Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Renegades by Marissa Meyer Review

Title: Renegades
Author: Marissa Meyer
Age Group: Teen/Young Adult
Genre: Urban Fantasy/Science Fiction
Series: Renegades, book one
Star Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars

I borrowed this book from my local library and reviewed it.

I’ll be honest: I read Marissa Meyer’s debut novel, Cinder, and it was just okay. Wasn’t spectacular, but it wasn’t all out bad, either. I didn’t finish the series, mostly because the first book didn’t hold my attention. But when I found out that she was writing a new series debut, this time in a broken world ruled by prodigies (a.k.a., superheroes), I was excited. I reserved it at my library and it’s been sitting in my stack for a while now; I didn’t have any more renewals on it, and I was really looking forward to it, so I pushed it to the top of my stack. And honestly, I’m really glad I did. Marissa Meyer really won me over with this new series, full of characters that I was openly rooting for. I also really enjoyed the way that Meyer took a classic story trope—superheroes—and steered it toward the themes of justice, revenge, personal freedom, and good and evil, as well as the distinction between the two. Renegades has become of my favorite books of 2017, and I can’t wait to see what comes next in this hard-hitting, original new duology!

Nova Artino is a girl who was raised by The Anarchists, a powerful supervillain group back before the second ‘golden age’ of superheroes was ushered in by the death of the head of the group, Nova’s uncle. Heartbroken because The Renegades didn’t come and save her family when it mattered most, she vows for revenge, and when she sees an opportunity to infiltrate the organization from the inside, she seizes it, rechristening herself Insomnia and hiding her power to put people to sleep. But as sticky as things already are, they get even more complicated when she meets Adrian, a Renegade in training with more than a few secrets of his own. Drawn to one another in spite of their circumstances, Nova and Adrian must decide what sides of the prodigy war they are on, or risk losing everything they know and love, including each other…

I really, really liked this book, especially in comparison to Cinder! It wasn’t bad, but as far as her fairy tale retellings go, I much prefer her Alice in Wonderland retelling, Heartless. But Renegades has taken the spot of my favorite of her novels yet. First of all: superheroes. As someone who grew up on a steady diet of fairy tales, comics, and myths, it’s yet another form of literary crack for me. I also really liked the themes that went into this book: revenge, moral gray areas, first love, the meaning of good and evil, self-reliance and freedom. I couldn’t give this four stars, though, because at times the moral dilemmas of the characters tended to cloud the plot, and sometimes Nova came off as a little preachy. But even more than that, I loved the pacing, the writing style; I was immediately drawn into this futuristic world where prodigies rule, normal humans crushed beneath mighty fists, even benevolent ones. I couldn’t break away, not even mentally. I was absolutely enthralled, and the characters, Nova, in particular, were what made me really love the book. I also adored the chemistry between she and Adrian, as star-crossed as it all was. And that ending! Oh my gosh, how in the world am I supposed to make it to November to read the sequel! Ugh, I’m dying here! The bottom line: The best book from literary darling Marissa Meyer yet, I loved Renegades, and I can’t wait for the sequel! Next on deck: The Cruel Prince by Holly Black!

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