Review: Revelations by J.A. Souders

Revelations

Revelations by J.A. Souders
Series: The Elysium Chronicles #2
Published: 05 November 2013
Tor Teen, Hardcover, 352 pages
Source: Library

Goodreads | The Book Depository | Amazon

WARNING: CONTAINS SPOILERS FOR RENEGADE.

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…

Rating: ★★

To be honest, Adelena’s review of Revelations pretty much sums up my experience for this book.

I do, however, have a few additional comments to make.

Firstly, Evie felt like a different character. I suppose that the change in her personality is attributed to her memory loss – instead of the strong-willed girl I read of in Renegade, Evie was somewhat weak, yet kind and firm at the same time. It’s an odd combination that even I find hard to fathom. Also, I found that Evie was often pushed around or very submissive to others unless something triggers her inner Enforcer and she becomes an unstoppable five-minute-kung-fu-master.

As for Asher, I was amazed at how irritating he was. I constantly felt like reaching into the book and wringing his neck.

Moving on to the story – there was a part which was reminiscent of the game The Last of Us, but I shan’t reveal it as it would be a spoiler. I would say that Souders did a good job in creating a creepy atmosphere in various parts of the story, allowing me to visualise the places rather vividly in my mind.

I was disappointed at how convenient the flow of events were. For example, when a character is needed at a certain point, he would appear and help the story progress. It felt too easy and simple for such things to happen, leaving me to wonder if Souders had considered possible complications to add suspense to the plot.

Next, the dialogue. It did not flow naturally to me, and the male characters were portrayed in a rather girly manner (they could be really petty at times) due to that. The way the characters behaved even felt cliché, and the style and tone used for speaking by them was not consistent – I felt like bits of conversation were taken from all over the place. It did not fit in with the character’s personality, causing me to feel like I was reading about different people altogether.

It looks like Revelations has succumbed to what I would describe as the second-book syndrome – Adelena’s analogy of Revelations to an accounting textbook describes this syndrome very well – an informative but boring story. I am, however, still keen on reading the third instalment in The Elysium Chronicles, which is yet to be named. The ending of Revelations had managed to pique my interest, thus saving this trilogy from being totally given up on by me. I certainly hope that the next book will end better than this!

Signature--JZ

Review: Revelations by J.A. Souders

Revelations

Revelations by J.A. Souders
Series: The Elysium Chronicles #2
Published: 05 November 2013
Tor Teen, Hardcover, 352 pages
Source: Library

Goodreads | The Book Depository | Amazon

WARNING: CONTAINS SPOILERS FOR RENEGADE.

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…

Rating: ★★½

Almost a year ago, I had made one of the best decision in my bookish life – reading Renegade, the first installment in The Elysium Chronicles, despite the average reviews it had. I utterly loved its gore, thrilling pace and the amazing bond formed between Evie and Gavin; it was a shoo-in as one of my favorite novels ever. So when I finally got my hands on Revelations, it undoubtedly got me in a crazy fangirling fit. Unfortunately, Revelations fell far from my expectations – so far I wanted to chuck it at a wall multiple times.

Firstly, the perfect pacing of events that kept the story from ever getting dull was gone. Poof! No more. Gone. It felt to me as if Souders lost her momentum somewhere between Renegade and Revelations. Maybe it was the drastic change of setting from Elysium to the Surface but no matter what, it was almost painful to read (especially if you’ve been eagerly looking forward to the book for almost a year). I just wanted to get to the part where they went back to Elysium so bad (this is not a spoiler as it was already implied in the synopsis).

Not only was the pacing horrid, the characters were all over the place too. As we all know, at the end of Renegade, Evie lost all her memories. However, in Revelations, it seemed like she lost her whole spirit along with her memories. Simply put, Evie’s character was dead and flat. Thankfully, her point of view was not the only one portrayed in the story; Gavin also narrated part of the book. Honestly, I enjoyed Gavin’s segments a lot better because at least he still seemed like the Gavin in Renegade (although still not on par).

The direction the plot took was okay but not spectacular or anything to get excited over. As compared to the heart-pounding action and suspense in its predecessor, Revelations was like an accounting textbook – informative but boring.

Although I was fine with the course of the general plot, I’m completely enraged at the romance sector. It was cliché enough to cause severely unpleasant rambling (I feel sorry for my friends who were around me while I’d been reading this book). Cliché utterly-uncalled-for-couple-separation that’s present in an insane number of sequels? Check. Cliché addition of a third party to fool readers into thinking a love angle/triangle might be forming? Check. Well, for those of you feeling like you would commit murder if you don’t know whether there would be a love triangle, highlight the text below for the answer. It’s sort of a spoiler though.

No, there is no love triangle at the end. And while you have this highlighted, I shall tell you I found Asher insanely annoying too.

All in all, Revelations was a complete disappointment for me, particularly since I loved Renegade so copiously. Despite that, the ending was just interesting enough to leave me slightly curious for the next – probably the last – book of The Elysium Chronicles. I will admit I’m still rooting for J.A. Souders to somehow redeem the trilogy due to my love for the first book so I guess I’ll be hoping and praying until that finale is released.

Adelena

Top Ten New-To-Me Authors I Read In 2013

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Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish where we feature top ten books or book related stuff according to each week’s topic.

This week’s topic, the top 10 new-to-me authors I read in 2013. This has been a really hectic year for me as I took a major exam, graduated from secondary school, started A Page of Heaven and a whole bunch of other stuff. However, I would also say I’ve read the most number of good books this year as compared to the last few.

Among the amazing books I’ve read in 2013, there were many authors whose works I had never read before. So in no particular order, here’s a list of some of my favorite new-to-me authors. (My reviews of the mentioned authors’ books are linked in the brackets.)

Top 10 New-To-Me Authors I Read in 2013:

1. J.A. Souders (Renegade)

Picking up this author’s debut novel without caring about what the Goodreads reviews said was one of the best decisions in my life. Renegade was gorgeously gory and J.A. Souders automatically hopped onto my list of favorite authors after I read it!

2. Leigh Bardugo (Shadow and Bone, Siege and Storm)

I’ll be truthful and admit I did not enjoy Shadow and Bone as much as I had wanted to but Siege and Storm completely made up for it. If I had any doubts about Leigh Bardugo being an excellent author, the 2nd installment in the Grisha trilogy took them all away.

3. Sarah J. Maas (Throne of Glass)

Sarah J. Maas created two of my favorite characters of all time – Celaena Sardothien & Chaol Westfall. How can she not be a shoo-in for this list?

4. Kristen Simmons (Article 5)

Usually while reading dystopian novels, there’s more heart-pounding action than feels. But Kristen Simmons decided to give truckloads of both! Article 5 was just so, so lovely and I can’t wait for more books by Kristen Simmons.

5. Katie McGarry (Pushing the Limits, Dare You To)

Similar to Leigh Bardugo, I did not really enjoy (ok, more like slightly hated for this one) the first book by her that I read. And once again like Leigh Bardugo, I fell in love with the second. Katie McGarry somehow grabbed my heart with Dare You To when I’m usually very skeptical towards contemporary novels.

6. Jennifer E. Smith (The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight, This is What Happy Looks Like)

Jennifer E. Smith is the Queen of Excellent Pacing & her books give a similar feeling to having hot chocolate/tea on a winter night or sitting at a breezy pier on a midsummer night. You just get filled with cute fuzziness! Although some may say her books are unrealistic, I think they are brilliantly told unconventional love stories.

7. Diana Peterfreund (For Darkness Shows the Stars)

I will be honest and say For Darkness Shows the Stars wasn’t a very eventful novel but it sure was replete with feels! Diana Peterfreund had me packing and leaving for FEELS-land right from the very first letter between Kai & Elliot.

8. Rick Yancey (The 5th Wave)

Rick Yancey created one of the scariest fictional worlds ever. So creepy I could’ve peed my pants. Completely brilliant!

9. Amy Tintera (Reboot)

There were such deep characters and crazy action in Reboot I actually wished to be Rebooted too. Who cares if the world sees you as zombies when you’re not actually rotting and come back with superhuman strength? Deliciously bad-ass world that Amy Tintera created!

10. Jennifer Rush (Altered)

Jennifer Rush writes action and romance to die for. Oh, and did I mention how engrossing the mysteries she creates are?

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Who are your favorite new-to-you authors read in 2013? Do share by dropping a comment below and happy Tuesday!

Adelena