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Sunday, October 28, 2012

RENEGADE by J.A. Souders (review + contest)

Seriously, I couldn't be more excited to be participating in this blog tour today.  Not only is Jessica (J.A.) a friend and an Oasis sister, but RENEGADE was freaking amazing.  She allowed me to get an advance peek at the novel and I devoured it.

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.

From the very first pages, Evie's world is palpably real.  You can easily imagine living in the darkness of the seas, surrounded by water, never having experienced sunshine or the outside world.  Evie herself is an instantly likable character, and although she is "perfect," you know right away that she's been brainwashed.  Perfection is a forced perception and that perception is slowly shattered.

Which is another thing I loved about the story.  There's not one cataclysmic event that turns Evie's world upside down.  There is a slow building of little events - the clicking in of little puzzle pieces - that leads up to a very dramatic conclusion.  You get to figure out what's happening right along with Evie (and a very delicious Gavin) and live the nightmare right along with her.  And because (as the description tells you), Evie's memories have been altered, the realization of what really happened in Evie's past and what Mother has planned for the future, are just as shocking to Evie as they will be to you.

To sum this story up, it was like a futuristic, underwater Nazi Germany, where a perfect race is being cultivated and anyone who stands in the way meets death at the hands of a crazed dictator.  Only in this case, the dictator is known as Mother.  How creepy is that???

Trust me when I tell you that this book is AMAZING.  There was never a moment when I felt bored.  Instead, I turned the pages as quickly as I could and loved every minute of it.  I'm so happy and proud for my friend, Jessica, and can't wait to see what the next book in the series has in store for Evie and Gavin!

Jessica was awesome enough to share a few of her favorite quotes from the novel. I think the second is my FAVORITE!!  :)

"How can you even know who you are, if you can’t remember who you’ve been?”

"A woman’s best weapon is her smile, unless there’s a loaded Beretta 9mm nearby."

"So many memories. So much lost. So much to regain . . . again."

"No matter what cataclysmic event you’re facing, please be sure to double- check the seals on all of your samples and the tamper- proof container before reporting to your designated evacuation area."

J.A. Souders lives in Florida with her husband and their two children and is an active member of RWA, DFRW, YARWA, SCBWI, and SFWA. RENEGADE is her first novel.

To get your hands on a copy of RENEGADE or to follow Jessica, check out these links:


Oh, and you want to win something, right?  Here's the Rafflecopter.  :)  (Sorry, open to U.S. Residents only for swag and RENEGADE pre-order copies)

a Rafflecopter giveaway


cleemckenzie said...

This is one hot line! "A woman’s best weapon is her smile, unless there’s a loaded Beretta 9mm nearby."

Thanks for telling us about Renegade.

Kelly Hashway said...

Thanks for the giveaway opportunity!

Eliza Tilton said...

I love your summary and what a cover!

Catherine Stine said...

Hi, JA & Jessie,
The novel sounds cool! I did everything in the Rafflecopter but tweet because twitter is not functioning right now--from the hurricane?

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