I wasn’t really sure what to expect when I first picked up Renegades (Renegades, #1) by Marissa Meyer. I had been super excited for it, ever since I first heard about it. However, after the first reviews came trickling in, it seemed to get much more mixed reviews than what I was expecting. Unfortunately, this led me to putting off reading this one… HOW COULD I BE SO DUMB?!
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.
I’ve always enjoyed Meyer’s writing style. It’s not fancy or overtly pretentious, just very normal, almost as if you she was telling you the story face-to-face. Some prefer very flowery language, and while that works for certain stories, I usually enjoy a more straightforward style like what Meyer uses. What you read is what you get and for a superhero story like this one, it works perfectly.
Some might find the plot of this story a little cliché, but I didn’t feel that way. I loved how the viewpoints shifted back and forth between the “villain” and the “hero”. Meyer did a great job of showing the nuances of good vs. evil. This really made the world seem more realistic, rather than just another fictitious world where the good guys always win and bad guys always lose. I appreciated that it was so much more morally grey than that. These villains had real backstories and motivations for their actions that made you want to side with them, while even the good guys failed to always do the right thing. Why can’t more stories get it right like this one?!
Now for my sweet baby characters…. they’re just precious, honestly. Nova is an Anarchist, having spent her life preparing for the day where she’ll be able to take down the Renegades and get freedom for all prodigies. She’s feisty, tough, and an all-around badass female MC. I loved her interactions with the Renegades, as while you could tell she was trying to be all tough, she was also a little awkward and vulnerable. I liked how that really came across to the reader. Then there’s our other MC, Adrian. He’s the sweetheart of the story, always trying to do the right thing and take care of everyone else. My favorite scenes of his were when he would spend time with Max. You could just tell he’s the type of guy that you can always count on whenever you need him. Honestly, I wish he was real so we could be best friends. I mean, I wouldn’t mind him drawing me stuff all of the time either… BONUS POINTS! Also, for all of the minor characters each have such distinct personalities, that you never have to worry about trying to remember who is who. Meyer has created a cast of characters that you will love!
I think the only minor complaint of this book is that it does tend to drag a bit in the middle. I know there’s a reason it’s so long, so that you have plenty of time to really get to know the characters and learn about their personal stories. But it did seem to get a little tedious towards the middle for a bit before it finally picked up steam. Luckily, the ending more than made up for that! Because that ending had me like, WTF IS HAPPENING?!?! Seriously, if you love cliffhangers as much as I do then you’ll appreciate this one. I didn’t see it coming at all and I am living until the next book comes out… Shit’s about to hit the fan, y’all.
Final Verdict: 5/5 Stars
Have you read Renegades? If so, what did you think about it? Which side are you currently on – Renegades or Anarchists? Were you as surprised by that ending as I was?