Renegade by J. A. Souders
A low 3 stars out of 5.
Renegade is set in the utopian society of Elysium, a community of people who created an underwater haven. But little do these people know that their “haven” who dwell underneath its ocean’s depths that there are secrets that run deeper than the ocean floor. Evelyn Winters is the Daughter of the People, daughter of Mother, the founder of precious, safe Elysium. Although she tries and tries to be good, Elysia always seems to disappoint Mother at ever turn; but Evelyn never realizes this fact. Someone has kept Evelyn under the impression that she has a “condition” that causes her to lose most of her memories, but soon she finds that it isn’t a condition at all but a medically induced amnesia.
At time passes and secrets are revealed Evelyn wonders if she will ever be able to remember who she was; but does she really want to know? Will a day come when she remembers who this boy in her dreams is? Will her memories come back, putting the missing peaces back into place, allowing her to find the person who did this to her? And who is this Surface Dweller? Is he someone she can trust or is he like all the others, someone with secrets that can hurt her?
J. A. Souders had a great concept going; but Renegade just didn’t do it for me. While reading Renegade, I felt very disconnected from the characters and I thought that Evelyn and Gavin’s relationship wasn’t very authentic. They had, what a week or two at most together and their somehow in love? I have seen other authors really create good love stories that were formed over a shorter period of time, but that felt very “real.” I just did not feel that way while reading Renegade, and I was actually more interested in Timothy, who really is not in it more than a few pages; I liked him a much more than I did Gavin.
On top of not feeling very attached to any of the characters, I was left wanting with the society. There were times when you got a glimpse of it but it was not well developed in my opinion (I am wrong most of the time, so don’t take my word for it). I found myself just grazing the pages, and I never felt “involved” or even interested in the story.
There is one last thing I want to say and then I will shut my trap: I felt that it was a little “Hunger Games-esk” with how bloody it was. Too much for my taste ( I do have a small tolerance for such things, so it might not be that bad for others, but still). I hope that in the next book Souders developes her society more, and that, I think, could really add a lot to her series’/trilogy’s depth.
All said and done, I didn’t hate this book. It was fairly well written, it just was not “my” kind of book. I think that a lot of people might like this book and enjoy J. A.’s characters, but they just weren’t for me. I do appreciate that there wasn’t much language (as I remember), and that and the fact it wasn’t badly written deserves a low 3 out of 5 stars. (Yes, I am just that picky.)