SYNOPSIS: Secret Identities. Extraordinary Powers. She wants vengeance. He wants justice.
The Renegades are a syndicate of prodigies—humans with extraordinary abilities—who emerged from the ruins of a crumbled society and established peace and order where chaos reigned. As champions of justice, they remain a symbol of hope and courage to everyone...except the villains they once overthrew.
Nova has a reason to hate the Renegades, and she is on a mission for vengeance. As she gets closer to her target, she meets Adrian, a Renegade boy who believes in justice—and in Nova. But Nova's allegiance is to a villain who has the power to end them both.
GENRE: Fantasy, Young Adult
SERIES: Renegades #1
RATING: ★★★★☆ / 4.5 Stars
REVIEW: I was provided a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
I'd never read a Marissa Meyer book before but I knew she had a pretty healthy following from her Cinder books and beyond. So her name wasn't new to me but I still had no idea what to expect going into this book. As always, my hopes were high, but I worried that I was burnt out on the Young Adult Fantasy genre as a whole and RENEGADES would just be more of the same-old-same-old that I've read recently... I need not have worried. There may be some common themes and some comparisons to the X-Men that could be made, but overall, Meyer has crafted one hell of a story. And I'm officially in for the ride!
RENEGADES may be listed as Fantasy, and it is, but I would like to give it the more accurate Superhero sub-genre. If you're a comic book fan or an old-school X-Men nerd like me (or even all the newer film versions), then I think that this book is just right for you. Imagine if Magneto's vision for a mutant revolution came about and Professor X never stopped him. That's pretty much the starting point of this book. It's sort of a what-if scenario, with different characters and different plot-points, that I've always been curious about. (And now that my nerdy-ness has been completely exposed, lets move on!)
This book starts with a bang. It's the classic origin story and it guts you just from the prologue! You definitely feel in line with Nova, as a character, she just makes sense. I loved the way the author wrote her. And then the action starts in earnest. We're introduced to a multitude of characters that feel like a mix of Batman and Spiderman villains, and superheroes straight out of The Incredibles. I was worried that it would all feel derivative but after a couple chapters, I once again realized that I never needed to worry. Marissa Meyer may have taken inspiration from the superhero genre but she has created something all her own.
Learning about the Anarchists and Renegades was fantastic. The different faction backstories and the current economic and political climates that have resulted from it, gave this book such a rich setting to play in. Then we add in Nova and all the younger generation, where the book plays out most of it's story, and it gives us another level to tell the story on. That mix of good and evil and ambiguous middle is perfection.
There was a section in the beginning of the middle that I thought went a little slow. There was a lot of information coming at the reader, told through dialogue and general discovery but it started to feel a bit stagnant. Thankfully this didn't last too long and the action-packed sequences began again. I mean, what's a book packed with superpowered humans without amazing action scenes?
And lastly I'll mention the slight Romeo and Juliet angle of the book. It's not heavy-handed and it definitely doesn't eclipse the greater plotlines. In fact, it's barely even worth mentioning but some people like to know if there's any type of romance included. So there's a touch of it but I definitely think RENEGADES will appeal to a wide audience, so if you're not a romance lover, don't be worried...and if you do like romance, I think there's enough of a connection that you'll really enjoy it too.
Overall, I loved RENEGADES (as if you couldn't already surmise)! There's a great cliffhanger (which I'm not gonna lie, I kinda saw coming, but that didn't throw me off) so now I'm so freaking excited for book 2. Please oh please let it come soon. I need to know what happens next!
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Review by The Literary Llama