenfeld from the last book and the new things learned in this book really made sense.

Now, what I still didn't like. Zenn, his role in the last book made almost no sense and I still don't know what his role in this book is. Everyone else, Raine, Gunner, Violet, Jag, all seem to have powers and more importantly clear roles in the Director's and AD Myer's plans, and Zenn, I just didn't know. Is he working with AD Myers or being forced to work with Violet's father against his will? I just couldn't tell from the book. The Violet/Zenn/Jag triangle didn't work at all, but I'm glad that's been mostly abandoned. Although parts of the book, because of all the mind games that everyone is playing, is still a little hard to follow. And the ending once again made me incredibly angry. It's like every time the good guys make one move against the establishment, the establishment knocks them ten steps back. Sigh. I know that's the point, Johnson intended for the ending to be that way, there are even hints of the bigger things that will happen in the next book, but at some point I know I'm not going to be the only one who'll be frustrated with the apparent lack of progress against the Director.

But I'm glad that Johnson is on the right track with this book, Surrender clears out almost all of the stuff that made me really dislike Possession. A little more clarity to and movement on the plot and I'll add another two stars to my rating of the next book.
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Comments (showing 1-2 of 2) (2 new)

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message 1: by Amanda (new)

Amanda Awesome! I'll be getting this one then :)

Mitch Yeah, I was pleasantly surprised by this after the first one.

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