Friday, November 1, 2013

Review: Revelations (Elysium Chronicles, #2)

Revelations (The Elysium Chronicles, #2)Author: J.A. Souders
Series: Elysium Chronicles, #2
Released: November 5th 2013
Publisher: Tor Teen
Hardcover, 352 pages
Source: Publisher for review
Buy: The Book Depository

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…
Revelations was very high on my list of most coveted sequels in 2013. I was encouraged to read the first book Elysium Chronicles by some of my most trusted friends and I never regretted the decision – Elysium, the world Souders created under water, is seductive and frightening, beautiful on the outside and rotten and dangerous on the inside.

In Revelations, Souders succeded in transferring that same feeling of dread above ground. Evie, Gavin and Gavin’s former best friend Asher travel to the city in hopes of finding a cure for Evie’s memory loss and her inexplicable sleepwalking. Desperate for answers, they embark on a journey through forests full of predators and other dangers, armed with nothing more than a gun.

Evie and Gavin get separated for almost half of this book – a good thing, since it gives Evie a chance to grow and make her own decisions, wrong as they may be. As much as I like him, in trying to protect Evie, Gavin tends to behave patronizingly towards her, hiding facts from her and outright telling her what to do. This is the sort of behavior that can turn me against a character in a heartbeat, even one as kind and well-meaning as Gavin.

While entertaining and easily lovable, Asher is a character we’ve met many, many times before. He is the hero’s former best friend, now despised due to some error/misunderstanding on his part. He is mischievous, he takes everything far too lightly, but when he’s needed, he always comes through. I would have enjoyed meeting him more had he not reminded me of Puck on every corner.

Contrary to how it may sound, Revelations does not have a love triangle. I can’t deny the fact that Asher has feelings for Evie, but the nature of those feelings is still unclear, and Evie never for a second thinks about responding to them. She is utterly devoted to Gavin and Gavin to her, and while Asher poses a nice distraction for us readers, he is never a real threat to the relationship between our POV characters.

As a villain, Mother lacks details and motivations that would take her from merely scary to truly memorable and petrifying. There is so much potential in this character, but in order to reach it, Souders has to give her just a touch of humanity to make the awful sides of her stand out in even sharper contrast. This is not a person to mess with, that much is clear, she is deranged and delusional, completely incapable of feeling remorse, but I can’t stop myself from wishing for more from her. Hopefully, Souders will deliver.

Revelations does suffer from a middle book syndrome just a tiny bit, and I didn’t appreciate the cliffhanger in the least, but overall, it is a worthy sequel and it left me desperate for the conclusion of the series.

A copy of this book was kindly provided by the publisher for review purposes. No considerations, monetary or otherwise, have influenced the opinions expressed in this review.


  1. I'm glad that there is no love triangle even though there is another guy in this book. I really hate when love triangles occur mid series!

    Fabulous review, Maja! <33

  2. I'm glad there isn't a love triangle, but a cliffhanger? Meh. I might wait till the last book is out before picking this one up in that case. I'm glad it's still a solid read, though. I've been worried about how this story arc would continue to play out above ground, in a much less intriguing setting, so I'm glad it doesn't wholly disappoint. Lovely review, Maja - I cannot wait to pick up this one!(:

  3. Well, wow!
    I have heard a lot about this series
    and am so excited to read it when i have time
    Your reader

  4. I'm feeling bad for Asher already. The poor despised best friend who also has feelings for his friends' girl. He's becoming a cliche.

  5. A non love triangle, yay!! I admit, I am starting to get tired of them (gasp! I know!). It is nice to see a good YA without one once in awhile. I think this is a series I need to read.

  6. I'm with Ali, yay for no love triangle! It's a touch disappointing that this book does have some middle book syndrome and that of course Gavin and Evie are separated (but that sounds like a positive thing for Evie in this particular case), but overall it's clearly a solid installment. Mother I found fascinating in the first book, so I'm really looking forward to her in this one even if she's not quite the villain she could be yet. Beautiful review Maja!

  7. Renegade was one of the few new series I pick dup last year and enjoyed enough to continue. IT didn't exactly break new ground but the world building and characters were creepy cool.

    It doesn't sound like this one will blow me away but I will read it anyway because you uttered the magic words - no love triangle. lol

  8. Glad to hear that theres no love tirangle

  9. I have been struggling immensely lately with picking up middle books in a series, but Revelations does sound like it delivers in many respects. I'm glad that Evie was given the chance to make her own decisions and grow in this book, she does sound like a really strong character. I hope the next book meets your expectations too. Great review Maja! :)

  10. Hmm... I was excited about this book until you mentioned the cliffhanger. I think I'm just going to wait for the third book to come out before deciding to purchase a copy.
    It's a shame that this book suffers from middle book syndrome, but it's been happening a lot lately. At least, there's no unnecessary love triangle. I completely agree about Mother! That woman is deranged and bat-shit crazy! I definitely like how twisted she is, but I'm with you that she needs to be a bit more developed.
    Lovely review, Maja. Thanks for helping me decide whether I want to buy this book or not right away.

  11. Somehow I strongly believe that authors never have enough time for the sequel as they to for the first book. The invest much more in their first book and sequels usually suffer. I'm glad that this one didn't suffer that much though. I love how all this sounds and I'll hopefully be reading this soon. Great review Maja :)

  12. Oh no, another middle book suffering from MBS and a cliffhanger as well? This does sound like a good sequel overall, but I think I also might be better served to read it right before the next book in the series comes out. Glad you're enjoying this and looking forward to the next one! Great balanced review Maja :-)

  13. I have book 1, didn't get a chance to read it yet after all the mixed reviews, but I think I will bump it up the list now. The world in this book sounds very dark and interesting .MBS and cliffhanger though? ugh...

  14. I need to read the first book in this series ASAP! Great review!!

  15. I kind of feel bad for the "Puck" character. I always root for him, but since there isn't a love triangle (I'm very happy about that) I can just enjoy the character. Don't like the cliffie at all (I hate those more than anything) but I think I can wait to start this trilogy when they all are out. Cliffie wouldn't bother me then! :)

  16. I haven't read this series, but I'm glad the second novel had some good points. Hopefully the third book will be great.

  17. This one sounds pretty cool...I can't remember book 1. I need to check it

  18. At this point, I EXPECT second books to have middle book syndrome and all the tropes that go along with it. And cliffhangers. They're pet peeves, definitely, but it's like I almost accept them at this point. But despite those flaws, it's nice to hear that this one is pretty good overall! I think the first book kind of passed under my radar to be honest, but reading your thoughts makes me think I should look into the series. Thanks for the thoughtful review, Maja!

  19. I still need to read the first book. I have both books for review and just need to find the time. Ugh though to the cliffhanger. WHy???

  20. Great review, Maja. I love your thoughts on humanizing a sinister character to intensify exactly how bad she is. I've never thought of this before. As usual, wonderful insight!

  21. I really didn't like the first book, Maja, but since you enjoyed it, it's good to see that the sequel lived up to your expectations. I thought the addition of Asher might lead to a love triangle so it's great that the author stayed away from that.

  22. With a cliffhanger at the end, I think I'll wait and not start reading the series till the third book comes out. The cast of characters sounds fairly interesting, although I wonder if I'd like Gavin. Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Maja!

  23. I'm glad to hear there isn't the usual love triangle we see in so many books now. They just drive me around the bend! I love your points about the villain, how humanizing her would make her awful qualities stand out more. I never think of things like that.

    I think if I ever pick up this series it will be when the final one releases. I find I have so little patience for trilogies anymore with the long waits in between. I'd rather wait and read them back to back.

    Lovely review, Maja. :)

  24. It's good to know there's no love triangle, that's a major bonus. I haven't read the first book and wasn't sure if I would because of the mixed reviews. But I don't know, you sure made this one sound good!

  25. THANK YOU for telling me there's no love triangle in this one! That is a HUGE relief. Excited to see some character growth from Evie and get to know the outside. But UH-OH for a bad cliffy. Now I'm not sure whether to read this now or wait until the final releases. I've gotten fed up with dystopians lately, is the outside world channeling that as much as the underwater one?

  26. I'm also really excited for this one, and I'm hoping I'll get to it soon but with the backlog I have right now of review copies, it might be a while, still very glad to hear you gave it 4 stars even if it suffers a bit from middle book syndrome. Also, thank you so much for the warning about the cliffhanger! So many books have them now, that I find it's always better to be prepared for it knowing about them in advance!
    Great review, Maja!


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