Thursday, October 25, 2012

Review: The Demon's Surrender by Sarah Rees Brennan

Title: The Demon's Surrender (The Demon's Lexicon, #3)

Author: Sarah Rees Brennan 

Rating: 3 Stars 

*If you haven't picked up SRB's Demon's Lexicon Trilogy, you probably won't understand too much of this review. In my opinion, the spoilers are minimal and not likely to affect your reading experience, but if you prefer not to know anything about the rest of the trilogy before picking up this series, I suggest you skip this review.* 

I hate to say it, but The Demon's Surrender is my least favorite of all Sarah Rees Brennan's work. Brennan first blew me away with The Demon's Lexicon, a novel with such complex relationships and so much depth that it made its way to my favorites shelf instantly. The Demon's Covenant, the sequel, was just as good, deep, and rich in complexity which I loved. While the love triangle did lower my rating for that one, it left me more than a little excited for this installment. However, when I heard the narrator would be Sin, I didn't bother to pick it up - until now, of course, after reading the brilliance that was Unspoken and being reminded of just how much I love SRB.

The Demon's Surrender contains SRB's signature wit, dialogue, and tight plot lines. I love the direction she takes the story of this trilogy and it's one of my favorite trilogies simply because this ending was so satisfying in terms of plot. Not only that, but her characters are ones that stay with you for a looong time, proving to be unique and each carry their own special voice. Yet, what proved to be a massive disappointment in this installment was none other than Sin's narration.

Sin has never been my favorite character. Ever. Thus, I have to applaud Brennan for making me appreciate, understand, and even like her with this book. Yet, Sin represents too much of what I hate in protagonists. I love that she's a feminine character who uses her body, but with the just the right boundaries that she never appears as a slut. I love that she cares for her family so much and would sacrifice her life for them. I love that she is so fiercely strong. What I don't love, however, is that I was expecting more from her narration than I received. I was expecting Sin's love for the Market to seep through these pages, making the Market take on a life-form of its own that it had never done with Nick and Mae's narration. Instead, the Market isn't a huge part of this novel and instead, romance unfortunately is.

Sin's gradual romance with Alan is, in my opinion at least, rather sudden. I understood it and all the reasons behind it, but I never felt it. Sin and Alan making out for pages on end? Yup, I couldn't care less. Why couldn't Nick and Mae make put for pages on end? Furthermore, what bothered me about their love story was that Sin was constantly angsting over it for the first half of this novel. It was literally just so much angst when she had so many other things to think about too! If that wasn't enough, Sin actually has to resort to hiding in the shadows for us to hear any of Nick and Mae's conversations! I am a huge Nick and Mae shipper - you can throw any realistic justification of those two you want at me, but my romantic heart still keeps beating for them. To have their moments marred by the presence of Sin lurking in the corner was just...irritating! I didn't enjoy it. I also felt as if a lot of important conversations occurred between Nick and Mae during the second-half of the novel and the fact that we weren't able to hear them grated on me. Sin's narration simply didn't work with this book and it took away some of that essential depth I always feel with Brennan's work. I honestly think that if this was written from the perspective of one of the other characters, it could have been so much stronger.

Nevertheless, there is no denying that this is a fabulous trilogy and, despite my disappointments with the narrative style, I loved the ending of this series. SRB is a fantastic author - that much is evident from this series - and I can only hope her next trilogy will end off on a slightly more satisfying note. 

Reader's Note: I sincerely hope this review doesn't discourage you from picking up this trilogy! It's one of my favorite series ever and the first two books are simply mind blowing! I cannot recommend them enough and I'm convinced other readers will love this installment unlike I have.


  1. Oh dear, the direction this romance goes in is rather surprising. I have to confess I had mixed feelings about the first two books in this series, but I definitely want to pick up this book to find out how the story concludes, too. Good to be forewarned, though--thanks for the review!

    Wendy @ The Midnight Garden

  2. I feel like the biggest idiot of all time. I had no idea that Sarah Rees Brennan even HAD a second series. I guess I should have tried to learn more about her, I seriously adore her posts and tweets, she's hilarious and so likable.

  3. As you know, I LOVED Unspoken so it's definitely a priority of mine to check out this series. :) BUT, I will keep your qualms with it in mind, although it's definitely encouraging to see that you thought her previous works were better! Brilliant review, Keertana!

  4. I'm not going to read this Keertana because I might pick up this series. Wish I saw a higher rating though. Hmm...

  5. Sara Rees Brennan has a whole series that I DIDN'T KNOW ABOUT?! :O I seriously can not comprehend the fact that I had no idea this series existed!! But, the first book is going on my TBR list right now, Keertana. Because I know that a book that you love has got to be a seriously amazing book!

    I'm glad that you were at least somewhat satisfied by the ending of this trilogy. I hate having a super open ended trilogy, because then you know nothing is going to come after, and frankly, it's just depressing (I'm thinking of a few particular examples here!).

    I will definitely be picking this series up Keertana! Fabulous review as always. =)

  6. Ack I haven't even started this series yet or Unspoken yet, a total fail on my part, I caught the last bit of your review and I'm sorry this installment didn't work out for you as much as you'd hoped, I guess you had a huge amount resting on this book to provide, when the previous two books were mind blowing! I will definitely still have to give this series a try, it seems to like Brennan is one heck of a talented author!

  7. I read the first book a couple years ago and I didn't like it much so I didn't bother with the second book. But then I read other books by her recently and really loved them. I think that my taste changes (and mood) so I'm actually thinking that maybe I would like these books more now. I'm sorry this one was a bit disappointing for you!

  8. Well, Imappreciate your honesty, and I have to pass on this triology. I loved Her writing style but didn't like Unspoken, I know I am in the minority but that ridiculous cliffhanger just ticked me off and I didn't like Jared. I would skip pages of making out...Thanks to the informative review :)

  9. OOOO! A Sarah Rees Brennan book! I've heard of her Demon Lexicon series and I've been wanting to read them lately. Although, I'm sorry to hear that the third book was not as enjoyable as the first one! I hope I can read the first book soon ;)

    Thank you for the awesome and honest review, Keertana ♥

  10. I haven't fully read your review as I plan to pick these books up one day, seeing as though I LOVED Unspoken. It's a shame this was your least favourite book, but I'm glad to hear the first two were impressive. I hope I will agree. :)

  11. I haven't read any of these books, I feel like a blogging failure! I recently read my first Sarah Rees Brennan book and loved her sense of humor, so I'm glad to see her wit is present in this series as well! I'm not pumped that Sin is full of angst in this third installment, but other than that I think this would be a fun series to read! Fantastic review Keertana:)

  12. I've seen this series around for what feels like forever, but I haven't gotten around to it. I can never tell whether I think it's quite my thing or not. But I think your enthusiasm for the series has persuaded me to read at least the first one!

  13. hrm i've heard about this series but never really thought about reading it before. i'm sorry this was disappointing but i'm glad that it didn't really hinder your enjoyment of the trilogy overall.

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