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RENEGADE by J.A. Souders Review and Giveaway

Posted by on November 16, 2012

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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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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  1. 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:)

  2. 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.

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