Author: J.A. Souders

Book Review – Revelations (The Elysium Chronicles #2) by J.A. Souders

January 24, 2014 Bonnie Book Reviews, Read in 2014, YA 8 Comments

Book Review – Revelations (The Elysium Chronicles #2) by J.A. SoudersRevelations by J.A. Souders
Series: The Elysium Chronicles #2
Published by Tor Teen on November 5, 2013
Pages: 352
Genres: Dystopian/Post-Apocalyptic, Romance
Format: eBook
Source: Library
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository
Goodreads

Also by this author: Renegade

three-stars

Six weeks after her arrival on the Surface, Evelyn Winters is no closer to unlocking the memories lost in her subconscious than she was when she first came. Isolated in a strange new society, Evie has only Gavin Hunter to remind her of who she once was.

But even with a clean slate, it’s easy to see that Evie doesn’t fit in on the Surface. And as her differences make her feel more and more alone, she can’t help but yearn for that place she doesn’t remember: the isolated city hidden in the depths of the ocean. Elysium. Home.

But she can’t exactly tell Gavin what she’s feeling. Not when he’s the one who helped her escape Elysium in the first place, and has the scars to prove it. Though the doctors say otherwise, Gavin believes that Evie just needs time. And if her memories don’t come back, well, maybe she’s better off not remembering her past.

But the decision may be out of their hands when Evie’s ever-elusive memories begin to collide with reality. People and images from her past appear in the most unlikely places, haunting her, provoking her…and making her seem not only strange but dangerous.

Evie and Gavin can’t wait around for her memories to return. They’ll have to journey across the Outlands of the Surface to find help, and in the end, their search may just lead them back to the place it all started…

The Elysium Chronicles

Renegade (The Elysium Chronicles #1) {My Review}

Six weeks have passed since Evelyn has left Elysium yet she remembers nothing of her previous life. Gavin is the only one that knew her but she can barely remember him. When she begins having nightmarish flashbacks that seem to be continuously triggered by something she can’t understand, the village doctor fears she needs to get more help than he’ll be able to give her. With the assistance of an old friend of Gavins, Asher, the three travel through the Outlands to the City in hopes that Evelyn can find the answers she’s searching for.

The truth is I never intended on reading this. I finished Renegade and enjoyed it but was expecting so much more and was left mildly disappointed. But I recently recommended this book to my ‘I have better things to do than read’ 13-year-old step-daughter and holy crap she loved it and immediately wanted me to pick up Revelations. And then she demanded I read it with her so she could talk to me about it. So, I succumbed to the pressure. 🙂

Revelations suffered from middle-book-syndrome and possessed a lot of filler. For almost the entire first half of the book was spent detailing Evelyn’s flashbacks and the expedition to the City. There were some moments of intrigue but for the most part it was incredibly uneventful in comparison to the thrilling nature of Renegade. When I think back on the book as a whole there was a lot that could have been condensed or eliminated (such as the romance drama) and a lot that could have been expanded on in more detail (like the science and origination of Elysium).

The romance was a huge issue for me in Renegade and continued to be an issue in this book. There are even hints of a love triangle but I’m pleased to announce it fizzles out by the end for hilarious reasons. The romance between Gavin and Evelyn grows quickly and I love you’s are being dished out. Gavin becomes excessively possessive in regards to Evelyn’s safety and it’s understandable to an extent. When Gavin decides to not inform her of issues regarding her own personal health and other issues that she should be deciding for herself is when I developed an issue with him. His treatment towards her felt extremely condescending and I realize Evelyn didn’t have any memories so he thought he was only helping but that doesn’t mean she lost her common sense as well.

After the unfortunate cliffhanger ending there’s no doubt I’ll be reading the final installment even without my kid bullying me into it. I can only hope that the drama is all out of the way, that Gavin can allow Evelyn to make her own decisions and that we can get more concrete details on the interesting world of Elysium.

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Early Review – Renegade (The Elysium Chronicles #1) by J.A. Souders

November 8, 2012 Bonnie Book Reviews, Early Review, Read in 2012, YA 1 Comment

I received this book free from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Early Review – Renegade (The Elysium Chronicles #1) by J.A. SoudersRenegade by J.A. Souders
Series: The Elysium Chronicles #1
Published by Tor Teen on November 13th 2012
Pages: 352
Genres: Dystopian/Post-Apocalyptic, Fantasy, Romance, Sci-fi
Format: eARC
Source: Netgalley
Amazon
Goodreads

Also by this author: Revelations

three-stars

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.

‘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.

Very intriguing from the very first page, it’s quite obvious that something is wrong with Evie and it all has to do with Mother. The introduction of Gavin had to be done in order to set in motion the entire story, but I didn’t buy how incredibly easy it was for her to understand and accept that she was being brainwashed. You’d think that for someone that was brainwashed for over almost her entire life wouldn’t just begin having doubts just because someone (that she doesn’t even know) randomly suggests it once. I think if there was more time spent on the overall character building that I wouldn’t have a problem with Evie trusting Gavin immediately or their instant bond which while it wasn’t quite insta-love veered a bit too close for my liking.

‘…I shiver at the sounds surrounding me: Gavin’s gasping breaths. The thunder of my heartbeat. The ripping of flesh. And, making it all worse, the man’s rasping voice as he sings.’

The action is intense and ongoing and it never seems to let up throughout the extent of the book. Towards the end though, the story takes an extremely gruesome turn. Mother was a truly evil villain and one that conducted some particularly shocking experiments in order to secure her perfect society. A textbook villain is one that is willing to do whatever is required to get what she wants, and Mother was definitely prepared to do that. You don’t realize till then end bits just how far she had gone with her experiments and what the end result was.

When I began this story I was under the impression that it was a standalone novel but there were far too many questions that were left unanswered for there not to be a follow-up. I will definitely be reading the follow-up, I’m quite excited to find out how everything is explained and to see where the author takes the story. Despite the few issues I had and the lower rating this was still a highly enjoyable, edge-of-your-seat kind of read that fans of dystopian and sci-fi genres will enjoy.

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