Tuesday, November 13

Renegade: Book Review


The Elysium Chronicles #1

Tor Teen
November 13th 2012
Young Adult | Dystopian

Official Blurb -
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.

When I began reading this book I was thinking it was going to be about witches. Not really sure where that came from but it affected my feelings toward the book. Very conspiracy theory. What if we were all brainwashed? What unspeakable horrors are hiding in our locked memories?  In typical brainwashing fashion the victim has no idea who they are or what occurred in their past. So nothing is as it appears.  On top of all of that drama there is a very strong female Adolf Hitler vibe in this story.

The feelings that develop between Evie and Gavin seem a bit too quick under the circumstances. Unless there is some truth to special bonds being formed when under very high stress situations.

The villain is crazy. Certifiable, which makes everything she does seem less calculated evil and more unbalanced chaos. The villain has almost no understandable motives. Maybe that is why she doesn't seem scary. I suspect, however, that she is merely a convenient puppet. We are going to find that Dr. Friar is really the mastermind.
The book seems to come full circle. Poor Evie is really no better off mentally. It makes me wonder if another book would have Evie fighting to return to Mother. If she can't remember what brought her to this new people she might think she was kidnapped and try to make her way back. How sad and pointless would that be?

This book confuses me. Maybe the book has the ability to Condition the reader. So while I thought it was the inhabitants of the book having to deal with the threat of Conditioning it turns out that I was suffering brainwashing while reading it. The book was sufficiently engaging that I read it in one day. Yet I have next to no desire to follow the characters further. I don't feel they ever developed enough to demand my loyalties.  In the end I felt the book was odd. It left me with a feeling of 'Meh'. I even had a very hard time figuring out how to rate it. Not even sure who to recommend this book to either.

Language: Moderate
Sexual: Mild - Moderate