“After all, one cannot be brave who has no fear.”
I’d like to preface this by saying despite the four star rating, I do still recommend it. Since the book is not out yet, I don’t want to spoil too much, so I’ll keep this spoiler free.
Nova is the niece of one the the greatest villains of all time, Ace Anarchy. She grew up as part of the Anarchists, a group of super villains. She has recently become a villain herself, Nightmare, with the ability to put anyone to sleep with a touch. After a botched assassination attempt on Captain Chromium, the Anarchists decide to send her to spy in the Renegades. While there, she joins the team of Sketch, the son of two of the members of the Renegade council. Meanwhile, there is a new prodigy on the streets, calling himself Sentinel, who seems to have more powers than any other hero around and ambiguous loyalties.
This is a hard one to rate, partially because so much of the plot seems to be similar to Steelheart by Branden Sanderson. I loved Steelheart and have trouble not seeing similarities when I read the books. That said, Marissa Meyer does put us in the head of the “villain” of the story, so that’s an interesting twist.
I did love Renegades for its inclusivity. Adrian has two dads, there are super heroes with disabilities, and plenty of people of different cultures make an appearance. However, the issues that I have are mostly due to pacing. While there was a decent amount of world-building, the character development was slow and so much of the book was Nova going on various tours or getting introduced to the world of the Renegades. This is a problem the second book will (hopefully) not have. Also the book relies on one of the oldest tropes around – the hidden identity trope. Adrian spends the book looking for Nightmare (Nova) and Nova is trying to figure out who the Sentinel (Adrian) is. While I understand that they don’t necessarily trust each other, it is still a bit frustrating.
The book leaves us with plenty of unanswered questions about the world and the deeper conspiracies that may be playing out, and I do look forward to seeing more of it. Hopefully some of the side characters – Oscar especially, also get some more screen time.
Recommended for fans of:
Super hero comics, Steelheart, Marissa Meyer