Series: Renegades #1
Author: Marissa Meyer
Genre: YA, Fantasy
Published: November 7th, 2017 (Feiwel & Friends)
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.
“One cannot be brave who has no fear.”
The Renegades are an organization of prodigies – superheroes – who fought to take back Gatlon City from the prodigies known as the Anarchists led by Ace Anarchy. When they succeed, the Renegades are hailed as heroes and saviours by all – all but the Anarchists who were forced underground after Ace Anarchy’s death. Ten years later, Nova, Ace’s niece, has sworn to get revenge and has spent years training for it. But when she infiltrates the Renegades to get closer to her targets, she meets the people she has hated all her life and begins to realize that things aren’t as black and white as she has always believed.
I really enjoy this time of year for one major reason – the flood of new books has more or less died down and I can finally turn my focus for atleast the next two months or so to my ever growing backlist. I’ve only read one book by Marissa Meyer before – Heartless – and while I adored it, I’ve been a little hesitant to try any others because the genres are so different. I had my reservations about this book which is why it has been on my backlist for nearly three years now. I wasn’t particularly sure how much I would like a book about superheroes – while I like superhero movies for the most part, books are very different – that is, until I read Hench earlier this month and so thoroughly enjoyed it, which motivated me to finally pick up Renegades.
Nova and Adrian are solid, genuine characters and I love the ways their arcs are unfolding. Both of them having secret identities whom the other is determined to find was an interesting addition too. But more interesting, in my opinion, was that neither of them had a power that was remotely flashy. Adrian can sketch things to life, and Nova can put people to sleep with a touch. There’s something to be said for the fact that they are actually so remarkably ordinary for their world and it was quite the delightful change to see that the main characters are not overpowered prodigies.
“There are many dangerous people in this world. but there are also many good people. Brave people. No matter how bad things get, we have to remember that. So long as there are heroes in this world, there’s hope that tomorrow night might be better.”
Have I ever mentioned how much I love seeing the villain’s side of a story? Especially when it turns out to be quite the morally complicated scenario. I liked how the book starts off with such extreme perceptions of the Renegades and the Anarchists on the part of the characters, and then slowly chips away at that, portraying that there is always another perspective to things. There are so many shades of grey in this novel, particularly when one considers the politics involved. The prodigies are idolized in Gatlon City, but they also hold the entire responsibility for the safety of the city and its people – after all, when superheroes are around, why do the ordinary people need to lift a finger? This is certainly an exciting read, but if you slow down, there is also a lot of food for thought here, and much of it revolves around the balance is essential between power and responsibility.
Apart from Nova and Adrian, I felt like I didn’t really get a good grasp on any of the other characters, but hopefully that will change in the next books. I’m also curious to know more about Nova’s childhood growing up under the care of the Anarchists. Finally, I found it somewhat funny that the people of Gatlon City, after having suffered under the reign of Ace Anarchy and the gangs for so long, placed yet more prodigies in charge even if they did save them
This seems like a long book, and it is, but I found that the story simply flies once you’re really into it and 550 odd pages are gone before you know it. In one way, I’m kind of glad I delayed reading this, because now I can binge read the entire series and won’t have to suffer through that cliffhanger. Renegades is easily one of the most entertaining books I’ve read this year and I would highly recommend it!
Have you read this book? Let me know in the comments below!
Other reviews in this series: