Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Renegade by J.A. Souders

Author: J.A. Souders
Publication Date: 11/13/2012
Published By: Tor Teen
Audience: Young Adult
Genre: Science Fiction, Fantasy, Romance
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.
Picture and Summary from Goodreads.
Okay straight up warning, this book has insta-love.  However the reasoning for the insta-love makes sense to me so I'm okay with it.  And how GORGEOUS is that cover?!
The world of Elysium is an eden located under the sea, which I actually love the idea of but after reading the book I don't think I could survive in a compound under the sea.  Can you say claustorphobia?  Mother, the governess of Elysium, is responsible for the creation of Elysium and claims it was her idea that sparked the creation of the perfect human specimen.  It kind of blew my mind how similar her views and Hitler's views are.  Basically Mother is a crazy dictator and like most dictatorships the people who follow her are too scared to question her truths and reasonings.  The more I read the more I realized how twisted she was.
Evelyn, or Evie as she likes to be called, is our MC.  She has been brought up by Mother to become the Daughter of the People.  At first I feel sorry for her, she seems pretty clueless and ditzy, but it's not long into the book that I realize there is no need to pity her, the girl has a badass side hidden deep down.  Evie is the one to help Gavin, a dirty "surface dweller", escape from the clutches of Mother.  Her plan is pretty ingenious, until it fails.  I'm pretty sure Gavin is pissed deep down that the plan didn't work out since it included some hanky panky happening but it's tough times.  The rest of the book is spent following Evie and Gavin as they try to find a safe way out of Elysium and the secrets they discover along the way.
There are these Elite Soldiers called Enforcers.  Basically they are Mother's own personal mercenaries.  I just want to say I think they are pretty scary but at the same time fascinating.  Only girls can be an enforcer and if they are chosen to be one their "training" starts at the young age of 5.  I like the idea that only girls are good enough for Enforcer status, it's not often you see that, but hate the idea of child soldiers.
There is a lot of action and a lot of mystery swirled together in Renegade.  Nothing is as it seems and the truth has terrifying components to it.  The characters are well developed and while Gavin and Evie find themselves in insta-love I have hopes for their future.
I have to admit I'm excited for the next book, I'm hoping it will tell us more about the surface.  Is it really as bad as Mother says or are the "surface dwellers" the actual good guys?  Not to mention what will be in store for Gavin and Evie...



(Picture and Bio From Goodreads Profile)
J.A. Souders was born in the heartland with an overactive imagination and an over abundance of curiosity that was always getting her into trouble.

Because she never grew up, she decided she’d put her imaginary friends to work and started writing. She now lives in the land of sunshine and palm trees with her husband and their two children and is an active member of the RWA, SFWA, YARWA and SCBWI.

She is represented by Natalie Lakosil of the Bradford Literary Agency and her debut novel, RENEGADE, will be released Fall 2012.


  1. I have been flirting with this one since it came out last year. I can handle some insta-love if the book is good overall. Great review!
    Jen @ YA Romantics

  2. It's an interesting one, especially the whole different word under the sea thing, and I did enjoy it, but some things felt a little unrealistic to me. I'm okay with some insta-love, but I just didn't get there's, but I'm looking forward to see where it goes anyway. Great review! :)


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