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.
“One cannot be brave who has no fear.”
I’m finally reviewing Renegades after reading it back in June! I have not screamed enough about how good this is so here we go. Renegades was just as amazing as I hoped it would be! After reading Marissa Meyer’s Lunar Chronicles, I hoped that I would enjoy her new Series as much and obviously I did. I’m very glad as there were some mixed Reviews as well. For me, Renegades was a total hit and made me super excited for the rest of the Trilogy (it was expanded, god bless). I will be doing a bit more creative Review, I took the pictures & name of the abilities from here and the front of the book which has a character list!
The Superpowers of Renegades …
ARTWORK GENESIS – Ability to bring artwork/drawings to life
“WE WERE ALL VILLAINS in the beginning.” This is obviously a superpower when it comes to Marissa Meyer’s Worldbuilding! I normally don’t love superheroes as much, but Renegades totally sold me on them and made me want to seek out similar books! I love the world of the prodigies and the history that we got to see, from them being hunted to the Age of Anarchy and then the present with the Renegades and the victory of Captain Chromium. We saw a bunch of unique powers in action and I really like how a lot of the characters had powers that you normally don’t see like how Ruby’s blood crystallizes into weapons – how cool is that? Adrian can literally bring everything he draws to life, which is AMAZING and honestly, I wish I could do that too! Nova does not sleep, ever, which sounds cool at first, but honestly? I need my sleep to wind down for a while. I feel like there is even more left to explore, not only the secrets that Renegades hide in their headquarters, but also more superpowers and maybe even people from different countries! The world seemed genuine to me and there is so much more waiting for us in the next two books!
INVINCIBILITY – Ability to be abnormally strong + invincible
“There are many dangerous people in this world. but there are also many good people. Brave people. No matter how bad things get, we have to remember that. So long as there are heroes in this world, there’s hope that tomorrow night might be better.” I have to say that the Characters are remarkable, strong, complex and absolutely what made me so invested in the story. I adore them so much, which is always a good sign, because it means I care about them and therefore the story itself. First off we have my soft boy Adrian, who gets his own perspective. I love him so much! Adrian is a pure Hufflepuff and he is so kind it bursts my heart. He is the kind of person that you want to be friends with, because he is always considerate, warm and friendly. Now he has had a mainly good life, growing up as the adoptive son of two of the greatest Renegades that ended the Age of Anarchy. That would be Simon and Hugh, yes he has two dads who have gladly adopted him and his younger ‘brother’ Max. I adored their family dynamic, it was so pure and heartfelt, because they all love each other so much. Adrian is trying everything he can to make Max feel better, because he has to be confined and cannot go outside. For all the fault his parents have, they truly love him. That might be why he is so kind, he grew up very loved and is very loyal to those closest to him. But he also makes mistakes of course and sometimes his efforts backfire on him, which make Adrian feel incredibly guilty. The second character who gets a perspective is Nova, my sharp Slytherin Girl. In contrast to Adrian she had a very rough life. Her family was murdered and her only living relative is the Big Bad Ace Anarchy, who was killed and defeated, ending the Age of Anarchy. Therefore, she harbors a lot of resentment for the Renegades and is fuelled by the want to get revenge on those who failed to save her family. Nova is not someone who is warm and fuzzy like Adrian, she has hardened and is tough as nails. She is very ambitious and definitely struggles with harboring a lot of negative feelings, but also not being ready to quite become the killer the Anarchists thought she would become. She was disappointed by the Renegades a lot, but now she comes to see that not all of them are as bad as she thought, which puts Nova in a difficult position. She tries to stay hidden and pull the Renegades off her trail by taking in a new identity, but it remains to be seen how that turns out.
Then there are all the other amazing characters. We have Ruby and Oscar, Adrian’s teammates who are also his best friends. Ruby is such an easy character to like, she is obsessed with snacks (me too), easy-going and headstrong. Her ability is also amazing and I want Nova and her to be best friends, thank you very much. Oscar is your typical prankster, he is humorous, takes not a lot seriously and often gets scolded for being up to no good. He also loves food and I love me some food appreciation. Danna is technically also in Adrian’s Team, but sadly she is injured very early on so we don’t see her in many scenes. I really hope to get to know her better in the next books! Team Anarchist has several characters, who have become Nova’s family. First there is Winston, my favorite character of the Anarchists. He has the creepy ability of possession and is not seen too many times, as he gets himself into trouble. But I adore him, because he is awkward and I feel like a big softie inside. People often see him as impulsive and even “crazy”. However, we discover that Nova and he used to be friends, he would often spend time with her as she does not sleep and keep her company to entertain her and make her feel less alone. MY HEART UGHHHH. Then there is Leroy, who can literally produce poison from his skin. He is basically like Nova’s big brother/surrogate dad, come on … he truly seems to care for her! Phobia is beyond creepy, he does not even have a name, or at least no one knows it and he literally can sense and turn into people’s fears. I don’t trust him, at all. Ingrid is the most impulsive of the Renegades and things with Nova and her start to go sideways, it doesn’t help that she can detonate bombs at will. Last is Honey, who controls bees and wasps and all that! She often seems a bit hysterical, but don’t mess with her unless you intend to get stung by her bees!
METAMORPHOSIS – Ability to turn into a swam of butterflies
“First,” said Adrian, “you missed a sprinkle.” He reached out and brushed a thumb across the corner of Nova’s mouth. She froze, the touch sending a quiver through her insides. When he pulled back, a small orange sprinkle was resting on the pad of his thumb, which he popped into his mouth, eyes teasing.” Oh my god the romance, someone save my feelings. Before I start screaming about Nova and Adrian, a quick shout out to Ruby and Oscar who were super cute together! It’s that thing were they are friends, but totally in denial about having feelings for each other when it’s painfully obvious to everyone else. They were super adorable together, if one of them gets hurt, I will scream! Now that that’s settled on to my precious children. Nova and Adrian omg, they took slow burn enemies to lovers to a whole new levels!! They are on different sides of the conflict and when Nova infiltrates their group she constantly has to hide who she is. However, Adrian is very welcoming and nice when she is a bit more withdrawn. Think Soft Hufflepuff Boy and Cunning Slytherin Girl, this is becoming my new favorite pair to ship. Adrian is just SO soft, he tries to bring her a sandwich when she is on night patrol in case she gets hungry …. 💗💗💗💗💗. my sOFT BOY. Before this turns into more hearts and incoherent rambling, let’s just say that he is the sweetest. He is very concerned for her, always trying to make her feel at hom and just so genuine, that it breaks me heart. Nova pretends to be totally not into it … expect that she has a very soft sport for him that she pretends does not exist. These two will be the death of me, I just want them to kiss okay???
FRIGHT / SHADOW CONTROL – Ability to transform into other’s fears
“There was the potential for evil everywhere, and the only way to combat it was if more people chose goodness.” What I loved most about Renegades was the discussion of good vs. evil. I love nothing more then morally grey characters and when books play with contrasts. The Renegades are presented as good, but early on I actually found myself rooting AGAINST them, because a bunch of them were very arrogant and cruel towards Nova and her crew, they delighted in being mean and condescending. However, there are also a lot of good people with the Renegades like Adrian and his Team. Still while the Renegades are framed as the heroes, some ugly secrets come out towards the end of the book. There were warning signs beforehand, like the competition of prodigies to be able to join the Renegades and how it was only about spectacular powers getting recognized. On the other side, the Anarchists have lost their previous battle and are now the bad guys shunned from society, hiding in the underground. I actually rooted for them, because we see Nova, her life and therefore see a good side of the ‘bad guys’. We see how they are a family and took Nova in. Then there is Nova herself with all her bad past that explains why she hates the Renegades so much. Howver, the Anarchists are not harmless sheep, they are willing to hurt, harm and kill no matter how much good we see about them, there is also a LOT of bad a well. The next books are surely going to get super interesting, as we see Nova struggle between good and bad, as well as Adrian, when he finds out what the Renegades had been hiding.
EXPLOSIVES – Ability to create explosives and detonate them at will
“Heroism wasn’t about what you could do, it was about what you did. It was about who you saved when they needed saving.” This is quite a long book, but I really enjoyed the Plotline and never felt like it dragged. On the contrary I wanted even more and would have read a hundred more pages, that’s how much I loved the book! Now I have to say that this is a very character-driven book, at least in my opinion. If you are expecting a more fast-paced even more action-driven story, you might not be 100% satisfied with this. I definitely thought that there was a lot of interesting plot and action, but the focus was also a lot on the characters and their interactions. I thought that there were quite a lot of great twists and turns of the story, especially in the very end. The end opens up a whole lot of new questions, things are sure to get interesting in the future. I also have a lot of theories about who killed Adrian’s mother!
IN CONCLUSION: Renegades was just as good as I hoped it would be. If you love superheroes, this is the book for you! It had lots of cool, unique powers with great, complex characters who totally stole my heart and made me super invested in the story! We get some great discussions about good vs. evil and there is a lot of complexity and secrets that make the next 2 books a rollercoaster ride for sure!
Have you read Renegades? Do you like books about superpowers?