Renegades Review

book review

It’s a bird! It’s a plane! No, it’s a new Marissa Meyer book!

Renegades, the first book in Marissa Meyer’s new young adult series, follows prodigy Nova as she attempts to infiltrate her city’s superhero organization in order to eliminate them. After the organization, known as the Renegades, failed to protect her family, Nova aligned herself with her uncle’s rebel group, the Anarchists. After witnessing the abuse of her fellow Anarchists, Nova decides to join the Renegades to learn their secrets and to take them down once and for all.

I rank The Lunar Chronicles as one of my favorite young adult series, so I was extremely excited to start a new series by the same author. In The Lunar Chronicles, I loved the characters, the setting, and Meyer’s re-invention of classic fairy tales. While I don’t think the first book in this new series is as strong as The Lunar Chronicles in regards to those three aspects, I did enjoy the book overall and will definitely continue the series.

As I mentioned earlier, one of the reasons Marissa Meyer’s books are so popular are the characters. In this book, I’m on the fence about the overall execution. I really enjoyed the two main characters, Nova and Adrian. Their backstories were pretty well-developed and aligned with their motivations. However, I really needed a little more from the side characters. While I appreciated the helpful guide in the front of the book to help me remember both the character and their superhero persona, it was hard to differentiate between personalities of them individually in the book. I felt like too many characters were introduced in this book, so none of them really popped like side characters in other Marissa Meyer books (for example, Iko stood out in Cinder).

As for the setting, there were aspects that I really enjoyed and some aspects that I thought could be improved. I appreciated how Marissa Meyer gave us a lot of backstory on how the world in this book came to be. Additionally, I enjoyed that we were able to see any aspects of both the Renegade and Anarchist organizations. The only aspect that I wasn’t a huge fan of was the carnival-like feel given to the Anarachist. Where they live and how they dress came across as a little cartoonish so they never really seemed like a threat. Especially since the books literally ends at an amusement park/carnival setting, I didn’t get the strongest superhero vibes.

Another huge reason that people love Marissa Meyer’s books is she takes an idea done many time before, but puts her own spin on it. Once again, I’m hoping to see a little more growth in this area within the next books in the series. Although some of the superheroes have fun and different powers (for example, I really enjoyed Adrian’s superpower where whatever he sketched came to life), none of the story elements so far differ from the typical superhero story line. That being said, I still really enjoyed this book and found myself keep turning the pages to see what happened next.

Even though most of my review contains mixed feelings towards this book, I have high hopes that this series will continue to improve just as The Lunar Chronicles did. While I have mixed feelings towards some aspects of this book, I still really enjoyed it and couldn’t put it down once I started reading. I give Renegades five out of five stars.

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