Renegade By: J.A. Souders

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 is the first book in the Elysium Chronicles. Renegade is about a girl, Evelyn Winters, who learns that she’s been “conditioned”(brainwashed) to forget her past and anytime that she ever rebelled. It’s also about a “surface dweller”, Gavin Hunter, who stumbles upon her society which means certain execution for him once they get answers from him. Fortunately, Evelyn helps him and in return he helps her learn about what “mother” has done to her and her people. When Evelyn learns the full extent she and Gavin make a plan to escape together from her beautiful yet deadly underwater society, Elysium.

When I first heard of Renegade I thought that the synopsis was cool and that it would really be a good book. Then I saw the cover in detail and was completely taken with the book. The whole thing with the rose and the thorns and the blood intrigued me a lot. The cover looked like a photograph but also looked like it was drawn, which was pretty trippy and awesome. Especially because everything is so beautiful on the cover and then with the way that her head is turned, her gripping the rose and the blood that drips and pools, it made it very mysterious and interesting. I automatically wanted to buy and read this book. Fortunately for me it did not disappoint.

The characters were really interesting. The main character, Evelyn Winters, was deemed “the Daughter of the People”. The Daughter of the People means that she has the perfect genetics, the perfect genetics to make an offspring and that after “mother” can’t rule Elysium then she’ll be the successor and rule Elysium. There’s only one word to describe Evelyn. Bad ass. The way that she knows all her weapons, and how to use them. The way that she speaks to people if their a threat, and the way that she handles her conditioning and her “Enforcer” self. Gavin was the love interest and one of the main characters. He was hot. The way the author described him with his muscles, tanned skinned, blond hair, and gray eyes. Also, he was bad ass on his own when it came to him and hunting and just the way he used his weapons. “Mother” wasn’t actually anyone’s mother; she just made everyone call her mother because she’s just a crazy lady. I actually liked her a lot because of how crazy and non considerate she was. She was just so outrageous! Everything she said and did showed it. I like how the author portrayed that.

When everyone called her mother it just made me think of Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho. If anyone watched that classic thriller, than you know what I mean. Especially when the author showed the people in Sector three who’s conditioning went awry. I liked it because it gave a grotesque feel. Basically I loved it.

This book was awesome because it was like Veronica Roth’s Divergent and Lauren DeStefano’s Wither. Only it was way WAY better than Wither. There was a scene in the end that was like the ending of Divergent only flipped and just a bit more twisted which I liked.

If there was anything I disliked it was that it got confusing when the author, J.A. Souders, showed Evelyn’s little memories of Timothy. I still don’t get it because Evelyn never really stopped to put all those memories together and explain what had happened with her and Timothy. I guess it was pretty basic but I feel as if it was quite random and confusing.

I really liked the quotes that the author put in the beginning of each chapter. They gave a glimpse of the world, with a little humour, without the main character randomly thinking about it. I hate when authors make the main character explain the world building with their thoughts because the main character can’t just randomly be thinking of the world building.

Overall, I loved this book. It deserves five stars for many reasons. Not to mention this book is so amazing and yet (surprisingly) this is a debut novel for J.A Souders. I can’t wait in till the second book comes out! I bet it’ll be even better then the first if J.A Souders is writing it.

-Michelle

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