Nov 19, 2012

{Review + Giveaway} Renegade by J.A. Souders

Renegade (The Elysium Chronicles, #1)Renegade by J.A. Souders
My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars

GENRE: YA Science Fiction
THEME: Dystopian/Romance
AUTHORS BLOG: J.A. Souder's Site

Since the age of three, sixteen-year-old Evelyn Winters has been trained to be Daughter of the People in the underwater utopia known as Elysium. Selected from hundreds of children for her ideal genes, all her life she’s thought that everything was perfect; her world. Her people. The Law.

But when Gavin Hunter, a Surface Dweller, accidentally stumbles into their secluded little world, she’s forced to come to a startling realization: everything she knows is a lie. 

Her memories have been altered. 
Her mind and body aren’t under her own control. 
And the person she knows as Mother is a monster.

Together with Gavin she plans her escape, only to learn that her own mind is a ticking time bomb... and Mother has one last secret that will destroy them all.

I was completely taken back by this book, its cleverly plotted and seriously surprised me at every turn. The characters are unique and the world Souders created is twisted and actually kind of scary. I wasn’t expecting this kind of science fiction type story from the synopsis but this was one book I will definitely read again and again.

Evelyn is Daughter of the People and everyday is almost “Perfect”. She lives in a “Utopia” underwater city known as Elysium. Evelyn does everything to keep her life perfect and is loved by Mother and the people of her city. But a when a boy from the surface gets into their “perfect city” Evelyn slowly discovers that she is not in control of herself and her memories are not what they seem. The boy from above is named Gavin, together they are trying to put the pieces together and escape this underwater city alive.

Evelyn (Evie) is one tough cookie. At the beginning the book is written in a way that’s almost brainwashing the reader, which I found really clever. It was like a repetition of words so that the readers could understand what Evie was going through. She starts out fragile and trying to do everything Mother says, but develops into one kick butt girl. At the beginning I thought of the movie The Little Mermaid, because Evie is so interested in surface things, and her Mother doesn’t approve. I enjoyed watching her try to put the pieces together about her life and she struggles, nothing is easy but she’s a fighter.

Gavin is the normal hero type, sweet and wanting to help Evie. His development was great as well, at the beginning he’s in a tough situation and he is sucked into this strange world that is actually pretty terrifying. He connects with Evie right away almost an “insta-love” but it wasn’t so in the reader’s face that it got annoying. I liked their bond and their determination to get out of this city.

Mother, she is one scary and insane woman. I knew from the beginning that she wasn’t right but as the story moves forward the readers get the inside look into her past and how she came to be. She is obsessed with “perfect” and manipulating/brainwashing is her skill.

Overall I really enjoyed this story, the villain was creepy and gave me as the reader the chills. She also had her “assassins” called Enforcers who we little girls who can do some seriously damage. I always like a good villain and one that surprises the readers to the very end. Souders really created something so original and intense, I was hooked and never wanted to put the book down. The ending I felt was right on the dot, it gives you an insight into the Surface and leaves you hanging only a little. There are still a lot of questions and I cant wait to get them answered in the next installment.

This is a young adult novel of one unique underwater world. Fans of C.J. Redwine’s Defiance and Ingrid Paulson’s Valkyrie Rising, will love Renegade by J.A. Souders.

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  1. I notice how you use the word "Mother". It sounds creepy. Loved the review. I am excited to read it!

  2. I like the world-building which sounds scary but in an interesting way. I like a world that feels real enough to be scary and villains to keep me on edge.

  3. Great review- the synopsis sounds really good, and I'm glad to hear it lives up to its potential. Definitely putting this on the to-read list.

  4. I like when books surprise you. I've been hearing really good things about this one so I can't wait to check it out. I also didn't realize it was going to be a series, so I'm excited. Great review :)