By Marissa Meyer
Author: Marissa Meyer
Page Count: 576
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
Pub. Date: November 7th, 2017
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.
Disclaimer: The publisher provided me with ARC of Renegades through Netgalley in exchange for my honest opinion.
With a vague synopsis that didn’t give me much aside from Sky High (an old Disney channel original movie) vibes, I didn’t know quite what I was in for when I started reading Renegades, but I put my faith in Marissa Meyer’s very capable hands, and I shall never doubt her skills again.
I can’t say too much about the plot since this is an ARC review and I don’t want to spoil anything, but it was very well written, action packed, and unpredictable. It’s one of those stories that begins in the middle of the action–literally starting in an assassination attempt–and I think it works very well for Renegades because it sets the pace for the rest of the story. The first few chapters read slightly slower than the rest of the book, but from the moment Nova decides that she is going to act as a double agent for the Anarchists by entering the trials to become a Renegade, I found myself sucked in and unable to put it down, constantly being hit with twists and turns as soon as I started to believe I had figured it out. I must say that the plot twist at the end truly shocked me, and I can’t believe I have to wait so long to see what happens next!
Meyer’s vivid descriptions throughout the novel really help to transport the reader into the world of Renegades and Anarchists. She not only gives a fantastic visual description of Gatlon City including everything from the Renegades’ headquarters, to the Anarchists’ subway tunnels, to every individual street vendor’s cart and product which makes the city come alive in our minds, but also describes the city’s rich history with the Age of Anarchy and the Battle for Gatlon which allows us to truly feel and sense the tension and uneasiness present in the city. The only thing I wish she had included more of was the history of how prodigies came to be because I thought that their powers were one of the coolest aspects in the story, and she could have expanded more on them.
There is an expansive list of characters in Renegades which is already hard to keep track of, but with many of them being either superheroes or villains, a lot of them have aliases which makes it even more difficult! For the first few chapters I found myself unable to tell who was who or who had what powers, but eventually got the hang of it. I really enjoyed Nova and Adrian, the two main characters, and thought that Meyer did a good job in giving them interesting backstories which connected to their internal drives. Nova is an Anarchist who wants to destroy the renegades because of what they did to her uncle and possesses the power to put anyone she touches to sleep, and Adrian is a Renegade who wants to find the Anarchists responsible for murdering his mother and has the ability to make anything he draws come to life. Of course there is a bit of romance between the two of them, but it isn’t instalove, and I really enjoyed the way Meyer incorporated it into the story as to make it not feel forced. The POV switches between them throughout the story, giving the reader the point of view of both an Anarchist and a Renegade, allowing them to decide which side they believe to be in the wrong. Aside from the main characters I must say I found the rest to be a bit lacking. Some of them had half-decent back stories and character development, as if some were just lost or forgotten along the way. I did enjoy the Anarchist entourage of Ingrid, Lyon, Phobia, and Honey–I just wish there was more of them, and as for the Renegades, I felt that a few of the characters were present only for their powers. Overall, I believe Meyer did a good job with her characters.
In conclusion, I give Renegades by Marissa Meyer four out of five stars for being a fantastic, action-packed start to a new series, and I highly suggest it to anyone who’s a fan of YA, but especially to fans of D.C., Marvel, and superheroes in general. Also, there’s a pre-order promotion going on, so if you send in proof of your pre-order to the publisher HERE you can get either a Renegade or Anarchist button pack–and you get to pick!
If you would like to pre-order Renegades