Surrender (Chronicles of Servitude #3) – J.S. Bailey

Surrender by J.S. Bailey
Also by this author: Servant, Sacrifice, Solemnity, Salvation
Series: The Chronicles of Servitude #3
Published by BHC Press on September 3, 2019
Genres: Fiction, Christian, Suspense, Thriller
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Bobby Roland has spread himself too thin...
Bobby has finally found a demoniac, Bradley, to cleanse. Before the exorcism is complete, Bradley tells Bobby he recently overheard men plotting the assassination of a local humanist leader. Bradley thinks Bobby should find a way to stop it.
Then Bobby’s enemy Thane appears in the midst of Bobby’s friends at a party, promising to kill them if Bobby doesn’t surrender himself to Thane.
Bobby knows he can’t cleanse Bradley, stop an assassination, and defeat Thane’s supernatural powers on his own. He flees town to find help and discovers it in the most unexpected of places.
Can Bobby and his new friend save everyone before it’s too late?

In Surrender, J.S. Bailey picks up where she left off with Bobby Roland. A bad guy wants to kill Bobby, one who can play with his mind. He’s come across his first demoniac to cleanse, but this man lets him in on a secret–an assassin is targeting an interfaith conference to kill one of the participants. Clearly, Bobby can’t let that happen. But he also has to deal with his own aspiring murderer. The question is: how? No one else is equipped to cast out demons, and the killer is only targeting him. No way Bobby can address both at the same time.

Bailey brings back old characters–who continue to grow–and introduces new ones. The antagonist in Surrender is easily one of the most thought-out enemies I have ever encountered in a novel. While I struggled to understand the antagonist’s motivation in the first book of the series (Servant), the bad guy in Surrender genuinely scared me. A demon didn’t just possess him–oh, no, he had partnered with a demon. Thane sent chills up and down my spine and uncomfortable tingles through my bones. I felt a sort of visceral hatred toward Thane, which is something I rarely feel for any character in a novel. I didn’t just want him to lose. No, I wanted Thane to die.

Surrender, however, did have some weaknesses. I loved many of the new developments, but struggled with one character in particular–Mia Thompson. I didn’t understand her–especially not how she got her “powers.” Surrender had me asking questions and furrowing my brow, yet I never found answers. There were times this novel gave me a headache, and I had to go back and reread portions to ensure I caught everything. I scratched my head so much, I’m shocked I didn’t break the skin with my fingernails.

A Speedbump in the Journey

Surrender by J.S. Bailey is about what you’d expect for the middle book of a series. It had its highlights and its thrills, but for all its intriguing elements, it wasn’t quite as strong as its predecessors. It’s the peak of the mountain, the middle part of the story. I enjoyed it, but Bailey left me a bit dissatisfied with this one. Dissatisfied and not to mention heartbroken! I grow to like characters, and Bailey rips them away in dramatic fashion.  Not too happy for her for that one!  Surrender is an exciting and fascinating journey into four D’s–death, demons, darkness, and despair. But the theme remains: The Spirit conquers. He overcomes. Nothing will stop His purposes from being fulfilled.