Review: ‘Renegade’ by J.A. Souders

I received this book for free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Review: ‘Renegade’ by J.A. SoudersRenegade by J. A. Souders
Series: The Elysium Chronicles #1
Published by Tor Teen on November 13th, 2012
Genres: Dystopian, Love & Romance, Science Fiction, Young Adult
Pages: 364
Format: eARC
Source: NetGalley
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.

Chapters/IndigoThe Book DepositoryAmazon CanadaGood Reads


Evelyn lives a sheltered life. Living underneath the ocean in a city called Elysium her life is perfect with her gorgeous gorgeous garden and her equally blonde and stunning mate. Her Mother rules all, and she’s a queen that rules with an iron fist. When Evelyn’s memory flashes pop up in her mind’s eye, it causes her to question her perfect utopia. Even more so when a surface dweller somehow stumbles upon their city in the water and starts to tell her the truth of what happened back on land.

Evie didn’t exactly pick up on her trashed memories until it started happening more frequently which I found bored to read with. It kept happening and replaying again and I found it boring and tiresome. I felt no connection with Evie whatsoever, minus the fact that the plot kept me so entertained.

Mother reminds me of a woman Hitler. She’s downright tyrannical, leads her people with an iron fist, and is more crazy with the idea of perfection than you have ever seen in a character. Naturally she ends up being the most interesting character. As the story progresses, the history of how she came to be is revealed. And thank God there were answers. Nothing annoys me more than a book that leaves all the questions unanswered.

The romance was downright abysmal and I’m always a sucker for romantic relationships in novels. I even enjoy love triangles, but this one fell short. It had a lot of potential to be a great book but it was sorely lacking. Not to the writing style itself, but to their character personalities. It’s always such a sucker punch to the gut when you can’t connect with the characters you read. sighs

Evie does grow a lot during the story, so that was a big plus.

Incredibly fast paced in the beginning, a tad still in the middle, and huge climatic ending. Wonderfully done.

Cover & Design
Brilliant. Love the colours and the type suits the book well, but I felt the girl on the character to be too CG’d.

Incredibly woven with a twist or two here and there which made it fun to keep reading.

Lots of potential, and I wished I liked the characters more.


A lady should be like a flower under grass, beautiful yet untouchable.
Everyone is given a position in our community based on their genetics.
Your mothers pays everyone? Wow, she must have a money tree.
We kill to maintain our way of life. They kill to remain living. Which is more barbaric?
Hot equals sexy in my world.
There is no such thing as the perfect person. But you’re pretty damned close.
I can’t lose you now that I found you. I need you. We need each other.





  1. Pingback: Book Haul: Stacking the Shelves #31

  2. Diana Grace

    February 27, 2014 at 9:38 AM

    I don’t know what to make of the book but this is my first time encountering it so… It sounds interesting and I would love to read the book myself. Thanks for your review! 🙂
    Diana Grace recently posted…The Harder I Fall by Jessica GibsonMy Profile

  3. gaby

    December 15, 2012 at 10:16 AM

    I need this book now, I love the detailed review on every aspect!

  4. Penny Yoke

    December 14, 2012 at 9:44 PM

    I’ve read positive reviews about Renegade, but the characters doesn’t seem to be interesting, and characters are pretty important to me. Still considering whether to read this though…

  5. DeeDee Griffin

    December 4, 2012 at 11:37 PM

    Sounds somewhat disappointing. I always enjoy a book more when there’s a good romance, and I really need to have an emotional connection with the characters.

  6. Jenn@OwlReadIt

    December 4, 2012 at 9:00 PM

    I really enjoyed this one! Mother is so evil! Gah! I wasn’t a huge fan of the romance either though.

    Thanks for the review!

  7. Jaime Lester

    December 3, 2012 at 11:41 PM

    This is one that I have heard such good things about lately. I usually don’t read underwater books, because I have had a crap time with them. I have to say, this one is intriguing to me. All of the great reviews made me think it might work out well this time. Now, I am once again unsure. I think that I will have to read it and take a chance with this one. Thanks for the review!

  8. Sarah O

    December 3, 2012 at 10:43 PM

    I think Renegade is one I’ll have to read for myself to decide. I’ve seen a lot of really positive reviews, but a lot of mixed ones too, and it’s always the worst when something you’re really looking forward to doesn’t live up to your expectations.

  9. Samantha

    December 3, 2012 at 5:56 PM

    Thanks for the review! When I first heard about this book I was really excited to read it and I definitely still am. Once I saw that you reviewed it, I just had to check out what you had to say. I’m glad that overall you enjoyed this novel because if it got bad reviews I probably would not be as excited for it. I understand that there will always be issues that people find in a story so that does not put me off. Thanks for the review I’m excited for when I’ll get my hands on this one!

  10. Brent

    December 3, 2012 at 3:48 PM

    Great reviev. Sounds really interesting.

  11. Ange/Libby Blog

    December 3, 2012 at 12:40 AM

    Great review! I’m so glad you liked it! I just met her last night and got my copy I bought signed! WOOT! WOOT! 🙂 She was very nice AND apparently there is another “Ange” in FL! Who knew!?

  12. Anne C

    December 3, 2012 at 12:39 AM

    Thanks for this! I have a copy in transit from TBD, I can’t wait to get it!

  13. Anne C

    December 3, 2012 at 12:37 AM

    Thanks for this!

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