Renegades (Renegades, #1)by Published 07 Nov 2017
|Renegades (Renegades, #1).pdf|
|Publisher||Feiwel & Friends|
Secret Identities. Extraordinary Powers. 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.
"Renegades (Renegades, #1)" Reviews
Ok I honestly had no idea what to expect from this (except that it was Marissa Meyer yay), so the whole thing was SUCH a fun surprise.
Ughhh this is one of those books where I'm going to fail miserably at explaining what it's about because I need to use my hands to map out the tangled web of identities and goals...
So Nova starts out with the "villain" Anarchists and Adrian is with the superhero Renegades, but Nova eventually goes undercover to try out for the Renegades. She ends up joining Adrian's superhero team and being a double agent... except it's really not that straightforward. Adrian and Nova are both keeping additional alter-egos a secret while maintaining both their superhero identities and regular personas within their team. Adrian and Nova's secret alter-egos are actually enemies (or at least out to get each other), but neither one of them knows that. And they are adorable together.
Actually, all of the characters are adorable! Oscar and Ruby were my favorites for sure. Marissa Meyer is just so good at showing the group dynamics of a bunch of teens so all of their unique personalities come through. Some of the fun banter totally reminded me of what I loved about The Lunar Chronicles. And the diversity was awesome here, too.
Basically, this book is just plain fun. It's a creative world full of so many different superheroes with every kind of power (it kind of reminded me of The Incredibles at times). But then plot got more philosophical at the same time and reflected a lot of relevant questions for our world.
For example, prodigies used to be persecuted, but then the Anarchists took down the system of oppression that only served a small group. Adrian remembers the gangs that rose to power in the absence of government in the Age of Anarchy and thinks the Renegade's current Council is better, but Nova's definitely there to take them down:
"The Council saw themselves as benevolent leaders attempting to solve all the problems of humanity, without any apparent grasp of how their involvement was only dooming society to helplessness and desperation."
There's an ongoing debate between Nova & Adrian about whether it's in humanity's best interest to have superheroes protect society or whether that's an infringement on personal freedom or responsibility that makes people lazy & complacent. Nova believes that the "system that was meant to protect and serve was nothing more than a failed social experiment" because the Renegades weren't there to stop her family from being murdered when she was six. She thinks the people would be better off on their own than in a society run by "dictators who had put themselves in this position of power without cause, and now had no idea what to do with it."
So I just really appreciated how everything wasn't simplistic. There are groups with different views and goals even on the same side, which made the story more realistic.
I loved this story BUT definitely think it could've been about half the length. It took me a bit to get a feel for the whole world and what was even going on. I had issues with the pacing for sure... it kind of felt like I was waiting for the real story to get going? It could've been a lot more concise and powerful if the next book was part of this one. But I liked the concept and characters enough that my enthusiasm remains!
Thank you to the publisher for sending me a finished copy.
“Hero or villain, all prodigies were powerful. All prodigies were dangerous.”
Me and Marissa Meyer have an all over the place relationship. I wasn’t the biggest fan of The Lunar Chronicles, but I love Scarlet and Wolf! But my favorite thing she’s ever created was Heartless, which I five starred and it made it onto my best of list the year it came out. So, I didn’t know what to expect going into Renegades. I wasn’t even going to pick it up originally, but I did solely because I saw a Goodreads review being disgusting about there being two gay dads that raised one of the main protagonists. TL;DR - I loved the gay dads, but I only ended up liking Renegades.
Renegades is set in a world where people rely on superheroes. The superheroes come with a vast array of powers and abilities, but with superheroes, there are always supervillains, too! Yet, the supervillains are more of rebels with superpowers, and they call themselves the Anarchists!
Our main protagonist, Nova, was raised to believe in the Renegades and to trust in the hope that they provide. But that all changed the night she was orphaned, and no one came to save her or her family. Since then she has had only one mission: to get vengeance for her family.
“One cannot be brave who has no fear.”
Also, I couldn’t write this review without mentioning that Nova (AKA: Nightmare and Insomnia) is Italian-Filipina, and this made my little Filipina heart so very full of happiness. Also, Nova’s super power is sleep manipulation, which was totally unique and super badass, in my opinion. Also, I’m forever living for morally grey characters that are constantly questioning the motives all around them, so Nova was a damn treat to read about.
The other main protagonist is Adrian (AKA: the Sentinal and Sketch), who happens to have the two kickass, gay, famous, superhero dads! His power is pretty OP; as long as he believes something is plausible, he can draw it and give it the desired effect. Like, it’s kind of complicated, but he can pretty much draw things and make them a reality.
And obviously Nova and Adrian’s lives intertwine and a lot of events ensue. And, if you’ve ever read a book by Marissa Meyer before, you can probably guess that a romance happens as well. Now, forbidden romance is kind of my favorite, and I was here for it, but I will say that it was a little cliché at times.
But this is a story about secrets, filled with characters that are playing both sides for the Renegades and for the Anarchists. This story is filled with twists and turns, and you’ll never really know who to root for, which is pretty amazing.
Yet, this is also a story about questioning what is good and bad. And how things that present themselves as good aren’t always the way they seem. I think it’s important for kids and teens to be reading about questioning the world around them right now, and I really liked the discussion that could be had here from these themes that were presented.
“If people wanted to stand up for themselves or protect their loved ones or do what they believe in their hearts is the right thing to do, then they would do it. If they wanted to be heroic, they would find ways to be heroic, even without supernatural powers.”
Now, let me also say that I read this via audiobook, and I am the worst audiobook reader ever. I just have a really hard time focusing, and I’ll try to listen while I play League of Legends, and then I’ll end up not retaining anything, and I’ll have to go relisten. This book took me a month to read, which is unheard of for me. I strongly believe that if I read this book physically that I would have enjoyed it even more. And I completely plan to do so with the next book!
Overall, if you like superhero books then you will probably really enjoy this one. Sometimes I did feel like maybe a few elements were pulled too strongly from X-Men (*cough ROGUE cough*), but Marissa Meyer’s writing is always easy to read and fun to follow. The story had a bit of racial diversity, sexual diversity, and a disabled side-character that I really appreciated. Also, please give me an entire book of just Max, thanks. But I think most people that have enjoyed previous things by this author will also really enjoy this one! I’m excited to see what happens next, especially with that ending.
“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.”
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Buddy Read with Sarah & Rachel! ❤
Marissa Meyer is too legit to quit. She has never failed to suck me into one of her stories, and this one does NOT disappoint. I’m legit hooked.
Anarchists vs. Renegades
“All revolutions come with death; some must die so that others might have life. It is a tragedy, but it is also a truth.”
Villains vs. Heroes
This was so well written. There is a lot of political angles of this. This is a world ruled by heroes, and the promises they make to have a peaceful and utopia world… even though, a lot of their promises never actually come into reality.
But why do you need powers to actually make a difference? That’s a key point in this and I think Meyer is trying to get an idea across to her readers: even if you deem yourself ordinary, doesn’t mean that you can’t make the difference.
There is so much diversity and so much creativity in this. And nothing feels forced. Even the “love interest” isn’t forced and it isn’t rushed like most young adult books which is something I absolutely was rooting for. Nothing was instant and nothing was dramatic. It was just adorable. There is another pair I am rooting for that’s hinted at though… and I think you know which pair it is.
Nova is our main girl and she is an Anarchist, which is considered a bad group of guys to the public. She sees the Renegades as the bad guys though, and is determined to take them down for the controlling-superheroes they are. When she finally gets to see what really goes on at their headquarters though, she starts to view things a litter differently.
“One cannot be brave who has no fear.”
There are a lot of hints at a bigger plot forming. I’m really excited for the next book (I believe this is going to be a duology?) and I am hoping it goes out with a bang.
So I made a list as I read (I listened to the majority of the book so I could start first thing in the morning as I got ready for work) and then when I got the physical copy, saw they had a list of the main characters too. I decided to keep my list, since I have a few other characters that aren’t on the official list; therefore, if you don’t want to know anything about characters, don’t read on! Nothing is really a spoiler, but you might enjoy finding out about the characters yourself!
Nova Artino | Nightmare/Insomnia
She can put people to sleep with skin-to-skin contact and never sleeps herself. Her parents and baby sister were killed when she was little… and she has a giant grudge on the Renegades.
Adrian Everheart | Sentinal/Sketch
He can breathe life, or just make things real, into the things that he draws. So, if he drew headphones, he could breathe on it and the drawing would become headphones. The Renegades and The Anarchists don’t know that he is Sentinal. This is not a spoiler because you learn this in the first few chapters and is a big deal to the actual plot.
Winston Pratt | Puppeteer
He likes to put children under his spell. He can control people to do his bidding. He’s kind of creepy.
Ingrid Thompson| Detonador
Has a thing for bombs. A ‘thing’ meaning she can create explosives from the air and can be detonated whenever she feels the need to do so.
Honey Harper | Queen Bee
She has a thing for bees and wasps. I think she can control them if she wanted to. Also, this is the scariest power I have ever heard of in my life and I will never ever wish to meet or be Queen Bee.
Ruby Tucker | Red Assassin
A part of Adrian’s Renegade Team. She can bleed into jewel-like weapons. That’s super unique and really fascinates me and I want to know more. She has black and white hair.
Leroy | Cyanide
He has a thing for poisons and can create them through his skin. Seems to be a mentor to Nova.
Tamaya Rae | Thunder Bird
This is basically Storm from the X-Men universe. Which I am not mad about. I feel like every story can benefit from their own, personal storm.
Hugh Everhart | Captain Chromeon
One of the original Renegades. Adrian’s dad. He’s superman minus the kryptonite and plus the ability to generate chromium weaponry.
Simon Westwood | The Dread Warden
One of the original Renegades. Adrian’s other dad. He can turn invisible.
Georgia Rawles | Lady Indomitable
Adrian’s mother. An Original Renegade. She was killed when Adrian was little.
Uncle Ace | Ace Anarchy
Nova’s uncle, the leader of The Anarchists. He’s a telepath.
Genissa Clark | Frostbite
She has transparent skin (so you can see the veins underneath) and she can use ice. She is in charge of her own group at Renegades, but her team doesn’t seem to be liked very much.
____ | Aftershock
He creates earthquakes.
____ | Sting Ray
Not much was said besides he moves really smoothly, has a barbed tail and has beady-eyes. Doesn’t sound like someone who enjoys the sun.
____ | The Gargoyle
Skin can change into solid stone and he’s a giant.
? | Phobia
No one knows his given name. Has a thing for shadows. Do I sense a little Darkling? He seems to be able to tell things about people without them saying a thing.
Millie | A Member of the Ghouls
Psychometry: the ability to discover facts about an event or person by touching inanimate objects associated with them (The Diviners, anyone?). She’s a hoarder.
Gene Crowen | The Librarían
Basically has a photographic memory, but for words. He has a granddaughter that has an amazing power that reminds me of parts of Harry Potter!
Kasumi Hasegawa | Tsunami
Can manipúlate and generate wáter.
Oscar Silva | Smokescreen
A part of Adrian’s Renegade Team. Can make fog/Smoke/basically obscure your vision. He’s a cripple with a witty tongue. Also, he’s my favorite.
Maggie | Magpie
Sticky-fingers. She’s good at stealing.
Dana Bell | Monarch
A part of Adrian’s Renegade Team. She can fall into a bunch of butterflies. She is good at surveillance. Oh, and she has some killer dreads.
Max | The Bandit
He’s dangerous… and valuable. And adorable, can I hug him?
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“Paper beats Rock” the biggest burn in Renegade history.
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ILOVETHISBOOKTAKEMYMONEY! My nerdy-heart is so happy right now.
I’m going to try and collectively get all the character’s names/alter-ego name/and powers down in a list. And help is welcome! (:
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WHOOPS I started this book first thing this morning and might be debating calling into work.
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I LOVED THIS BOOK SO MUCH. So fun so complex so interesting – a must read!! Check out my video review!: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=veujV...
Other than the epic superheroes, what intrigues me most about Renegades is that it focuses on the concept of anarchy, which appears to be lacking in YA despite the abundance of dystopian/futuristic novels already on the market. The history of the time of anarchy combined with active anarchists in the present story made it very unique in that manner. I clearly don’t agree with total anarchy, but the state of the world before and after that period is truly fascinating and leads to a variety of moral questions to toy with while reading.
Although there is an influx of superhero content in the entertainment world as of late, I still feel as if Renegades stands on its own. I’m not a Marvel/DC fan in the slightest and superhero films/comic books are not my thing, but the dynamics of the prodigies vs. the Renegades vs. the Anarchists vs. the public were too fascinating for me to scoff at. The powers of prodigies vary from invulnerability and elemental manipulation to the ability to make origami come to life – the variety in terms of powers and standards created by both the superheroes and the public was very interesting to me. I found all the abilities to be well-though-out consistent, and the increase in scope of powers to be extremely well done. I definitely feel this novel would appeal to non-superhero fans who are still intrigued by the concept of supernatural abilities.
I LOVED the characters in this story. For a SFF YA novel, we have a very diverse cast which I was super pleased with! One of our main characters is Italian/Filipina, and the other is described as having “brown skin”; Additionally, one of them comes from a household with two dads and another superhero side character is disabled (walks with a cane & his superpower has nothing to do with his disability!) Nova is fierce, resourceful, brave, and confident – I truly enjoyed reading from her perspective. Adrian is also brave and intent on justice, but I feel we see more of his soft side as the story progresses. I found most of characters to be interesting and complex.
I REALLY enjoyed the slight romance in this story, more than I have regarding YA books in a while. It is the definition of slow burn, and even by the ending, romantic feelings are only just developing. The story is definitely centered on the dynamics between Renegades and Anarchists, with romance being one of the least important parts of the plot in my opinion. It’s the type of relationship where the flirtations and growth of feelings are only just beginning to brew, but you still REALLY want to root for the characters to be together.
Overall, Renegades was a fantastic read (and a fantastic audiobook!) I would absolutely recommend this read, particularly to those interested in SFF, supernatural powers, complex moral issues, and unbelievable twists. This one is definitely on my list of auto-recommends!
I’ve got like, 2 feelings (maybe 2.5) about this book and not all of them are good.
I'm trying to come to terms with the possibility that I will never form a meaningful emotional connection with a Marissa Meyer book like I did with The Lunar Chronicles. It's like my heart closes for maintenance when it comes to anything else written by her. I don't know. There must have been a dimensional hiccup in the timeline. How else could I go from being unambiguously and obsessively 100% full scale high key addicted to her books to just.... being a casual fan??
Aaaaad here's why:
✨ THE ‘MEH’ FACTOR:
Renegades was one big conglomerate of timeworn clichés and hackneyed superhero tropes. Which would have gotten me so pumped - like who cares?? it’s time to read about overthrowing the government and burning the patriarchy to the ground and also the concept of 'complete strangers turned found family' would have been enough to sustain me IF at least the MCs managed to scratch a line into my heart. But they didn't. I don't dislike them really, I'm just like “meh ok do your thing in your corner”.
The rest of characers had so much potential yet they eventually became a distant memory. They kind of just existed in the nook of the MCs', like some ghosts of goodwill. No witty banter to make them stand out or anything. Actually, there were like two characters that would’ve made this book better and none of them were given enough backstory or enough page time so.
Honestly, I think the main problem is that when I think about this book…I don’t feel anything. My mind just blanks and all I feel is hollow wind blowing through my skull because it's just kind of there... trying so hard but failing to leave even the most basic impression upon my psyche. Yes, it was fun to read for a couple of pages but the love just isn’t there. Swipe left.
✨ IT WAS TEXTBOOK KIND OF LONG
One of the biggest disconnects from this book is how much pages it took. You could shrink up at least 40% of it into a little nice blot. Instead, it was too long and too introductory and I kept losing track of the story after 10 consecutive pages of redundant descriptions!!!
And quite franky, I was just bored. I couldn't read a couple of pages without also being on my phone, watching vine compilations!!!
✨ C FOR CLICHE?
I really wish there was a camera following me around 24/7 so whenever something completely predictable and unoriginal happened, I could look directly into the camera like in The Office. I'm just saying now, why try and bring back every superhero trope there is. They’ve had their time!!
• This is your painfully typical Supervillains vs Superheroes story. The Anarchists are the supervillains in this case, and of course like any other superhero comic/book/movie, they're actually the ones with a vision for the world. The Anarchists are trying to change things for all prodigies, fight their oppressors and for once give them a choice. The Renegades are resisting that change and their only goal seem to be stoping the villains from reaching their goals. And if you think really hard about it, the ^villains^ always make more sense in doing what they did.
• Overused & generic tragic backstories. I mean, of course it’s not a superhero novel without a few sob stories. Honestly, what these kids need is extensive sessions of therapy so they can unload their heavy emotional baggage.
• Cheesy villainous dialogue that only gives the superheroes a chance to turn the tables.... except of course they never do. But god, the monologues were so cringy I eyerolled into another dimension. LESS TALKING AND MORE FIGHTING. Wow. Way to sound disturbed!!
• Secret identities. Duh. At least, it would’ve been much better if their secret identities was actually secret, so the readers have to try and figure it out. But whatever.
What's absolutely unrefined WILD to me, however, is that no one, NOT ONE SINGLE CHARACTER, was able to come across two brain cells to rub together and figure out that Adrian was the Sentinel and that Nova was Nightmare. The fact that Adrian & Nova suddenly disappear EVERY TIME their alter egos show up is the equivalent of venomous animals being bright orange. Imagine 'HEY WE HAVE SECRET IDENTITIES" written in sixty stores high letters and there's a bone fire in the middle....that's how obvious it was!! (that’s not a spoiler by the way, we are told from like, page one.)
• The plot twists were so...anticlimactic? I would have loved to be passionate and react but when it all played out, I went like [monotone voice] wow ok. Like, you know in the metamorphosis, when gregor wakes up and instead of freaking out because holy! shit! he’s a bug, he’s just like “I really cannot deal with this right now”. That was me after every single reveal.
Anyway tbh, at this point, I'm more interested in reading about the insurance adjuster who arrives to assess damage after superhero fights and starts an investigation to uncover their real identities and hold them accountable for all the property damage they've caused.
✨ THE ROMANCE
This is a public service announcement: I do not care one single bit about the romance in this book. Get it away from me. Do not touch me with their romantic sentiment. I'm not even going to give a valid reason, it's just the good ol' unwarranted dislike. They annoy me and that's the end of it. Actually, I just have so much beef with the concept of 'having to ship off all your main characters into clichéd hetero relationships'. Their banter was the equivalent of slightly stale piece of bread. THEY DONT EVEN LIKE EACH OTHER OR EVEN HAVE FUN TOGETHER. JESUS. NEXT.
✨ POSITIVE NOTES
Okay here's what I liked (yeah yeah I'm not completely a swamp goblin.........For the most part.........Okay fine, I’m an asshole.)
Nova is half Filipino. Adrian has two supportive and happily married dads. Oscar has a rare bone disease that rendered him disabled.
Max is a 10 years old kid with a mysterious and highly dangerous superpower. He's been put in quarantine because of the aformentioned superpower but can we please take a minute of our time to appreciate what a pure source of light and warmth he is?? anyway, I wish I had big tender wings to protect him, he's the only reason I didn't dnf this book tbh.
Now. Will I be reading the next books in this series? I probably will. Idk, Marissa Meyer's books are like an estranged aunt who keeps buying me christmas presents that don’t quite fit my interests but I have to be grateful she’s there for the holiday ¯\_(ツ)_/¯