Secret Identities. Extraordinary Powers. She wants vengeance. He wants justice.
BOOK SUMMARY FROM 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.
WHAT I LOVED.
I like Nova and Adrian, they’re both really likeable narrators. I love that Adrian is Black with two gay superhero dads and he’s an artist. I love that Nova is half Filipino and an inventor and that she has all these hobbies like knitting and bird-watching. I like ’em.
The superpowers are unique, and they’re wielded in really cool ways like Adrian using his drawing superpower to tattoo powers onto himself! Or how one of the Renegades bleeds rubies, and another one has a bone disease but also can create smoke out of nothing.
I enjoy a good anti-hero, and I love how this story brought up a lot of the issues I always have with superhero stories that never really get addressed, like if everyone is relying on Superheroes to save them, they won’t want to save themselves.
I REALLY loved any mention of The Age of Anarchy, the time in which the villains ran rampant and the Renegades were first discovering how to be heroes. The description of that time sounds amazing, like the original Council of superheroes hanging out in someone’s basement, goofing off, and Captain Chromium and the Dread Warden falling in love, and that battle with Ace Anarchy. Like HELLO. THAT’S THE BUSINESS. That’s what I want to see! Meh. Maybe she’ll write a prequel story.
I just…I wish the first book had been that whole first part of the story, and the second book was the complete story with Nova and Adrian (more on that below.)
I’m also going to pile some love on the narrator for the audiobook, Rebecca Soler. She is one of my ALL TIME FAVORITE NARRATORS. She is absolute magic. I fell in love with her performance from The Lunar Chronicles audiobooks and I was beyond thrilled to see she’d been brought on board for this production as well. Every character has their own distinct voice and cadence, and her acting just brings everything to life. It’s spectacular.
WHAT WAS MEH.
So this doesn’t actually feel like a complete story, it feels more like a mid-season finale. A lot of this book just plunks along, things are happening but at the same time it doesn’t feel like anything is happening – if that makes sense. It’s also much to long for the first book in the series.
The climax of the book didn’t even wrap anything up thematically or plot-wise it was just…stuff happening in sequence.Once it felt like the story part was happening…nothing really…happened. The “cliffhanger” ending wasn’t even like “OH I WONDER WHAT IS GOING TO HAPPEN NEXT“, it was just…”OH. OKAY?“. I would have prefered Renegades to be a standalone book, take out some of the filler scenes, and just wrap this whole thing up in one shot!
I think I’m just disappointed because I LOVE The Lunar Chronicles, it’s one of my favorite series, but I didn’t like Heartless at all. Like at all. So I was really rooting for this to be incredible, and it was just okay.
That being said I DID enjoy this, and I MAY HAVE plotted out what three seasons of a TV Show would look like! (SPOILER ALERT: The first season is entirely set during the Age of Anarchy)
Adrian Everhart. Tall, dark, and handsome. Got his glasses and some artist skills, plus he’s nice and has a tragic backstory. He might not be WHOOPS-I-FAINTED-WHEN-I-SAW-YOU, but like…I’M INTO IT. Perfect for cuffing season. We’d get real cozy.
You know who else can get it? Ace Anarchy. He is DADDY AF. NOT SORRY.
Highlight to read this section.
OKAY SOOOOOOOOOOO….the plot here was crazy predictable, yes? We can all agree on that. It feels like we’re going through the motions here. Girl is a villain. Girl meets boy. Girl questions her loyalties. Girl’s dead uncle turns out to not be dead.
But we knew that. If you don’t see a body, or if someone dies off screen/page…you can reasonably assume they’re actually NOT dead. So the big reveal at the end that Ace Anarchy is actually alive is not so much a surprise as a, “Yes thanks, we are aware” moment.
That being said I do like the little twist that Nova KNOWS he’s alive, that adds a nice little surprise to something we weren’t surprised by.
Also I guess while I wasn’t surprised by the reveal that Captain Chromium had strapped a baby to his back and took him into battle….it adds a nice depth to the Renegades. Just one more reason why I want Marissa Meyer to write a prequel story.
ALSO LOOK HOW FUN!
Take the quiz, CHOOSE YOUR SIDE.
Am I a Renegade or an Anarchist? Honestly I’m probably some rando bystander watching buildings burn and eating a themed snack, but HEY. I’LL TAKE THIS TOO.
I WOULD have water powers, but there is nothing silent about my avenging. It’s real loud, and you’ll hear it coming a mile away.
WORTH THE READ?
Honestly? I liked it but it’s pretty long and the story isn’t quite where I’d want it to be. If your TBR is piling up I’d say it’s okay to put this one off until the second book comes out and see how it turns out before committing to the series.
What did you think of Renegades? Are you more of a HERO or a VILLAIN?
Also…THIS WAS MY FIRST REVIEW YOU GUYS!!! HIGH FIVE.