Author: J.A. SoudersSeries: Elysium Chronicles, #3
Released: July 12th 2016
Publisher: Tor Teen
Length: 334 pages
Source: Publisher for review
In this conclusion to J. A. Souders’s thrilling, twist-filled Elysium Chronicles series, Evie Winters and Gavin Hunter return to the isolated, dangerous underwater city that they fought so hard to escape.Back in Elysium at last, Evie has finally found her true self hidden under layers and layers of false memories implanted by the woman she knew as Mother. Thanks to the intervention of her father, she knows the horrible truth about Mother and her insidious plans for her city. With the help of the love of her life, Gavin, and her best friend, Asher St. James, she’s determined to free her people from the cruel dictatorship of Mother’s laws. But how do you free people who don’t know they need rescuing?Working with the growing Underground rebellion, Evie tries to remove Mother from her position by force—with disastrous results. As the body count rises, Evie must find a way to save Elysium before Mother destroys them all.
Almost three years have passed since the release of Revelations, the previous book in J. A. Souders’ Elysium chronicles trilogy, but loyal fans haven’t forgotten Evie, Gavin or Asher. Renegade gave us a chance to explore a gorgeous underwater view with a very dark side, and Revelations really developed our three main characters and set them on a dangerous path.
In Rebellion, Evie, Gavin and Asher are back in Elysium, fighting Mother with the help of Father and his Underground. Mother is fighting back with all her considerable strength and she always seems to be one step ahead. It’s difficult to fight someone who is endlessly cruel. Whatever Evie does, Mother rewards with a public execution of someone the Underground cares for.
Evie’s still missing some of her memories, but her will to live and fight is back in full force. She struggles a bit in this book, mostly with being a symbol for the Underground, but she accepts her role and always does the best she can. She isn’t one to shy away from responsibility, and all her decisions in Rebellion are truly admirable.
After a rough patch in Revelations, the romance shines again. Gavin and Evie spend some of the time apart, as each of them has a different role to play, but when they’re together, the connection between them is palpable. What seemed like the beginning of a love triangle before isn’t one, and Asher plays an important, but non-romantic role.
The biggest problem remains Mother herself. She lacks nuance, any sort of characterization besides ‘evil sociopath’. This was my main struggle in the previous books, and it remained an issue till the end. As readers, we can’t really fear someone who is predictable, and Mother’s one track mind made it easy to guess what she would do next.
The ending of this book, of this trilogy in fact, is Souders’ attempt to do something completely different, original and thought-provoking. I believe it was supposed to be a mind-bending finale that would leave us all reeling and thinking about it for days afterward. Unfortunately, the effect was quite opposite. With three books of build-up towards a logical ending, changing the game at the last second infuriated me. I was left confused, disappointed and unsure whether the journey was worth it.
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.