Book Review: Renegades by Marissa Meyer

Overall rating: 3/5
Readability rating: 4/5
Character rating: 3/5
Plot rating: 2/5
Cover rating: 4/5
Would I recommend: I would recommend this if you like Marissa Meyer novels. Everyone else might just be disappointed

Goodread Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult, Science Fiction

Perfect for: I would definitely recommend this to anyone who loves Marissa Meyer but other than that. It doesn’t hold much water. I wouldn’t recommend it.

Book Synopsis: “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.” – Goodreads Synopsis

Spoiler-free review:

Nova was literally the only name I would give myself when I played superheros as a kid. It was mildly jarring to see it so many times in the pages…and a supervillain at that.

The story was quick even if oddly paced. Marissa Meyer has a way of keeping you in the story and as always, weaves a fantastic tale that’s colorful and detailed. I liked most of the characters. There’s a lot to remember, however, but that seems to be the way she writes. The Lunar Chronicles had piles and piles of characters, but she has a knack at making most of the characters unique. I think that’s where most of her storytelling is in: characters. This time, she did fall flat on a few. Mostly the “adult” characters seem to be dull and lifeless.

The really disappointing part is that this book felt too much like a set up for the second. I usually forgive second books for having that feeling, but this is the first one. It is not a complete story and really requires the second novel to help tie up loose ends. That’s an absolute pet peeve of mine.

The last few chapters drop a lot of information on you at once, leaving everything as a cliff hanger. That being said, I love her writing style and character creation so I’ll definitely be picking up the next book.

Spoiler review:

Nova is a superhero. I don’t care how many times Marissa Meyers tries to play with the ambiguity of the situation, Nova is good.

I have a feeling the council, on the other hand, isn’t. It feels too much like modern day politics where even the good guys in power aren’t always that good. Maybe not by their own free will. Maybe they just shouldn’t be in charge. And definitely, they are the worst written part of this book. I didn’t care a lick about any of the council or the “adults” in the novel. There’s too many to care about, and Meyers fell down on the job with trying to make them unique.

She was exquisite with Nova, Adrian, Oscar, Ruby and Max. Everyone else I didn’t give a crap about which I suppose I was fine with. I felt that most of the characters were just there to make the reader and Nova nervous. The more people that she interacted with the bigger the chance of her being caught.

Caught in a lie that is just…kinda garbage. Her power is to make people fall asleep and have nightmares. And her “fake” power is that she never sleeps. I don’t feel like it was fully explained before she announced that never sleeping was her power at the trials. I thought that was 100% a fake power that was going to be very hard to hide, but no. She just doesn’t sleep anymore. It was a let down. She’s not very super or powerful. Every idea you had about superheros is lost on her. I do think that was the point, but I still wanted something a bit more.

I loved Adrian. I loved his secret ability to draw his own power. I was extremely interested in everything to do with Max and I was disappointed with how little I learned.

Ultimately, this story was the longest character introduction ever which I hate. First books need to tell me a story and finish most of that story, not give me a bunch of cliffhanger bits. Like what actually happened to Nova’s uncle? What about Adrian’s mom? Did Max secretly kill Adrian’s mom because he absorbs powers? Was it one of the Renegades using Max? Will Max now know Nova’s secret because he’s new power? (Max’s whole story sounds like a villain backstory. I mean, how can a kid allow people to constantly use him in experiments NOT turn evil.)

I wanted so much more from this novel because I loved the Lunar Chronicles. And I think that’s what’s inflating my final rating. This is a 2 star book, but the potential, the writing style, and the main characters bump it up to 3. I am hoping for so much more with the next one.

Hopefully it’s not as long. Or hopefully the first 10 to 15 chapters won’t be useless filler.

Marissa Meyer I love you. Please don’t let me down in the next book.

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