Book Review: Renegade by J.A. Souders

by - May 30, 2016

picture from Nose Graze

Renegade (The Elysium Chronicles ,#1) by J.A. Souders
on November 13th 2012
Genres: Science Fiction>DystopiaFantasyMagicRomanceThrillerYoung Adult
Pages: 364
Buy on Amazon 
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.



                     I really wanted to like this book the plot had so much potential, but like most teen-dystopian (and utopian) books it fell short of that promise.

            This book had everything going for it a pretty original plot (even though it reminded me ever so slightly of Dark Life by Kat Falls), and its own take on the everyday stereotypes. My biggest issue wasn’t the writing, but the lack of reasoning behind major events in the story.

            For instance Gavin and his friends just so happened to stumble into a cave that held an entrance to Elysium. Or the fact that barely any land dwellers know about Elysium when it was an underwater resort. If this type of resort were to open today this would’ve been a major public spectacle that wouldn’t be forgotten just because a bunch of rich people wanted to stay tucked away from the "bad war".

            I won’t say that that the book was totally bad, because for all intents and purposes it wasn’t. For instance Evelyn Winters (the protagonist) saw a small growth in her character throughout the book turning from a naïve “Daughter of the People” to a girl willing to run leaps and bounds to protect her lover, but her transition into a slightly stronger character was a little choppy.

            I hated her reliance on Gavin as a character, sure I’m not all for feminism, but without his arrival she would’ve just continued to believe the lies her Mother fed to her. It was just a little too much, and this is coming from a person who thoroughly loved Gavin as a character.

            In the end I believe this author cut some corners in the way she ended the book. Or maybe I was just expecting too much from an author’s debut novel.

           Don’t get me wrong this book isn’t out right horrible, but if you’re the type of reader who wants more than an insta-love and underdeveloped plot & characters I suggest you look elsewhere. I have already gotten the second book so...looks like I'll read it sometime in the near future. Hopefully the story will improve. :)

Rating: two-stars/5 stars


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