Goodreads Summary: 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.
“You don’t need to be a Renegade to be a superhero.”
You don’t have to be a superhero to want to help the world. The villains have goals and ideals too, and they’re not all bad. Or so goes Renegades, by Marissa Meyer.
I have no words for how much I loved this book. Marissa Meyer has quickly become my favorite author, and this newest installment does not disappoint. Opening with a devastatingly sad prologue, and quickly transitioning to a completely badass and amazing fight scene, I was hooked from the first chapter.
Nova (aka Nightmare), our main character, is not your typical heroine. She’s a villain, one of the last five Anarchists alive after the Renegades, the “superheros,” destroyed and defeated the villains nearly a decade ago. But Nova has good reasons for hating the Renegades. Among them—after her family was brutally murdered before her eyes, her last remaining family member was the infamous Ace Anarchy, leader of the Anarchists.
In an attempt to overthrow the Renegades, Nova becomes a Renegade herself—a spy. She meets Adrian (aka Sketch), a powerful renegade, her team leader, and her future love interest. And that’s when everything becomes confusing as readers, along with the protagonist, have to decide what really is good and evil.
When I first started reading Renegades, I thought that the entire story would be told from Nova’s point of view, and was thrilled about the positive light it was painting on the villains—the bad guy backstory.
But, having read Meyer’s books before, I should have known better than to think it so simple. It actually takes the points of view of both Nova and Adrian. By having these dual points of view, Meyer is able to expose both the good and the flaws in both sides. As a result, throughout the entire book, and even now that I’ve finished it, I was left pondering which side is really “good.”
This book gets an A+ for diversity. Nova is biracial (half filipino). Adrian’s race is unspecified, but he has “dark skin,” and he has two gay fathers, who frequent the tale.
I really enjoyed the dynamic presented by the supporting characters as well. I completely loved Honey, the overly dramatic Anarchist, as well as Oscar, the completely lovable best friend (Thorne, anyone?) I especially loved seeing the dual POV’s about them; for example, one of the Anarchists could be seen as completely ruthless and evil by Adrian, but family who helped out Nova.
Meyer set this book apart from other superhero stories by her unique powers. The major characters powers are revealed before the story actually starts—Nova/Nightmare can put people to sleep with her touch, Adrian/Sketch can turn drawings into real things. Others include Red Assassin, who can make weapons from blood, Queen Bee, who can control bees, and Monarch, who can turn into a swarm of butterflies.
I love the dynamic between Nova and Adrian, the two love interests on opposite sides. The dramatic irony because their alter egos are mortal enemies, while underneath it they’re just two normal (and completely adorkable!) teens falling in love. They were not lacking in adorable couple moments. However, I felt that their romance was not a large driving factor of the plot—it did not overshadow the greater factor with the fight between the Anarchists and Renegades—and I really liked that.
Finally, my favorite part, the action scenes! I don’t usually go for action type books, but Meyer is a master! I could easily imagine all the fight scenes, and I love how badass Nova (and everyone else but especially Nightmare) is. In terms of just an awesome fight scene, the opening fight was my favorite part of the novel; however, the ending scene really pulls on the reader’s heartstrings.
At nearly six hundred pages, it certainly was daunting to open the book, and if it hadn’t been by an author I loved so much, the length would probably have discouraged me. However, personally I was too engrossed in the story to really mind the length.
The one thing that did bother me slightly was the fact that nobody could figure out that Nova was Nightmare and Adrian was the Sentinel. While I could see supporting characters such as the Anarchists or the other Renegades not figuring them out, I was surprised that Nova and Adrian wouldn’t discover each other. Since they spent so much time together and it was clear that they liked each other, wouldn’t they know each other’s voices? Or draw a conclusion based on the fact that they always disappeared when their counterparts were there?
Overall I loved this story. It was, without doubt, my favorite read of 2017, and I really can’t wait to read the next book! And that ending though… readers be warned, it’s a merciless cliffhanger that I have to wait eleven months to see the ending to. Why can’t next November come sooner!
5 out of 5 blue and red stars
You can also read my review on Goodreads here.