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(The Elysium Chronicles #1)

3.75  ·  Rating details ·  3,799 ratings  ·  515 reviews
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 lit
Hardcover, 364 pages
Published November 13th 2012 by Tor Teen (first published August 20th 2012)
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Lisa Osselmeier I would recommend the read for Middle School children. The delivery is a dramatic sci fi action story--full of romance. Can be read on a weekend.
Annabel 10-13 If you're older or younger you can totally read this but children in middle school will probably get the most out of this.…more10-13 If you're older or younger you can totally read this but children in middle school will probably get the most out of this.(less)

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Average rating 3.75  · 
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Sep 26, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: arc, ebook
Holy bloody muffins!!

Look at this pretty cover! Right? Don't be fooled! The world inside Renegade is not pretty. It's not beautiful! It's gory, disturbing, sick, and the more you advance in the story, the more terrifying it all becomes. It starts innocently enough. Perfect life, in a perfect garden, everyone is "perfect" with perfect blue eyes and perfect blond hair, perfect genetics to make perfect babies in this perfect world full of perfect flowers and perfect fish--for real! They live in an
shady boots
This review is also available over at my blog.


Holy crap.

Um, wow, I'm not even sure where to start.

Okay, so, in the underwater city of Elysium, which is ruled by a woman that goes by Mother, Evelyn Winters has been trained to be the Daughter of the People, and the one in line to be the leader of the city. She had a perfect life, loved by Mother and all the citizens of Elysium. But when Gavin Hunter, a Surface Dweller, somehow manages to enter the city, Evie starts realizing
Originally reviewed on The Book Smugglers

Sixteen-year-old Evelyn Winters' life is just about perfect. Adopted by Mother and made the Daughter of the People, Evelyn is being groomed for the inevitable day that she will take over Mother's illustrious position as the head of the suboceanic society of Elysium. The war and strife of the hateful Surface Dwellers above led Mother to start a new society of her own, concealed by the ocean's murky depths. It is Evelyn's job to listen to the people, to lea
Nov 20, 2012 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2012
As Daughter of the People, Evie Winters’ life is just about perfect. Chosen as a child for her perfect genetic profile, she was adopted and raised by Mother and is being groomed to one day take her place as leader of the underwater society Elysium. But not everything is as it seems, and something is wrong in Evie’s practically perfect life. She finds herself missing chunks of time, and experiences splitting headaches accompanied by flashes of forgotten memories. When Surface Dweller Gavin crashe ...more
Rating: 4.5 Stars

Wow. I honestly don’t know where to start when it comes to Renegade. While I was excited beyond measure to first read the synopsis of this novel, and even later when it’s beautiful (and very relevant) cover released, I found myself dreading the moment it would arrive for me in the mail as, with each passing day, I became convinced that Renegade would be “just another” dystopian novel with insta-love, predictability, and downright flat characters. Well, let me reassure you now:
Maja (The Nocturnal Library)
Read a guest post by J. A. Souders and enter to win the full trilogy from Tor Teen HERE ...more
Nov 16, 2012 rated it did not like it
Ugh, any enjoyment I may have had for the book's (somewhat interesting) plot (but made clumsy by all too convenient coincidences), was COMPLETELY ruined by the fact that this book DIRECTLY perpetuates the pernicious LIE that the "perfect" human can only be white, blonde, and pale. There may or may not have been an indirect hinting of racial cleansing in Elysium (because don't expect me to believe the utter tripe that only white people are rich), but there is no denouncing of said racial cleansin ...more
An Electronic Advanced Reader Copy was provided by the publisher via NetGalley for review. Quotes have been pulled from an ARC and may be subject to change.

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 u
Ari Reavis
Dec 02, 2015 rated it liked it
I loved the level of action and mystery in this book. From the very beginning, you can tell all is not right in this underwater 'utopia', but you can't imagine the full extent of control and insanity that Mother has inside her little head. The main character, Evie, is made to forget things almost daily, so this was a little confusing in the beginning because it's told from her POV, so you're like 'what is going on?'. The romance was cute, but kind of builds out of thin air. Evie just feels these ...more
Nov 05, 2012 rated it really liked it
My life is just about perfect…

Creepiest words EVER for the rest of my life!! Holy oceans of freaky fish!! This book was really good and mentally taxing all in one nightmare! I was not expecting to be this drawn into a dystopic YA thriller! But, J.A. Souders grabbed my attention and toyed with my imagination to the point where I just allowed myself to be pulled by the intensity and momentum of this story. The high energy and constant action of Renegade continued to build as the novel progressed.
fleur ☆
"I don't want to hurt you."
My stomach twists. "Well that's too bad," I say. "It's going to hurt. There's nothing either of us can do about it, so I need you to just do it."

I'm not going to tell you what the thing is that's going to hurt, but trust me, she's pretty badass. I started off this book bored, not really expecting too much from the over the top sweet cover – despite having a pretty kickass blurb. Have I ever been so wrong? The first chapter, the first chapter met my terrible expectation
What did I think of the first couple chapters? Hello Little Mermaid, where is King Triton. That is exactly the impression I got, I even went back to Goodreads to read the synopsis again just to make sure this was not an alternative version of the Disney fairy tale. Once you get past the first couple chapters though it is nothing like what I was expecting. This is an amazing action packed story with twists and turns at every angle. This is definitely not the typical dystopian type of novel; it wa ...more
Renegade means someone who rebels against her cause, and I believe that's exactly happened in this book, what a perfect name.

Sixteen-year-old Evelyn Winters was raised and trained to be Daughter of People, to rule over the underwater utopia known as Elysium. her life was close to perfect, or at least that's what she believed. When she met a surface dweller named Gavin, and helped him escape prison, she realized everything she believed is was nothing but a mere lie and result of her memory alter
Aug 28, 2012 rated it did not like it
I was expecting a kickass twisted version of The Little Mermaid based on the quite cool-sounding concept and the excerpt of the beginning. I got…another in a long line of 2012's meh standard YA dystopias. I guess the plot and prose are okay, if pedestrian, except for sporadic gross gems like this: “It’s sexy and scary at the same time.” The characterization is very flat and one-dimensional, with the most disappointing character being villain Mother who sounds like a teenage girl, throwing out li ...more
Colleen Houck
I loved Elysium, the underwater hotel that's the main setting for the book. I really want to go to an underwater hotel someday. The enforcers were totally creeptastic. Lots of conditioning layers kept it very interesting. ...more
Tina ♥ Bookaholic
English Review:
First of all – the cover is absolutely beautiful and it partially also shows greatly the contents of this underwater town. I’ve been totally glad when I’ve got the book and also after the first shock, I’ve liked it really much. Why a shock? The first pages were written very easy, the statements and thoughts of the central figure Evelin, or briefly called Evie, were childish and very irritating, because they sounded like rehearsed texts and they’ve also confused me, to be honest.
Oct 31, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favourite
Hey, you! Yes, you there. I am talking to you. You may deny it but I can tell that you need something.

These: links to buy Renegade either from Book Depository / Kindle / Amazon.


Yes, guys! Renegade is THAT good. Did I anticipate it? A bit. It has a very gorgeous cover but I thought this is just another irrelevant 'girl with a pretty dress' cover. Heh. I was wrong. That cover is completely relevant to the story.

I didn't add Renegade to my TBR list until I saw Giselle and Keertana r
Jenni Arndt
Oct 29, 2012 rated it it was ok
Shelves: purchased-own
You can read all of my reviews at Alluring Reads.

Actual rating is 2.5.

I’m so torn about my feelings about Renegade. Before its release I read reviews from people who had read ARC’s of it and they were all glowing. People loved how bloody it was and how twisted the books bad guy, Mother, was. I went into this with super high expectations, I had an opening in my review schedule and thought it was finally time to sit down and soak up the awesomeness of this book. So sit down with it I did, and wait
A copy of Renegade was provided to me by Tor Teen/Netgalley for review purposes.

'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 sur
Beth  (YA Books Central)
I went into Renegade not really quite sure of what it was about...I read some others reviews and could tell that it was definitely Dystopian so of course I had to read it.

Let me first say that the cover is COMPLETELY gorgeous and is a perfect portrayal of what I had imagined for Evie. I love the soft blue colors and the fact that she is holding the rose and looks so innocent...PERFECT COVER...

The first couple of chapters were a little hard for me to wrap my head around..and only because Evelyn
Guys, this book blew my mind away...seriously
From the beautiful utopian underwater setting of Elysium, to the deliciously sweet romance, the got-to-love-them characters, and the heart-pounding escape—what’s not to love about RENEGADE? It is rare that I find a book that is able to keep me so entertained and invested in the story. Guys, seriously, don’t let the cover fool you—Renegade is not just a gorgeous cover. It has a beautiful, action-packed, kick-butt storyline to match.

Utopias, claustropho
Seeing Double in Neverland
Feb 26, 2014 rated it it was amazing
For Full Review go to http://seeingdoubleinneverland.blogsp...

5 out of 5 stars

I loved every twist and turn of this book and just loved going alone for the ride of this twisted world Evie lives in!
Score: 2.5 stars

Review originally posted at

And yet another greatly-reviewed book that I couldn't love, or, as it is the case with this one, even tolerate. Dystopias lately have turned into a formula, and it repeats itself novel after novel. I don't think I was wrong to think Renegade would be different, and in some aspects it was, but, when it came down to it, this novel suffered from some of the major flaws that most dystopias suffer these days.

The whol
Christina (A Reader of Fictions)
I suspect I know what you're thinking. You're looking at that cover and imagining that this will be yet another cheesy romance disguised as dystopia, with a world built solely to keep the hero and heroine from being able to get it on. Well, let me tell you right now, this is not the case here. The cover is beautiful and has a girl in a dress and just doesn't look like the cover for a true, creepy dystopia. You know what, though? This cover fits the book perfectly AND Renegade also happens to be ...more
shre ♡
Oct 15, 2012 rated it really liked it

*A copy was provided for review purposes*

I highly enjoyed reading Renegade, by J.A. Souders. In my opinion, every single aspect of this book deserves high praise, from the detailed cover art to the depth (no pun intended) of the author’s prose. She has created a captivating and unique underwater society in which the residents all have entertaining personalities and are a huge part of why this novel is so wonderful. In a way, this book could represent dystopia, but excluding the whole ‘end-of-the
A Canadian Girl
Aug 20, 2011 rated it did not like it
Shelves: 2012, 1-star, tor
If I could sum up J.A. Souders’ Renegade with one word, I’d use a word like messy because the frenetic pacing of the plot made it hard to follow what was going on. It also caused the development of the world, characters and romance to be sacrificed.

My first problem with Renegade was that the worldbuilding was sketchy at best. As a reader, I knew that Mother, her dad and their friends moved to Elysium to avoid war on land. That’s all I got though, really. I couldn’t fully comprehend the way that
Apr 03, 2012 rated it it was amazing
From the second I saw this in the Tor Teen Book Buzz at ALA Midwinter, I wanted to read it. Not only did it sound fantastic, it looked fantastic (see (1) below). So color me excited when I got my hands on a sweet ARC to read!

Here are five things I have to say about RENEGADE:

1) I adore this cover! It's seriously one of the most intriguing (and beautiful) covers I've seen in ages. From the colors to the hair, dress, and body language of the girl, it completely drew me in and made me want to read i
Aug 15, 2011 rated it it was amazing
From the first chapter, this book had me sucked in. Evie's world is unique, spooky, and foreboding from word one. And going on a tour of this strange world with Evie as your guide is a journey you'll never forget. She's a character full of surprises--she even surprises herself.

Featuring a villain the likes of which I haven't seen since Maleficent in Sleeping Beauty, RENEGADE will have you turning pages long after you should have gone to bed.

I'd love to tell you more, but I don't want to spoil an
Dee/ bookworm
Mar 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fav-2018
I purchased this novel on a whim, I usually don't but it sounded good so I thought I'd try it. I was not disappointed!! It was a great novel. One I will be able to read again. Yes, it had parts that didn't really make a lot of sense and yes, some of it seemed unbelievable, but it is a work of fantasy and not all of it has to be realistic.

Evelyn has her memory erased over and over to be who they want her to be. It is a great journey into an underwater world controlled by an insane woman. I highl
We start of meeting Evie, who lives in an underwater utopia called Elysium, which controlled by an iron-fist ruler named Mother. Her life is perfect as Daughter of the People until one day, a cute boy named Gavin wanders into their city. Evie is tasked with interrogating him, but soon enough, she finds herself falling for him and questioning the so-called “truths” in her life. Sort of a stereotypical plot, I know, but Renegade’s pluses are in that it’s MC is sorta kinda psycho, and that makes it ...more
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What's the Name o...: SOLVED. Fantasy book with underwater theme. [s] 6 521 Mar 28, 2019 05:43PM  
Sinopsis en Español // Synopsis in Spanish 1 1 Jul 04, 2017 01:23PM  

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J.A. Souders was born in the heartland with an overactive imagination and an over abundance of curiosity that was always getting her into trouble.

Because she never grew up, she decided she’d put her imaginary friends to work and started writing. She now lives in the land of sunshine and palm trees with her husband and their two children and is an active member of the RWA, SFWA, YARWA and SCBWI.


Other books in the series

The Elysium Chronicles (3 books)
  • Revelations (The Elysium Chronicles, #2)
  • Rebellion (The Elysium Chronicles, #3)

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