Sunday, February 17, 2013

Review & GIVEAWAY: Renegade (The Elysium Chronicles #1) by J.A. Souders

 Published: November 13, 2012
Publisher: Tor Teen
Format: Hardcover
Series: Elysium Chronicles
My rating: 5/5 stars 

Renegade is the first book in The Elysium Chronicles and the story that unfolds in this book has been permanently imprinted into my brain! J.A. Souders is brilliant and her writing is phenomenal. I must admit that I really had no idea what to expect going into this book. I knew that the synopsis sounded really cool, but I had no idea that the story was going to be as gripping and completely unique as it was! There's an amazing blend of action, horrific encounters, kick-ass characters, and romance that had me turning the pages in a frenzy to discover what the next chapter held.
The majority of the book takes place in an underwater utopia called Elysium (I know, pretty cool, right?). It is here that we meet the main character, Evelyn. Despite my initial impressions of her, she turns out to be a very layered and complex character. I don't want to elaborate on that any further but I will say that she is full of surprises! Evelyn has been forced to think that her life is perfect, and she basically spends her days living like a puppet on a string--her behavior and actions completely out of her control. Mother, the woman in charge of Elysium, calls all of the shots, and Evelyn is just one of the many things she controls.

But before I discuss Mother, I want to address the awesomeness that is Gavin! He is a "surface dweller" that accidentally found his way into Elysium and crossed paths with Evelyn. From there, they begin to form an unbreakable bond, and he plays an integral part in helping Evelyn unearth her memories and comprehend the shocking truth behind all of the secrets being kept from her. Gavin is so good for Evelyn, and he's pretty funny and adorable as well. I'm rooting for these two all the way!

Now, let me address the bane of Elysium's existence: Mother. Mother is one of the most dreadful characters I have ever come across! Never has a fictional character made my blood boil the way she has. Her lies and manipulations are so heinous, and her power is absolutely frightening. However, I totally thought that she was going to be the scariest thing in the book, but oh dear, she wasn't! There are so many other things that Evelyn comes across in the book that will scare the pants off of you and creep you out. But yet I still loved every minute of it....

I feel like I could gush about Renegade for four more paragraphs, but I won't, because I don't want to spoil the mystery and enchantment of the book for everyone else. But I will say that if you enjoy stories that are completely original and mind-blowing, then you need to do yourself a favor and pick up this book! With that said, I can't freakin' wait to get my hands on the next book, Revelations!

Now, onto the giveaway!
I had the pleasure of meeting Jessica (A.K.A. J.A. Souders) at her book release party/signing back in November. She's an extremely nice and funny person, and she is a very gifted writer! I had her sign an extra copy of Renegade for me so I could give it away, so here we go:
One lucky winner will receive a signed copy of Renegade, plus a magnet, bookmark and pin!
Just read the contest rules and fill out the Rafflecopter form below to enter for a chance to win.
Contest Rules:
 *Must be 13 or older
*US only
*Winner will have 48 hrs to respond before a new winner is chosen

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. An underwater utopia sounds like a very unique setting, but I wouldn't want to live there because I can't really swim well. I've been looking forward to reading this book since the fall!

  2. No, being underwater with "sea life" freaks me out. I'm too squeamish LOL but I love to read about it.:) This book sounds amazing.:)

  3. It sounds very interesting and I have to say maybe since I love water! Thanks for the chance to win!


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