Author: Marissa Meyer
Genre: Sci-Fi Fantasy, Young Adult
Series: Renegades # 1
Hardcover, 556 pages
Publication: November 7, 2017 by Feiwel & Friends
Source: Won a review copy on Goodreads.
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.
Meyer is best known for her Lunar Chronicle series, a mash-up of fairy-tales and sci-fi. I have the entire series just sitting on my shelf. I did read a bit of Cinder a few years back and while I did enjoy what I read…I just never had the urge to pick it up again. Then I heard Meyer was starting a new series with superheroes and villains. I was intrigued, I love all things superheroes/villains…you’d think people would get burnt out on the idea with it flooding mainstream television and movies. Nope. If there’s a market for it, you’d bet it’d sell.
Renegades was like the comic book version of Romeo and Juliet. We have Nova, niece of the Anarchist leader and Adrian, the adopted son of the beloved Renegades Originals. I think you all know how this is going to go (not death, obviously). It's pretty predictable. With the help of her Anarchist family, Nova infiltrates The Renegades by trying out to be part of the team and actually landing in a group with team leader Adrian, the golden child of The Renegades. Nova’s plan is to learn as much as she can to take down the entire organization; enacting retribution because she believes The Renegades are the reason why her family was dead. Adrian on the other-hand is keeping a big secret from The Renegades and investigating his mother’s death and he thinks Nightmare, an Anarchist, has the answers. The two end up liking one another but little do they know they come from rival families.
The plot as I said is pretty generic and predictable. Meyer doesn’t bring anything new to the concept of superheroes or villains. The characters themselves are basic, I don’t recall anything special or anyone standing out for that matter. I have to admit, even the dialogue seemed juvenile. But I still found myself glued to the pages. It’s the way Meyer writes. There’s just something that pulls the readers in and keeps your attention. I know I’m gonna get flacked for this comment but its the only comparison I can give. Everyone remember Twilight? Of course you do. You know it’s not particularly good fiction or writing but yet you keep reading it anyways…because in the moment you’re reading it…it's the best thing ever! Yeah that was what it’s like for me. I mean, the point of any and all books is to be able to immerse yourself into the story and suspend reality for a couple of hours. Well, The Renegades definitely accomplished this. So there’s that going for it.
There wasn’t much romance in this book, more like a potential start of one. It was kind of awkward any way you looked at it. There’s something between Adrian and Nova but they never acted on it. And while they had plenty of interaction with one another, it wasn’t like sparks were flying. And because their interaction was weird; there’s was a disconnect between the characters which caused a disconnect between the readers as well. I didn’t feel it and didn’t really care about their relationship. It was just there. I didn’t think it brought anything to the story/plot sadly.
The Renegades doesn’t have much to be desired, it’s lackluster in terms of plot, world building, and characterization at best. If I don’t think too much about the book, I’d say it was okay borderline good. I mean, I did finish it. I’m pretty picky when it comes to book, so that’s saying a lot. The ending was the only unpredictable thing in the entire book and I am curious to see how things will play out in the sequel. I may or may not pick up the sequel just to see what happens next. But would I recommend this book? Probably not unless you’re looking for a brain candy type of book to pass the time…it may look and feel good at the moment but there’s no real substance.