Archenemies is the second book in the Renegades series by Marissa Meyer. The author introduced readers to the world of Gatlon City in Renegades, a world in which there are super-powered people much like the X-Men. There was a time when some of those people with powers ruled the city and it was considered a time of fear and anarchy, but another group of powered people called the Renegades rose up and defeated the oppressor. Suddenly, it is the Renegades who are in charge of Gatlon City and for a decade they rule with laws and justice – but the world isn’t as black and white as that.
The author does a fantastic job of making the Renegades, who could be seen as inherently good, and the Anarchists, who could be seen as inherently bad, as flawed parties who both have positive and negative traits, and neither of which is entirely right. You struggle to side with one group over the other, because they both have points and they are dimensional groups. I love that aspect of it and how she is able to sow doubt in the reader’s mind.
Our two main characters are still Adrian and Nova, both of which I love as characters. They both complement and contradict one another, which gives the readers a really interesting dynamic. I really enjoy how much Nova struggles between who she was brought up to be and her realizations that the world isn’t as black and white as she first thought. There are a lot of ‘coming of age’ and self-reflection moments that give her character a lot of depth and dimension. I still love Adrian’s character who is kind without being boring, although sometimes his inner monologues about the Sentinel became repetitive.
While Renegades was much more plot-driven and full of action, Archenemies focuses more on the political development and intricacies of the world, as well as character development. I really enjoy a book that is a balance of world building, character development, and plot or action points – but I appreciate the need to focus on one more than the others for each of the two books that she had written so far.
As this is the second book in the series, there isn’t much more to say that won’t spoil the events of the first book. I do really enjoy this series and would highly recommend it.