Regenades by Marissa Meyer, the author best known for the bestselling Lunar Chronicles series, is the first of a triology which follows Nova, a member of the underground ‘villain’ group the Anarchists, who blames the the superhero group the Renegades for her parents and uncles murder.
When Nova was a child the city was lawless- governed by warring groups of supers, people with powers, who offer protection to citizens for money. Unfortunately the Renegades who should have been protecting her parents don’t arrive when they really need them, leaving Nova in the protection of her uncle- who just so happens to be the leader of one the biggest superhero groups- Ace Anarchy.
Fast forward 11 years and the Renegades ultimately won the battle to take over the city, and now govern. The few Anarchists who survived the battle in which Nova’s uncle lost his life to the hands of Captain Chronium, everyone’s favourite superhero, are now underground, literally, living in an abandoned subway tunnel.
But Nova, or her Anarchist alias- Nightmare, can see that underneath the facade to see that the Renegades are becoming dictators, they abuse their powers and allow no one to challenge them. Seeing no other way to stop them Nova decides to infiltrate the Renegades ranks herself to see how they can be taken down from the inside.
Adrian Everheart has grown up a Renegade- both of his dads are Renegades, in fact, his dads are Captain Chronium and Dread Warden, famous for defeating Ace Anarchy. Adrian has been experimenting with his powers when he battles Nightmare and barely wins. Obsessed with finding her again, and finding out why she uttered the same phrase as his mother’s mysterious murder, he starts a investigation into the shadowy figure.
When he meets Nova at the Renegades trials a week later will he put the pieces together, or not?
One of the most common negative comment I’ve seen on this book is that nothing happens- and obviously everyone’s opinion is valid- but I’d really like to know if we were reading the same book. SO. MUCH. HAPPENS. It took me half an hour to get that synopsis which only describes about the first 50 pages by the way, down to 300 words, I could have written an essay. I can sort of understand the argument that the characters are in the same place at the start of the book as they are at the end- but we as the reader aren’t, we’ve come so far and I really care about Adrian and Nova by the end and that’s what I feel Meyer was trying to achieve.
Meyer’s strengths in her past works have always been her characters and their relationships, and how she can make you feel connected to them. I’ve said before I feel she needs more then one book to really work up those connections, which is why I didn’t feel too connected to the characters in her standalone book Heartless. Meyer has spent this first book setting up the groundwork of these relationships, and I’m excited to see what she does next.
The plot has also been really intriguing and unique so far, I’ve never read a book with a world quite like this one before. Meyer has spent a lot of time setting up this world, which is really only as large as the city which is the backdrop of the whole book, in a way that really makes the place feel real.
I may be in the minority on this one, but I adored this book, and I can’t wait to see where this series goes next. I’ve heard that this series has been extended from a duology to a trilogy, which is also something I think is great- more space for Meyer to add to those tense relationships.
That said, this book was rather long in places where it was a little unnecessary, and the pacing did need some work.
I’m giving Renegades 4 ice creams out of 5!