Book Review: Renegade

Renegade CoverBook: Renegade by J.A. Souders

Published November 2012|Published by Doherty, Tom Associates, LLC

E-book|Purchased for my Nook|352 pages

Series: Yes, Elysium Chronicles #1

Genre: YA: Dystopic

Goodreads|Barnes And Noble|Amazon|J.A. Souders’ Website

Summary: 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.

Renegade was a pretty interesting read.  You’re reading it, and you’re drawn in by the cover, which is so beautiful, and by the end of it, you’re wondering how a world that seemed so idyllic and amazing was such a strange, messed up world.

I love the details and how imaginative everything is.  The gardens seem beautiful, and at first glance, it seems like an interesting and beautiful place to live.  Evelyn remembering the memories that had bee altered by Mother…I loved how that unfolded and how she slowly started to remember things.  And then the ending happened.  You can be sure I’ll be reading the next one to see what happens and how everything will play out.

I liked Evelyn, Mother was creepy and mysterious and Gavin…I really liked Gavin.  I thought he was really interesting, and things really started to change for Evelyn when he stumbled into Elysium.  Evelyn…poor thing!  She is pretty resiliant, I’ll give her that.  You got glimpses of who she was in between all the brainwashing and I just wanted to know if she would make it through okay.  Which she does, in case anyone was wondering.

As for Mother…goodness!  The lengths she’ll go to in order to get what she wants and to create this society that’s perfect and obeys her every word…it’s horrifying and creepy and you know there’s more to her story than what we got.  Seriously, I LOVE the details and how layered this world is.  I really felt like Souders put a lot of thought into how Elysium formed and thought about all the little details that make it work.

And no dystopic novel is complete without a romance!  I’m not sure about Gavin and Evelyn yet, but I’m sort of intrigued with them as a couple because Evelyn’s been raised (and trained/brainwashed) to believe that Surface Dwellers are evil, while he tries to convince her that how she grew up and the world that she lives in is…well…kind of crazy ridiculously weird.  I like them as friends, but I think I need a little more time before I decide if I like them as a couple.

I liked that it was set underwater, which REALLY needs to be used more as a setting!  It worked really well, and something about the book being underwater totally added to the creepy mysterious of the book.

Final Thoughts:

I really liked Renegade.  I didn’t LOVE it, but I found it to be a really fun but creepy read.  The details are great, with a lot of different characters who are interesting and mysterious and likeable.  Renegade gets 4 stars.


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