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Renegade (The Elysium Chronicles) [Kindle Edition]

J. A. Souders
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (71 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $10.99
Kindle Price: $7.84
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Sold by: Macmillan
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Book Description

J.A. Souders's haunting debut--Renegade Since the age of three, sixteen-year-old Evelyn Winters has 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 believed that everything is perfect. Her world. Her people. The Law.

But when Gavin Hunter, a Surface Dweller, accidentally stumbles into Elysium's secluded little world, Evelyn comes 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.

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Gr 7 Up-Evelyn Winters's life is just about perfect-or so she's been brainwashed to believe. As Daughter of the People of Elysium, an underwater utopia, she seemingly lives a life of luxury. The Leader of the People, her Mother, is training her to take over one day and manage the isolated community. When Gavin, a Surface Dweller, infiltrates Elysium, everything Evie's ever been taught begins to unravel. Her memories can't be right. Her life, her Law, her world, isn't perfect. Scores of people who have created "problems" are simply killed-and Mother is behind it all. Evie has to escape. Renegade is a creepier, underwater version of the Society in Ally Condie's Matched (Dutton, 2010). Souders creates an unsettling tone with the repetition of Evie's rote internal dialogue. First in a trilogy, Renegade is another dark and exciting YA novel about how striving for perfection leads to murder and manipulation. The love story between Gavin and Evie is lackluster, but the action mostly makes up for it. A solid recommendation for fans of dystopian fiction.-Emily Chornomaz, Camden County Library System, NJα(c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

From Booklist

In the underwater utopia Elysium, 16-year-old Evelyn Winter’s life is “nearly perfect.” After all, she is the coddled, trained, and admired Daughter of the People, chosen for her ideal genes to lead Elysium’s inhabitants. So why does Evie occasionally have strange, disjointed flashbacks and the feeling that she is often forgetting something? When surface dweller Gavin Hunter accidentally stumbles upon Evie’s world, everything that Evie thought she knew about herself, her land, and the woman she calls Mother is turned upside down. Will Evie’s training help or hinder her quest for the truth? The romance between Evie and Gavin falls a little flat, with an unlikely speed to their relationship and the unnecessary inclusion of a mild love triangle. Still, Souders’ exciting, suspenseful, and action-packed debut novel will be a welcome addition to any library’s dystopia collection. Hand this to fans of Suzanne Collins, Veronica Roth, and Scott Westerfeld. Grades 8-11. --Candice Mack

Product Details

  • File Size: 865 KB
  • Print Length: 369 pages
  • Publisher: Tor Teen (November 13, 2012)
  • Sold by: Macmillan
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #486,614 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars I had such high hopes... December 3, 2012
~Thank you to TorTeen for this ARC!~

I had very high hopes for Renegade, I'm not going to lie. It sounded almost too good to be true. I'm a sucker for stories that play with genetics, and--despite the obvious choice of love interest--the storyline looked unique and interesting.

I hate when I don't get everything that I'm hoping for.

Renegade starts off ridiculously creepy. Like, good creepy. So fantastically creepy. Souders uses an interesting technique between chapters that excellently shows off how Evie's mind is being altered by her mother. You are shown Mother's cruelty right away as well, which sets the tone for the rest of the book. Don't be fooled by the pretty cover; Renegade doesn't shy away from blood and killing.

Things start to break down right around when Gavin, the Surface Dweller, is introduced. No, I'm not saying this just because I found their love story cliché. (I did, but that's not the point.) The sessions where Evie is "interrogating" him are clearly an info dump opportunity so that we can learn more about the world, and I have no idea why they weren't shot on spot right away. There is no way that Mother has all these security features and doesn't have microphones in her jail cells.

It's at this point that information starts to get jumbled. Souders has created a very complex world, and in the end that does her a disservice. A few too many things are glossed over or left unexplained entirely. A few key plot points are fixed almost magically. Certain characters turn bipolar and their actions make no sense.

I guess being frustrated that I never completely understood the world or the technology is sort of a good thing. After all, it means I was invested enough to want to know.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Insane Underwater Utopia November 13, 2012
3.5 stars

'We are all Mother's children. It is a privilege to show her our ultimate obedience to her laws.'

Evelyn Winters is the Daughter of the People in the underwater world of Elysium. She is a flawless specimen with ideal genes perfectly suited to create flawless children. Mother has worked hard to solidify Evelyn's perfection and the perfection of all citizens in Elysium. Mother will do anything and everything to make sure this remains so. All is not as it appears in Elysium. Look carefully, beyond the perfection.... and you'll see the malevolence hidden closely beneath the surface.

'Greed has poisoned men's souls. Surface Dwellers have destroyed what was once beautiful and turned it into a ghostly illusion of what they call peace. But down here, we have real peace. There will be no fear, or sickness, hunger, hate, or greed. We have created our Utopia. And it is magnificent.'

Evelyn is told from an early age that her people escaped to Elysium to hide from the evil Surface Dwellers that war with one another but when a Surface Dweller manages to breach Elysium Evelyn can't help but be intrigued by him. His name is Gavin and with his help Evelyn realizes that the very world she lives in is a complete lie.

An underwater utopia? How. Awesome. I loved the descriptions and details of how everything worked and how people managed to not only survive but to truly thrive and be completely self-sufficient under the sea. I would have loved for it to be explained more in detail in the beginning rather than a conversation between Evelyn and Gavin when he'd ask a question here and there. I believe an introduction in the beginning on the underwater society would have been better.
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Dear Mother, I FREAKING LOVE THIS BOOK. January 2, 2013
By Inky
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I. Heart. This. Book. Seriously. I heart Jessica for writing it. I had like an EPIC blast reading it and I can't wait for more EPIC Gavin book two!!! I mean this book had everything I could possibly want in a YA novel. Suspense, a crazy amazing bad guy, a hot boy, romance, action, secrets around every corner, a crazy ending.....ack! This book will always be in my heart. From this day on now and forever more...yeah we get it. ALWAYS. End of story.

I thought that the idea behind this book was very intriguing. Not so much the dystopia aspect, but the underwater aspect. Why? It's NOT ABOUT MERMAIDS! Phew! Not that I have anything against mermaids, but it's kinda hard to find a non-cliche mermaid book at least in some aspects.... okay moving on. Anyway it's this big glass dome underwater! Totally like when you're in an aquarium and there's the big glass wall so you can look at fish and sharks...except this time it's the whole ocean, and if it breaks you are DEAD. Kinda awesome right? (Not the dead part of course.) So there...

Anyway, it's an insane picture in your head, with Nemo and Dori swimming above you and whales trying to eat them, and beneath the glass you have a monster. Named MOTHER. Personally, I think that Mother is one of the BEST villains I have EVER READ lately. She's intense and villainy, yes, but she has a good connection to Evie and that is why it works so well! And I think that naming her Mother was a stroke of genius, it shows that connection. It gave Evelyn a struggle to accept the fact that the villain is someone normally so close to her. Hands down she's extraordinaire. And we know how I feel about extraordinaire

Time for Evie. Nice little perfect Evie in a perfect world. I liked her.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic
This rating was more of a 4.75
The only reason why it isn't a perfect five is because of the love. The last few of my books I've read all have the same issue with me. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Wy'Kia De'Lynne Frelot
5.0 out of 5 stars There is so much I love about this thrilling dystopian set underwater
There is so much I love about this thrilling dystopian set underwater. A kick-butt herione, a sizzling hot guy and chilling secrets that all lurk in a city beneath the waves.
Published 7 months ago by Christy
5.0 out of 5 stars A perfect world built on secrets, lies, and the corrupt mind of the...
One of the prettiest covers ever to be made! That alone would have drawn me to this novel, and the fact that it takes place underwater! Read more
Published 7 months ago by Tara
5.0 out of 5 stars I absolutely loved RENEGADE. It was fun
I absolutely loved RENEGADE. It was fun, fast-paced, and interesting from the first page to the last. Souders has a hit on her hands!
Published 7 months ago by M. Geerling
5.0 out of 5 stars but instead of being annoyed by this
This book was not at all what I expected. I knew going into it that it was a series and I thought it was a book about a princess-type of character with some typical teen romance... Read more
Published 7 months ago by D. Vello
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Book!!
I read this book in 1 1/2 days and my eyes didn't move away from the pages! This book sucked me in from the very beginning. Read more
Published 9 months ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Dark and twisted and beautiful and perfect.
Now this is how I like my books.This is how I like my bad guys.

Elysium appears to be Utopia. Hah! Like that ever really happens. Read more
Published 10 months ago by disturbinglynic
5.0 out of 5 stars Really Amazing!
I thought this would be just another damsel in distress, peace-fighter blah blah blah novel. Wow was i surprised! I couldnt put it down. Read more
Published 14 months ago by Kindle Customer
4.0 out of 5 stars Review of Renegade From: Head In The Clouds; A YA Book Review Blog
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. Read more
Published 15 months ago by S.Huston
4.0 out of 5 stars Review of Renegade
I have a confession to make. I did not even know this book existed until I received its sequel from Tor Teen. Read more
Published 15 months ago by Lydia
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More About the Author

J.A. SOUDERS is the author of the Elysium Chronicles (including RENEGADE, A DARK GRAVE, REVELATIONS, and REBELLION) and lives in the land of sunshine and palm trees where she spends her time writing about the monsters under the bed, day dreaming about living in an underwater colony, and failing miserably at playing video games.

She is represented by Natalie Fischer Lakosil of the Bradford Literary Agency. Her debut book, RENEGADE, surfaced November 2012 from Tor Teen (Macmillan)the sequel, REVELATIONS, released November 5,2013 and the third book, REBELLION, releases June 2015. A DARK GRAVE (available now) and RISE (available October 2014) are short story prequels.

Her short story TOOTHLESS is in the Mystery Times Ten anthology from Buddhapuss Ink.

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