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Friday, December 7, 2012

Blog Tour Review: Renegade by J.A. Souders

Renegade by J.A. Souders
Publication Date: November 13th, 2012
Publisher: Tor Teen
Page Count: 364 pages
Format: Finished Copy
Source: Publisher for review
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* I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review *
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.
When I first read the premise for Renegade by J.A. Souders I was seriously intrigued. Set in Elysium, a hidden world built beneath the ocean, and filled with secrets and populated by people who used to live on the Surface. The sound of this world just gave me goosebumps. I was immediately drawn into Evelyn's world and I loved the first person narration. Evelyn is an incredibly unreliable narrator, due to the fact that her memories are constantly being meddled with, and the way her story is told is very similar to that of Mara Dyer. Although the plot starts off a bit slow, the ending blew me away and I cannot wait to see what J.A. Souders will come up with next!

The characters are all very different, and although I didn't really click with any of them, I enjoyed hearing their stories. Evelyn is definitely a strong protagonist, constantly fighting against her mother and having to work through the confusion of having memories erased on an almost daily basis. Her willingness to uncover the secrets of Elysium is admirable and I loved the way she didn't back down to threats. Gavin was okay, he wasn't as swoon-worthy as I like my love interests to be and I felt like he was a little too protective of Evelyn, attempting to control her despite being completely unfamiliar with his surroundings. There are a lot of side characters that are fantastic, and I really loved some of Evelyn's close friends. Even Mother is deliciously evil and I really loved the development of her character as the story progressed.

The world-building is pretty intense. There's a map of Elysium at the beginning of the book which was a nice addition and I could easily relay back to it if I needed a picture to go with a description. Many questions that I had about how certain aspects worked were answered by the end of the book, which was greatly appreciated. I do wish Souders would have given us more description of the Surface, because I felt like I really had no idea what was going on in the outside world. I couldn't really identify the time period either. I assumed it was set in the future, but prior descriptions of the Surface had me thinking it was somewhat desolate, maybe comparable to the world of The Hunger Games or Blood Read Road, but further reading mentioned Gavin playing video games which indicates a more civilized community of people.

Overall, I enjoyed Renegade. I think the ending really amped things up for me, the last 100 pages or so were incredibly intense and a lot of mind-blowing information was thrown my way. I'm hoping the next book will cover a lot of unanswered questions as well as develop the characters a bit more. Renegade is mostly plot-driven, and the biggest issue I had was that the first half of the plot was pretty slow. Once things picked up I couldn't stop reading and I'm really looking forward to the direction everything is moving in. Fans of dystopian and science fiction will definitely enjoy Renegade.


  1. I'm excited to read this one. The more reviews I read, the more excited I get! Bumping it up on my TBR list. Great review!

  2. I've heard so many things about this book. Some people say it's amazing, and other say it's not really worth my time. I like this review, though. It's kind of in the middle, but in a positive way. I'm definitely going to give this book a chance sometime. :)

    Just a Booklover

  3. Great review!! I really enjoyed this book. I like the intensity of it, and how it got right into the action. Mother is a phsycho!!! The characters were a bit hard to really connect to, but the story completely made up for it for me.

  4. Great review Anna! The last 100 pages... with the uh... surprise guests in the dark hallways- GACK!

    I get what you mean about the MC's- I never really fell in love with either of them, but I enjoyed the book.

  5. Yeah! I'm so excited for this one. I'm on the tour next week, so I need to get to reading. *grins* I'm glad you liked it, and that some of your questions were answered. I hate it when a book just leaves me hanging. Great review, Anna!

  6. I love the whole "City under the ocean" premise! And this sounds like one i'd really enjoy - I am so glad to hear that it has excellent world building!

    -Jac @ For Love and Books

  7. I actually skimmed through your review because I'm going to read it soon and I was like "I WILL NOT LET ANYTHING TAINT ME" ;) But I'm glad you enjoyed it overall! Although I'm sorry you were a little disappointed with the lack of description of the Surface! Hopefully the next book has that! :D

  8. Sounds interesting, especially the detailed world building. I love it when the setting comes to life in a story. May add this to my reading list. Lovely review.

  9. This sounds interesting, but im still not sure weather im going to pick it up! It sucks that you didnt get to connect with the characters, but its good that you still enjoyed it! Great review Anna!
    - Farah @ MajiBookshelf


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