Author: Marissa Meyer
Pages (hardcover): 556 pages
Original Publishing Date: 7 November 2017
Synopsis (from the inside flap):
“New from Marissa Meyer, author of the #1 New York Times-bestselling series The Lunar Chronicles, comes a high-stakes world of adventure, passion, danger, and betrayal.
“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.”
Trigger/Content warnings for the novel:
- character death
- slight aro-/acemisia
Representation in the novel:
- disabled character (uses crutches; has an unspecified bone disease)
- characters of color
- gay dads
The one time I forget to keep track of rep and trigger/content warnings…ugh, I might have missed some things/be intentionally vague, and I apologize for that, guys.
So. Renegades. I was honestly pretty surprised by it. It takes place in Gatlon City, where a mere ten years prior the city was reduced to near rubble due to villain gangs of prodigies — humans with superpowers — running the place into the ground. But then, out of nowhere comes a group of vigilantes that magically save the day and attempt to bring the city back to its former glory.
Fast-forward ten years, and the reader is focused on Nova, a villain part of the gang, the Anarchists, who ruled the city not too long ago, and Adrian, the son of two of the vigilantes. Nova tries to infiltrate the Renegades, the “good” superhero officers which the vigilantes have created, and in doing so, is put on Adrian’s patrol team. The stakes rise as the patrol team tries to track down Nightmare, a mysterious new villain and Nova’s alter-ego, as Nova tries her best to stay low and find out as much information as she can to burn the Renegades to the ground.
At first, I wasn’t all that interested in the story. I’m not usually the biggest fan of superhero movies, so why would I be that interested in a superhero book? Especially one so big (500+ pages). But, well, despite my efforts, it slowly dragged me in. Once the plot actually started moving, and Nova actually started to join the Renegades, I couldn’t help but be interested. Not that it was entirely original, at least from my small knowledge about the superhero knowledge. It seemed kind of cliche to me. I mean, a villain gang wanting to destroy the good guys; the good guys actually not being so good; secret identities; the two protagonists meeting each other under different aliases and somehow not recognizing each other. Nothing particularly stood out to me as “new.” But, that doesn’t mean I liked it any less.
And I did. Like it, I mean. I actually might like it a lot now? Halfway through, I thought it was more of a 3-3.5 star read, which isn’t bad at all, but there was something about it that I just almost-loved by the end that made me boost it to 4 stars. I’m still not quite sure what that is, but I think I’ll find out once the sequel comes out.
Because, honestly? While I liked the characters, there wasn’t that much depth to them. I think Nova was probably the most fleshed out, while the side villains didn’t seem all that developed at all. Even Adrian, the second protagonist, didn’t really change or seem all that fleshed out to me. I’m still unconvinced that the reason for his going after Nightmare is a good reason. That’s just me, though, I might be picky about my characters, haha.
However, I also want to point out to any ace/aro folks that there is a line on page 442 that basically talks about how being attracted to someone is just “biology.” Even though, ya know…not everyone is sexually or romantically attracted to people. And there’s nothing wrong with their “biology” to “make that happen” or whatever. I just thought that particular line was unwarranted, and just wanted to give others a heads up in case they’re sensitive to it. The rest of the trigger/content warnings are just in general.
But overall, I actually enjoyed Renegades when I thought, going in, it was only going to be an okay read. I’ll be interested to see what happens in the sequel when it comes out.