Book Talk: Renegades by Marissa Meyer

I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Book Talk: Renegades by Marissa MeyerRenegades by Marissa Meyer
Series: Renegades #1
Published by Feiwel & Friends on November 7, 2017
Genres: Science Fiction
Pages: 552
Source: Publisher
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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, though only recently released, has already been divisive. Everyone I know who has read it has given it either two or four stars. It seems to be one of those books that’s either a hit or a miss. Based on what I’d heard about it, I thought I’d be on the miss side, but I’m happy to have ended up on the hit side. Renegades may not have the magic of The Lunar Chronicles, but on the whole I thought it was a well done and engaging superhero story.

The length of this book does present a bit of a problem. In no way did it actually need to be 550 pages long. Through about the first 150 pages and the last 200, I was engaged in the story, but in the middle I got a bit bored at times. If Meyer weren’t already a proven bestseller, I suspect they would have worked harder to trim this story down a bit more, and that would have been benefited it, because that middle section is going to lose people.

The characters I do like, but they could use more development for sure. Nova and Adrian are pretty well-developed, but the rest of the cast remains very surface level, which is a shame, because there’s a lot of potential in Adrian’s Renegade team. There’s so much detail on the world building but not much banter, which is really what pulled everything together in The Lunar Chronicles. That said, there’s some nice diverse rep in this cast and Adrian has two dads, who are the top superheroes and also adorable together. I simultaneously want way more of Renegades and way less; there are so many words on so many pages but somehow there’s very little time spent on dialog or characterization.

All that sounds highly critical, but I really like the foundation here. The world building works and Meyer does manage to bring some original things to the superhero table. I’m particularly impressed by the usage of Sketch’s power. It’s also pretty awesome that Nova’s power actually isn’t all that “super.” Both have solid internal conflicts that should develop into some serious complications. It’s also nice that, though they’re attracted to each other, Nova made an intentional choice not to start something given the fact that she’s actually a spy, which is the sort of wise and realistic choice fictional characters usually don’t make.

Renegades didn’t live up to my hopes (basically that it would be as good as TLC), but it was quite good. I’ll absolutely be back for book two. That seems to be a somewhat unpopular opinion, but *shrugs* I was hooked from fairly early in the reading process and I’m happy to return for book two. I’m thrilled I loved it because I absolutely do want to display that book cover.

Tl;dr – Review in a GIFfy:


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