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.
YA superhero novels are becoming more common than they used to be. A few years back, I remember wanting desperately for such a novel to exist and finding none. Now there are a few to pick from. When I heard that Marissa Meyer had a superhero themed book coming out I hit the preorder button and had no regrets.
Okay, I was a little bit wary. Until last year, Meyer was definitely a do-no-wrong author, but I was not a fan at all of Heartless. And I was a little skeptical about this one coming in.
I was pleasantly relieved to find that I liked Renegades. I didn’t love it, but I liked it. However, there were a lot of cliches and plot holes in this one and an extremely slow beginning that drags. So, so, much.
That being said though, I do plan on picking the next installment up next year.
The general gist of the story is that there are two groups of superpower people, the Renegades and the Anarchists. I think the best comparison would be to the X-men and the Brotherhood, with some minor variations. However, one of the characters uses a helmet much like Magneto and I was like really Meyer…
Okay, that aside there are some tragic Batman-ish backstories going on in this book and the two leads have sort of a Batman and Catwoman relationship going on.
The world building is okay for the most part. Again, I will say that there were several plot holes in the book. Where I had to wonder why certain characters were too dim not to realize certain things about other characters. I mean, because some of the secrets that the characters were hidden were fairly obvious.
Then again, the super hero genre has always been generous with having oblivious characters. I mean, Lois Lane clearly can’t see past Clark Kent’s glasses so I shouldn’t be giving Meyer’s characters too much grief for being stupid.
Still though, it does frustrate me as a reader that Meyer doesn’t even address some of these things.
If you can look past the plot holes though, the book is pretty decent. Renegades has a fairly diverse group of characters an not one of them is tokenized. The relationships for the most part are fleshed out, at least with the leads. The supporting cast isn’t as strong as it was in Meyer’s Lunar Chronicles, but they are still decently form. If this series was going to be longer than duo-logy I could see several of the characters being explored more. As it was though, I thought the two leads were pretty decent and I sort of liked that they were mirror images of each other in an odd way.
Despite the plot holes my other issues with the book was that it was ridiculously predictable. Even the cliffy at the end didn’t phase me (much). I’m guessing there will likely be some twists thrown in the sequel of the novel. The pacing probably didn’t help since the first 250 pages of this book were glacier slow.
Side note, when I first read Cinder and when I read that abomination better known as Heartless, these issues were prevalent too. Cinder was difficult to read the first time around because of how slow it seemed, Heartless was even worse. This book has that same slow start.but it holds my interest like Cinder did. However, I do think that overall Cinder is a better book.
I know that sounds sort of harsh, but I do think that Cinder was a slightly better book than Renegades, even though this book was written much later in Meyer’s career. Maybe it’s because Cinder was a retelling so some of the lack of originality (in plot twists) wasn’t as groan worthy as it was with Renegades.
In all, if you’re a superhero fan or a Meyer fan, I’d recommend this one, but it’s hardly awe inspiring by any means. I’m hoping that the conclusion to the duology will sort of do the series justice, but right now I’d hardly say it was anywhere near Lunar Chronicles levels.
Overall Rating: A solid B.