REVIEW | Renegades | Marissa Meyer | Renegades #1

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.

I love superhero stories, and morally grey MC’s so I had to pick up Renegades by Marissa Meyer as soon as I’d heard of it. I ended up finding Renegades and Archenemies in my local library, and I was under the impression that Supernova was out already… I was wrong, but that’s an El-is-stupid-story for another time. I ended up reading Renegades in a rush, totally absorbed by it. I’ve had The Lunar Chronicles on my TBR for a while, and after reading Renegades I need to get my hands on them because I love Marissa Meyer’s writing.

Rating: 4 stars!

I’ve also been part of a discussion post with Kriti at Armed With A Book, and you can see that here!

Read me for the:

  • Identity porn! Star-crossed lovers who don’t know they’re star-crossed! This my shit!
  • Superheroes with too much power
  • Villainous MC
  • Secrets upon secrets
  • Deliciously twisty plot

The plot:

Renegades are a superhero team made up of prodigies, humans with amazing and often unique abilities, who rose up from the crumbling and destroyed society that Ace Anarchy left in his wake. Ace Anarchy was the super-villain, leader of the Anarchists who ruled the Age of Anarchy. He was the one to lead the rise against humans and give prodigies power that they were denied. He’s dead now, and the Anarchists have fallen into nothing, while the Renegades are a world-wide symbol of hope and bravery and heroism to everyone. Everyone except the Anarchists they overthrew.

Nova has plenty of reasons to hate the Renegades and she’s out for vengeance, she doesn’t care who gets in her way. As she gets closer to her target she meets Adrian, a Renegade poster boy who believes in truth, justice and Nova. But Nova’s loyalty can’t be torn, not when her allegiance is held by a villain with more power than either could imagine.

What did I think?

I was pretty sure I was going to love this series on principle. I’m a big sucker for superhero stories, I love villains more than is sane or healthy and, as everyone who has ever heard me open my mouth or twitter knows, enemies-to-lovers is my shit. I have also read enough cheesy Steve Rogers/Tony Stark fanfiction in my time that I go wild for the identity porn trope. So when I read about the Nova/Adrian/Nightmare/Sentinel/Insomnia/Sketch chaos, I was sold. Once the whole trilogy was out (or so I thought) I picked up Renegades and Archenemies from my local library and settled in to devour them. Only the trilogy wasn’t all out in the UK, I’m a fool, and I ended up getting a copy of Supernova shipped over to me because I couldn’t physically wait to read it.

The premise of this series is simple, the reality of it is twisty as hell. Nova is part of the supervillain team the Anarchists, who were forced underground after their leader Ace Anarchy was killed in a huge battle between the Anarchists and their superhero counterparts – the Renegades. Nova is the youngest of this team, young enough that the Renegades aren’t looking for her and after an assassination attempt on the Renegade leader Captain Chromium goes awry, it seems like the only way to complete their mission is for her to join the Renegades under a new name.

There’s a lot I can’t and won’t go into in a book review, because I don’t want to ruin some of the moments in this story that made me genuinely gasp out loud, but Renegades is a strong first entry into a new series, setting up overarching plot threads that are left unanswered, ready for the next book. I’m glad I read these once the series was complete, though, because I think I would have found it infinitely frustrating to have some of these plot-threads seemingly abandoned. (I’ve read all three books, they definitely aren’t abandoned and Marissa Meyer has the overarching series structure of a genius, okay). The story itself was well-paced and I was constantly hungry for more information, more clues and just a little bit more drama. It was always delivered. I loved this story, and it ended on a cliffhanger so good that I had to stop and reread the last chapter one more time.

The real strength of this series is its world-building. Superpowers as a concept can be very, very overdone by now, but Marissa Meyer uses old and new superhero stereotypes to create a society that is both familiar and different enough to be interesting. It throws a lot of references back to traditional superhero ideas, and I think that’s good – it’s a genre that’s so ingrained in pop-culture that it would seem strange not to pay respect to it – but Renegades stands on its own too. I particularly like the way that these powers are manifested. So often in superhero media, we track an origin story back to a single traumatic incident. The Renegades world pays its dues to that tradition, and prodigies can be made as a reaction to trauma. But they can also be born too, with their powers a natural part of human evolution.

I also love the society collapse that Marissa Meyer has envisioned. Renegades is set in a world recovering from a near apocalypse. There are the leftover signs of a society forced into crime and chaos, where being powered or being able to barter were the only ways to survive, and I like seeing this recovery stage. I’ve read a lot of books about a society in collapse, it was nice to see a society rebuilding and the complications that brings. The ‘apocalypse’ society breakdown was caused by the Anarchists rising up and overthrowing a society that discriminated against prodigies, and every character had different and complicated motivations. Some of the villains were truly creepy, but they still had firm motivations. Nova’s motivations always made sense which was important to me with a morally-grey protagonist.

Links:

Add it on Goodreads here!

Buy at Waterstones or Amazon (not affiliated) and if you can, please support your local indie booksellers!

3 thoughts on “REVIEW | Renegades | Marissa Meyer | Renegades #1

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