Here is the summary from Goodreads: 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.
What I Liked: 1) Two Words: Underwater Utopia. Me, who has always been a water baby, learning to swim before I could walk practically, secretly wanting to be The Little Mermaid...what could be more intriguing than an underwater utopia?? Well, this particular underwater utopia isn't like King Triton's court in the Disney movie The Little Mermaid, so no fins or gills are needed. But even so, the descriptions that author J.A. Souders gave about this utopia were excellent, bringing it to life in a vibrant way. I loved that part in particular. 2) Mind altering. I'm really into this topic as a subgenre right now. Eve's memories are altered sometimes to the point that I can't help but wonder how she doesn't have some sort of brain damage. 3) Defiance. Defiance is a big theme in this book. Learning how to take a stand against what you've been conditioned to think for your entire life. And I really liked the way that it was presented in this story, how it started small and grew to the climax of the book. It was very good writing! 4) The ending. The ending of this book was my favorite part. I am so excited by where it left off and all the possibilities it is going to open up for the next book.
What I Didn't Like: I almost never have this complaint, but here it is: the book moved too fast for me. Let me explain: We bounced from scene to scene without so much as a breath, and at times I had a hard time figuring out how we got from A to B. I re-read the book, trying to see if, in my excitement, I had simply read too fast and maybe ended up skimming over things that were important. Nope, that wasn't the case. It just moved very fast. There was a lot happening, so I know that it had to move fast, but that particular part of it stood out to me as my only problem with the book.
Overall Thoughts: I'm very excited to read Revelations, the next book in this series. Renegade started off with a bang, introducing engaging characters and a setting that is absolutely fascinating. The details bring the book to life, and the plot will keep the reader interested from the very beginning. The pace was a little fast for me, but I don't anticipate it slowing down much in the following books. That one thing won't keep me from finding out what happens next, though!
My Rating: 4 shots