RENEGADE by J.A. Souders Review and Giveaway

Renegade (The Elysium Chronicles, #1) RENEGADE
J.A. Souders
364 pages
Publisher: TOR Teen
Release Date: November 13th, 2012
Source: Hardcover from Publisher
Rating: LIKED

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.

   Wrought with equal parts science fiction and dystopia, RENEGADE is quite the read. J.A. Souders sets her debut in a world hundreds of feet beneath Earth’s surface, in a structure hidden in the depths of the sea, called Elysium. And this is where Evelyn lives, training to be Daughter of the People.

   There doesn’t seem to be much that sets RENEGADE out of the sea (pun intended) of YA fiction. But when chapter two began just the same way as chapter one – I sat up straighter, I focused harder. I needed to know what happened next.

   Because Evie’s life is just about perfect in chapter one, and just about perfect in chapter two – right after she witnesses the murder of her favorite Suitor.

   Evie lacks in emotion through about the first half of the novel – which, I now realize, is just how J.A. Souders wanted it. Because Evie really is just a doll. A figure of hope that’s empty of life on the inside. Until she starts remembering, realizing, and actually standing up for herself.

   Though some parts seemed to be overdone, like when one character asks Evie ‘what’s next?’ and she launches into a plan, I ended up enjoying RENEGADE. I didn’t straight out love it, or feel like it was incredibly different – but RENEGADE was pretty good. I think I would have enjoyed it even more, had it come a year or two ago. But now, there just isn’t enough to set itself out of the crowd.

   As I said earlier, I liked RENEGADE. And maybe, just maybe, you will too. There’s only one way to find out, right?

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Find J.A Souders on Twitter | Website

Thanks to Tor Teen, I have a copy of RENEGADE to giveaway to one lucky reader! Enter right after the page break – good luck!

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Hafsah Faizal is a YA author, designer, and blogger. Her designs have graced the sites of New York Times bestselling authors, bloggers, and more. She resides in Texas, with her family.

November 15, 2012



  1. Reply


    November 16, 2012

    Awesome review!! I loved this book too. It was so twisted and great.

  2. Reply


    November 16, 2012

    I just finished this one and really enjoyed it Hafsah! At first I wasn't sure about Evie because, like you said, she's mostly robotic in the opening chapters, doing what people tell her to do and repeating what people tell her to say. But her story was terrifying and fascinating and I just couldn't put it down, and by the end, I was a fan of hers:)

  3. Reply


    November 16, 2012

    Thanks for the great review and giveaway! I'm definitely wanting to read this book now :)

  4. Reply


    November 16, 2012

    This is pretty disappointing to hear. I hope I still enjoy this read as I've been looking forward to it for months.

  5. Reply

    Christina K.

    November 16, 2012

    It's awesome how her apathy made sense in the story, how you got why.

    Awesome review:)

  6. Reply

    Jesse Burgoyne

    November 17, 2012

    Great review! The more YA books I read the more and more similarities I see between them, but Renegade sounds like a really entertaining read. Thanks for the giveaway!

    Jesse @ Pretty in Fiction

  7. Reply

    Dazzling Mage

    November 17, 2012

    So very curious about this book now! Great review, and thanks for the giveaway!

  8. Reply


    November 18, 2012

    Sounds interesting. I really hope I enjoy this book and will not compare it to its predecessors.

  9. Reply


    November 18, 2012

    Thank you for this great giveaway! Yet another amazing review that left me waiting to read a book. This book sounds reallly good. Thank you for the chance to win!

  10. Reply

    Jas Dela Cruz

    November 21, 2012

    Yay another dystopian :)

  11. Reply

    Bellas Bookshelf

    November 26, 2012

    This is one I am definitely interested in. I love dystopian, but feel they have been a little overdone as of late. Like vampires, after Twilights success everyone wrote vamp stories and they got to be so blah blah ho hum.
    I've heard mixed reviews on this, believe it or not, and that surprised me a lot.