Author: J.A. Souders
Series: The Elysium Chronicles #1
Genre: Young Adult, Romance, Fantasy, Dystopia
Release Date: November 13, 2012
Publisher: Tor Teen
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.
First Sentence: My life is just about perfect.
I bought Renegade back than in November ever since it first came out. I don’t know what made me buy it, maybe it was the beautiful roses on the cover, making me wonder, what role do the roses play in the story? Or maybe it was because of the beautiful, mysterious background. (If I haven’t read the book, I would have had absolutely no clue that the glass was supposed to show the bottom of the ocean.) I never had the chance to read Renegade until now, and I have to say, it was rather disappointing. It could have been better.
My life is just about perfect.
Every morning Mother has the Maids wake me at precisely ten. Then it’s time for a light breakfast followed by a mandatory visit with my Therapist. It’s nice to have someone to talk with. (11)
One problem was that I never really connected with the main character, Evelyn. In fact, it was hard to. It’s hard to connect with a girl who is constantly losing her memories (although it’s not her fault), especially when there were some obvious clues she could have picked up that told her that something very fishy was going on. (But again, it wasn’t her fault. I still can’t help but be annoyed though.) I also didn’t feel sorry for Evelyn at the moments I was supposed to, although again, everything that happened to her wasn’t her fault. (I feel like I’m repeating this mantra to myself a thousand times already.)
Today is better than yesterday. And yesterday was better than the day before. (27)
One reason why I gave Renegade a 3 star rating is because the book didn’t shock me. Sure, there were a lot of plot twists and things happening that I didn’t expect to happen, but they didn’t leave me on the edge of my seat, begging for more and going all omgomgomg. All I thought was well, of course, mentally shrugged, and read on. Also, if you ignore all the plot twists and just look at the overall concept of Renegade, a controlling leader hiding a lot of secrets and will do whatever it takes to maintain total control, it’s been done before many times in other dystopian novels. Nothing about Renegade brought something new to the genre.
We are all Mother’s children. It is a privilege to show her our ultimate obedience to her laws. (62)
However, I have to give major credit to J.A. Souders for her creative idea of creating an underworld city where her characters reside. (There was even a nice map that I didn’t use included in the beginning of the book.) Her idea was unique, different, and I also enjoyed learning about how things worked underwater, even though it still left me with some questions that are still left unanswered.
The War has corrupted the Surface Dwellers. They have been consumed with hate and violence, and should be considered extremely dangerous. Any Surface Dweller who attempts to break into Elysium should be shot on sight. (31)
As for the ending and last chapter of Renegade, it was very cute and actually bought a huge smile on my face. It was definitely the cutest and best part of Renegade. The ending was also a little too happily ever after for my taste, but still, I enjoyed it.
Overall, don’t get me wrong, Renegade is not a bad book, but it just wasn’t the book for me. As for if I’ll read the sequel anytime soon, so far I’m thinking nah, I’ll survive if I don’t get to read the sequel, although the cover is gorgeous.