Thursday, December 26, 2013

Revelations by J. A. Souders

Series: The Elysium Chronicles (bk. 2)

Genera: Dystopian Sci-fi/Romance

Subjects: underwater colonies, Florida, love, memory, brain-washing, psychological, nanotechnology

Age/Grade Level: Teen

Length: 350 pgs.

HC/PB: Hardcover

List Price: $17.99

Publisher: MacMillan: TorTeen

Summary/ product description: “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…”

My Review: This has been a thrilling sequel to one of my favorite dystopian reads of last year. I loved Renegade and it was so under the radar that I didn’t know its release date, which got pushed back to November last year. I was so happy when the library got this book in that I couldn’t wait to read it. It was just as fast as I remember the first book being. It was missing some of the mystery that the 1st book had, since we already found out Evie used to be an Enforcer. We do get to see what’s been going on is the real world while Evie, Mother and everyone else were down in Elysian. There are also some freaky parts because Evie is having hallucinations and sometimes she sleepwalks.

I love the character in this series. Evie and Gavin are such great protagonists. Evie can’t remember much about Elysium or her past because her nanos are blocking her memory. She still loves Gavin, though. I don’t recall if Gavin’s POV was ever used in Renagade, but it this book it switched between both Evie and Gavin’s 1st person POV and it’s written in present tense.

We get to met new characters in Gavin’s home town. Gavin’s family, the mayor, and Asher, who used to be Gavin’s friend. Asher has big role in Revelations. He doesn’t create a love triangle exactly, but Gavin does get kind of jealous when Asher tries to help Evie. Gavin was betrayed by Asher at some point, and he kind of hates him now, but Asher want the help Evie get to the city so the can get her memories back. Asher may be a smooth talker and sometimes a jerk, but his heart seems to be in the right place. He keeps his promise to protect Evie and help her reach her destination.

The world above is kind of a post-apocalyptic/post-climate-change/post-war version of Florida. Florida has had floods and droughts in the past 40 or 50 years and its more desert like now. It’s not barren because there are animals to hunt and fishing. Much of the wildlife predators have become much more aggressive and more likely to attack humans. There’s a scene in which Evie and Gavin are attacked by a very large bird of prey, and it’s unfortunate because I love hawks, and I don’t think they’d ever attack people.

There are still towns and even cities, but they a few a far and must use horses as transportation. Evie and Gavin travel by horse, and Evie didn’t even know what a horse was. Also, many cities of people have been destroyed using bioweapons and nano-bots. The world building is very realistic and believable. It’s not over the top or cliché. I haven’t read many dystopian book set near the ocean (excluding New York City), other than Dead Tossed Waves by Carrie Ryan.

I love this series and really wish book 3 would come out sooner. This is probably a trilogy, but I’m not positive. I recommend this series if you liked also of the following: Glitch by Heather Anastasiu, Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi, Under the Never Sky by Veronica Rossi, Matched by Ally Condie, Across the Universe by Beth Revis, False Memory by Dan Krokos, or Divergent by Veronica Roth. If you like dystopian series with kick-ass heroines, this will be a series to look out for. It was completely irresistible and un-put-downable and with leaves you screaming for more.  

Cover Art Review: I like this cover, but not as much as the 1st books. The colors in the title make it not stand out against the background very well. The image itself is great. I’m not sure if it’s a photo or a digital painting. It could be a combination of both. Does it look like a photo?

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