SURRENDER (Possession #2)
Received from author and CBB Book Promotions for review
THE STORY (from Goodreads)
Forbidden love, intoxicating power, and the terror of control…
has always been a good girl. She lives by the rules in Freedom. After
all, they are her father’s rules: He’s the Director. It’s because of him
that Raine is willing to use her talent—a power so dangerous, no one
else is allowed to know about it. Not even her roommate, Vi.
of that changes when Raine falls for Gunner. Raine’s got every reason in
the world to stay away from Gunn, but she just can’t. Especially when
she discovers his connection to Vi’s boyfriend, Zenn. Raine has never
known anyone as heavily brainwashed as Vi. Raine’s father expects her to
spy on Vi and report back to him. But Raine is beginning to wonder what
Vi knows that her father is so anxious to keep hidden, and what might
happen if she helps Vi remember it. She’s even starting to suspect Vi’s
secrets might involve Freedom’s newest prisoner, the rebel Jag
Surrender is a lengthy expedition into a theoretically flawless world, the perceived burden of decision making removed from citizens entirely as their government oversees every aspect of their lives, small or large, to ensure perfection is achieved through the absence of independent thought. Like its predecessor, Surrender can be a chaotic story at times, our time split between protagonists Raine and Gunner as we follow their separate but linked journeys and uncover layer after layer of deceit. We’re given information, as are Gunner and Raine, in tiny fragments, bits and pieces revealed to us quickly before we must file them away and move on with our lead couple, but our collection of precious knowledge slowly but surely starts to paint a terrifying picture, and we can’t help but curl our lips in disgust the more we learn about those in power.
While Gunner and Raine are both interesting and likable characters, they aren’t necessarily what draw us into this grotesque mockery of an ideal world, instead it’s their roles in the resistance that have us rapidly turning the pages. Ms. Johnson has created in Director Hightower a villain in the form of a man; a father whose involvement in his daughter’s life stems not from any semblance of affection, but rather from a keen interest in her powerful talent, and in him, we find our emotional attachment to Gunner and Raine’s story. Typically emotional attachment comes in the form of more positive feelings – the love and support of beloved characters – but in this case, it comes in the form of utter hatred, our tether to him a sharp, pulsating thread of abhorrence that flares and causes a red haze to cloud our vision at every demonstration of his cruelty.
With his every action, our desire to see the resistance succeed grows tenfold, but as it does, we find a nervous anticipation accompanies its growth, our understanding of Director Hightower’s intelligence and his reach within Freedom making us horrifyingly aware of how likely a favorable outcome truly is. Ms. Johnson does a brilliant job of building that tension to an almost unbearable degree, giving us brief moments of happiness only to yank them away again as even the strongest of minds proves it can only withstand so much tampering before it shuts down. Through it all though we cling to glimpses of resistance we’ve been given, holding out hope that a small collective David will be able to topple one monstrous Goliath.
Though Surrender does have a tendency to be a touch choppy at times, bouncing back and forth between Gunner and Raine as well as between past and present when both characters have flashes of memory, the somewhat splintered nature of the story seems to fit the world itself. Freedom is not a smooth, tranquil city; it’s a thin film of complacency covering a seething underbelly of dissent, and the staccato rhythm of the chapters seems to match that of Gunner, Raine, Vi and Zenn’s lives. There are some momentous revelations in the final chapters, ensuring our need for the third and final book is at an all time high when we close the back cover, and I have already begun the countdown to June 2013 when I’ll finally get to see how all the pieces fit together.
Candace over at CBB Book Promotions has organized a fantastic tour for the first two books in Elana Johnson's YA dystopian series, and Elana herself is offering up not one, but THREE, amazing giveaways to those who are following the tour. Below are the Rafflecopter forms for each of the giveaways:) Be sure and check out all the other fabulous stops on the tour HERE and you can find more information on Elana and her books on the these sites:
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