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.
My thoughts on the book:
Renegade was a captivating Utopian novel (NOT Dystopian). Utopian novels exist in worlds that appear to be perfect, when seen from the outside. However, once you delve deeper into the world, you find all of the faults and what really goes on to make the world perfect. Dystopian novels, on the other hand, take place in worlds that are obviously messed up. The characters in Renegade were unique and fleshed out, the plot was complex and intriguing, and the world-building was fantastic. I'd recommend this novel to anyone who is looking for something different to read.
Evelyn was the first person narrator of this book. Sometimes that worked for me and other times it didn't. You see, Evelyn had memory problems, and sometimes I felt like I couldn't trust her because the poor girl just didn't always know what was going on. However, she seemed honest enough, and she was a likable character. It was extremely interesting seeing Elysium through her point of view... especially considering the memory altering that went on with her character. She, for the most part, was a strong and inspirational character, and I enjoyed getting to know her.
I didn't feel like I got to know the secondary characters, like Gavin, as well as I would have liked to. As I stated, each character was unique and well-developed, but I just didn't feel like I got to know the full character. That could be because Evelyn was the narrator and she kept forgetting people. I really wish I could have known more about Macie and Nick. Maybe I'll get more information about them and Gavin in the sequel.
The plot was complicated and at times I felt like it had no direction. Again, this could be due to the memory loss of the narrator, but I felt really confused and like I was just wandering around this story with no end in sight on more than one occasion. That being said, the plot was extremely action packed, suspenseful, and intriguing. I couldn't put this book down, and it was, overall, a quick read. The ending was my absolute favorite. It didn't end on a cliffhanger (thankfully), but there is room for a sequel. I don't want to spoil the ending, but let me just say that you won't be disappointed in it.
Overall, I'd recommend this book to fans of Dystopian, Utopian, and sci-fi lit. I really enjoyed this book, even though there were a few problems (that I mentioned above). I'm looking forward to the sequel, and I commend Souders for a job well done.
Want to buy Renegade?