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.
I think I expected far too much from Renegades.
A couple of years ago I read Marissa Meyer’s first series, Cinder and apparently, I really enjoyed it. As the books went on, I started to see a style of writing that I’ve been vocal about with other books before and it was the same with Renegades. When a story is all about the telling rather than showing, I find myself getting really bored. My eyes glaze over at the long passages trying to vividly depict what a place looks like. But it’s so much, it’s so detailed, that I end up not concentrating; we’ve got to have some things left up to our imagination, and going to extreme detail about how a room or an object looks is so difficult for me to understand that I’d rather you give a brief description and my brain can think up the rest. I understand that if it’s a new concept, or a description of something that doesn’t exist in real life, then OK.
But like…a fancy gun? You don’t have to go into detail about what this gun looks like; my mind knows what a gun is. Chill.
Thankfully, not everything was described in painful detail, otherwise I would have DNF’d this book so quickly. I can’t believe I even got through it considering the size, or at least the size I perceived it to be.
I think what I struggled with most in Renegades was the difficulty figuring out what the plot was going to be – or at least the whole message of it all. At the beginning, it was clear that good people do bad things, bad people are capable of good. We are all in the grey area. As the story is told partly from the perspective of a villain, we got a real sense of humanity from her and her fellow villains. They were just trying to live their lives and, if anything, were fighting against the oppressors.
We also saw superheroes entrap, bully, and falsely arrest people because they considered themselves superior. However, as the story progressed, that message disappeared, and it went back to the standard “superheroes are good, villains are bad” message. I don’t know if Meyer just dropped the message because she felt like it didn’t work, or maybe that wasn’t the idea in the first place and I made it up? But I swear, it was clear as day until 40% in.
This fed into what I thought this book would be like; a teenage version of Watchmen. While Watchmen is full of messages and meanings, one of the biggest ones is who watches the watchmen? Who monitors the people who monitor us? No one. The superheroes in Watchmen and in Renegades have no authoritative power over them like the public does. The public adore them to the point that they’re considered gods, icons. But when they mess up, when they skirt the rules, who brings them to justice?
In that case, I thought Renegades would be a little grittier, but it wasn’t. It’s a very light hearted book (despite that kick-ass cover) that…I should have expected from Marissa Meyer. There was cheesy dialogue, forced romance, and characters doing 180s constantly. These 3 stars are purely for the action scenes which I actually enjoyed.
The cover for Arch-Enemies looks gorgeous but…must…RESIST.
Publisher: Macmillan/Feiwel and Friends
Publication Date: Novemeber 2017
Rating: ☆ ☆ ☆