Renegade by J.A. Souders (Book Review)

Posted August 23, 2013 by Jana in Book Review, Young Adult Fiction / 7 Comments

Renegade by J.A. Souders (Book Review)Renegade by J.A. Souders
Series: Elysium Chronicles #1
Published by Tor Teen on November 13, 2012
Genres: Post-Apocalyptic, Romance, Science Fiction
Pages: 364
Format: eBook
Source: Gift
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5 Stars

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 highly anticipated read for me, and I regret waiting so long to get to it! This book is absolutely amazing, and definitely a new favorite of mine. Thanks so much to Brittany @ The Book Addict’s Guide for giving me a signed copy for Christmas last year! Anyway, my main points are bolded, as always. :)

1. I love the setting in Renegade: Elysium. These people live in a glass structure at the bottom of the sea. Who needs wallpaper when you’ve got whales swimming past you? It’s absolutely beautiful, even though it is hiding a very creepy world inside.

2. Yeah, the world is creepy. Everyone is perfect. They all have blonde hair, blue eyes, never do anything wrong, etc. It’s a utopia, but it’s so perfect that it becomes weird and creepy.

3. Originally, I thought this was a mermaid book. It’s not. Everyone’s a human, and that made me happy. This book is original!

4. Evelyn has been sheltered from reality her entire life. She has been brainwashed to forget things, act a certain way, and think other things. As a result, her life is sunshine and roses. She sits in her garden playing with the flowers, and has no idea what’s going on. As she started figuring things out, with the help of Gavin, I started to really like her. She found out she was betrayed, and rather than denying it or crying about it, she became filled with this utter disgust for her mother. I loved that. She has a brain, even though it’s being altered, and she is strong enough to see the truth even though she’s not supposed to. She has no idea what her world is like, but she’s going crazy trying to escape it. And as the brainwashing gets worse, she has to fight herself to save herself. This girl has guts. I love her.

5. Oh, and Gavin. Mmm mmm. I love Gavin. Talk about a knight in shining armor. He randomly ends up in Elysium from the surface, and is being hunted for killing by the people here. Rather than hiding and trying to escape on his own, he decides to help the most valuable and protected girl there. He got himself into a real pickle for this, so it’s obvious that he’s completely fascinated by Evelyn. I love the he grounds her. He is her rock, and she can function if she has him by her side. And he says some of the sweetest things!

6. I mentioned Mother before, and italicized it for a reason. She is the leader of Elysium, and everyone calls her Mother. Somehow, long ago, she founded this world as an escape from the evil surface dwellers. She has lied to, controlled, and molded her people into thoughtless shells of themselves. And Evelyn is her prized possession, the Daughter of the People. She will stop at nothing to keep her below the surface. She will have her killed before she will let her escape. I’m sure you can imagine the crazy adventure and suspense that ensues. There’s something about a completely heartless, indifferent villain that makes a book SO much better.

7. SO much craziness happens! This book had me tearing through the pages. There was never a dull moment, and I could not handle the suspense at times. It’s wonderful.

8. The writing is gorgeous. Where has this author been all my life? The descriptions of the scenery, the world, the feelings, the romance. It was all incredibly beautiful.

I tried to keep things vague so as not to spoil the experience for you. Renegade is an amazing dystopia, and the start of an intoxicating series. I can’t wait for the next book (seriously, can I have it?), so I can continue reading about Evelyn and Gavin. Definitely try this if you’re a fan of dystopia. It does not disappoint.


5 Stars
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7 responses to “Renegade by J.A. Souders (Book Review)

    • Jana

      I really loved it. And the next book comes out in the next couple months, so you won’t have to wait too long to continue the story!

  1. danielle hammelef

    Great review! I love that this takes place underwater with real people that I can care about. It sounds like the writing is superb and I will enjoy this book very much.

  2. Tammy V

    Finding a civilization living underground fascinates me. It started with Justice Buried by Thompson. This one sounds similar. Love the covers.