My rating: 5 of 5 stars
I am absolutely in love with the book and wish that I didn’t have to wait another year to find out what happens. Unlike Marissa Meyer’s Lunar Chronicles series, I feel that Renegades is not a series that is as universal a read. The Lunar Chronicles effortlessly blends science fiction with a fairytale retelling and I feel can draw people in even if they don’t normally read either of those two. Renegades on the other hand is definitely a superhero story, with fantastic characters and an intriguing plot – but, if you’re not a fan of superheroes then you’re not as likely to fall in love with this book.
I personally love superheroes, I read comics and can completely see the similarities to the X-Men in this novel. The gifted in this novel are called prodigies and have such amazing (and unique) powers. My personal favourite was Adrian, who had the ability to draw and make his art come to life. Even if you’re not super familiar with powers in comics, you’ll not be surprised by invincibility or flight. That’s why Adrian’s ability was so fascinating to me. It was wholly different from the powers I’ve grown to know and infinitely more surprising because of how versatile it is.
I also really enjoyed that the book wasn’t black and white, good and evil, right and wrong. Meyer did a brilliant job illustrating the nuances so that as a reader you could see both sides of the coin. Neither was completely the one that you wanted to root for, as they were all real, flawed people. Even Nova, who I didn’t completely connect with at the beginning of the book, grew over time and learned to think more openly. I ended up liking her a lot more, and love reading the struggle she went through throughout the entire book as it helped her develop as a character.
The main characters in this story definitely felt more real than the supporting ones, but I still feel that everyone was fleshed out. I never had those moments when I couldn’t remember who was who, which can happen with a large cast of characters (especially when they have both real names and aliases). Meyer allowed people to form a connection with almost all of her characters, no matter how many pages she dedicated to them. I think that is definitely where this book shone.
I’ve always loved Marissa Meyer’s ability to build a believable world that populates in your head as you read, and this is no exception. It could see Gatlon City with its heroes and villains, ordinary people, towering base of command, filthy subway tunnels and abandoned theme park buildings. I was so intrigued by the characters and the world that the storyline took more of a backseat for me. It was still fantastic, and even though the pacing of some scenes wasn’t perfect, it was a really enjoyable book.
I would highly recommend this book, especially if you like reading about superheroes (or supervillains, I won’t judge). I definitely think you’ll enjoy the book otherwise, but it might just not end up being your favourite. Who knows? You may discover that you actually love superheroes because of this book. Trust me, it’s pretty great.