Renegades follows two protagonists leading very opposite lives. One was raised among the superheroes, and believes there is no greater cause. The other was raised to hate superheroes and everything they stand for.
Nova Artino despises the Renegades, which is what the superheroes have taken to call themselves. She is the youngest member of a fallen rebel group called the Anarchists. The Anarchists stand for freedom, freedom for the prodigies-- people with powers-- but they are, for the most part, seen as the cause that threw the world into turmoil for twenty whole years. The Anarchists are the villains of the story... or so the people think. Not only does she hate the Renegades for her cause, but she also has her own personal reasons to detest them.
Meanwhile, Adrian Everhart was brought up with two of the most famous superheroes as his parents. He believes in the system with all his heart, and has always looked down upon the villains. Still, Adrian is on a mission, and the only person who can help him solve this mission is a super villain named Nightmare. The issue is, he has no idea how to find her... but she may be closer than he thinks.
Something I really enjoyed about the book was simply the diversity and uniqueness of the superpowers, especially for our main characters. Nova (Nightmare) has the power of being able to put other people to sleep & also to not need to sleep at all. Adrian (Sketch) has the superpower of bringing any drawing to life. Then you have both of their "teams." On Nova's team, there's a character with the ability to make explosives out of the gases in their air, and another who can control any type of bee and wasp. Adrian's team has a girl who can turn into monarch butterflies and a girl whose blood, when cut, turns into weapons. I mean, those are pretty uncommon powers that you don't see very often, eh?
I also love the trope of two main characters being on opposite sides-- like a relationship (friendship or romantic) that is complicated by them being low-key each other's enemies. Sorry, bad wording but you get the point-- think of Magneto and Professor X. I also love the trope of the wolf in sheep's clothing, disguise but falling for their own con a little. This book has all of that. It's so much fun to watch this sort of relationship get set up over the course of the novel-- and I look forward to seeing it to a more extreme in upcoming books.
Renegades is fun and well written-- just as you'd expect from the author of the Lunar Chronicles. (Ah THOSE ARE GOOD BOOKS!) and exciting. The plot and characters are interesting, and I really look forward to seeing where these characters and their relationships are going-- especially after the ending of the book. While the ultimate TWIST was something I suspected, there were quite a few cliches I was expecting to happen that just didn't.
Nova had to be my favorite character-- she's a badass, and also not a good guy. She's more complicated than someone just doing things to be good, she has her own reasons and motivations. She can be selfish. I love that about her. I also love her relationship with the Anarchists. While the rest of the world views them as villains, they're her family. The people that raised her, and that makes their relationship and the way I view them all the more interesting. And while I think superheroes would be awesome, I also agree with the point she's trying to make throughout the book that powers don't make heroes, and that people need to step up and be a hero when needed-- even without powers to assist them.
Also just a little side note-- the front of the book has a cast of characters, introducing each character with their allegiances and powers, which really helps to sort out who is who and what they can do-- it was something I was flipping back to frequently during the beginning of my read through.
I would give Renegades 7/10 stars, it was a really well written and fun novel. I would highly recommend to anyone who appreciates superhero stories. While there are parts that move a bit slowly, the characters and plot make up for it.
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.
Let me just say I was really disappointed in Ingrid, not the writing of Ingrid but the character's choices. Like, I really enjoyed seeing Nova with all these "totally evil" characters who were really just people fighting for something they believed in-- and they really did act like a family together, which I thought was very sweet. The way the Anarchists were connected was probably one of my favorite if not my favorite relationship of the book. They were like a family, a very dysfunctional family. And they weren't these badass bad guys, either. Queen Bee was kinda crazy, in a lovable way-- but not what you'd expect from one of the most feared beings in the world.
Ingrid really seemed like the most down to earth Anarchist and I was hoping to get a good relationship out of her and Nova, but she turned out to be super evil and back-stabby so... Yeah, no, I'm disappointed in you, Ingrid.
The big twist at the end-- that Alec was alive wasn't too much of a surprise from me. There was some very good subtle hinting towards it, and well, I was really secretly hoping in the pit of my stomach that he would be alive. I enjoyed the brief sightings we saw between Alec and Nova, and am looking forward to seeing more.
Anyway, that's really all I have to say other than I'm really looking forward to reading he next one!