Monday, November 26, 2012
Renegade by J. A. Souders
And yes, this book is fantastic! It's a dystopia, but (I feel), very unique.
The book follows Evelyn, a "Daughter of the People" in her utopia Elysium (it took me a iTunes uni lecture to realise that Elysium is a reference to the Greek(?) paradise for heroes). She feels like something is wrong, but it can't be, after all, her own mind tells her that everything is perfect. That is, until she finds a Surface Dweller and inexplicable decides to help him.
I think the genius of this book was in making Evelyn brainwashed (they call in "conditioned"). Basically, the first few chapters started with the same few paragraphs, because she was being conditioned to think a certain way. She doesn't realise it, but we the readers do. Such a smart idea!
Apart from that, I think Elysium was very interesting. I can sort-of undestand Mother's reasons for building it, but she went off the deep-end a long time ago. And it's nice to see that the Surface to which they escape isn't perfect. It's kind of like this world actually. Of course, the characters were well-thought out. The Enforcers, the Guards, the different Sectors, were all well done.
There are many twists and turns in the plot, but they were well done, and really, the Conditioning more or less excuses everything plot twist.
One caveat though, this book does touch on sexual themes (nothing explicit thankfully), so I would recommend this only to older teens and up.
Disclaimer: I got this book free from NetGalley in exchange for a free and honest review.