As a fan of Marissa Meyer’s The Lunar Chronicles and Heartless, I knew that I had to pick up her supherohero-inspired series, Renegades. Between the fact that I’m not the biggest superhero or action fan and the mixed reviews about the trilogy (at least compared to readers’ absolute adoration of The Lunar Chronicles), I admit that I put off picking up Renegades longer than I should have. However, Renegades really reminded me why I love Marissa Meyer’s writing so much! Her stories are just so unique and different from other books, and her writing style always sucks me right in. I think it’s the balance of her unique worlds with common tropes that she executes so well.
I really think the only superhero series I’ve read outside Renegades is the DC Icons series. Renegades’ superhero system is really unique, following two rival superhero groups, the Renegades and the Anarchists. Aside from the action and relationship development between rivals, Adrian and Nova, there’s so much about politics and morals to explore within the two organizations.
Today I’ll be sharing my three mini reviews for each book in the series: Renegades, Archenemies, and Supernova. I’ve provided the official summary for Renegades, and there are labeled spoiler sections for Renegades and Supernova.
Renegades Summary (from the publisher):
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.
My Rating: 5/5 Stars
I liked Renegades from the get-go, but it took me the first one hundred and fifty pages or so to get fully invested in the story. Things really picked up once Nova decides to enter the Renegades trials. I had been reading on a Friday night the week intending to read until the 200 page mark, but found myself staying up way past my bedtime and reading until the 400 page mark instead! Nova’s entrance into the trials really gets the action going. While I loved the world-building- something I love in a lot of my favorite fantasy and action reads- I was ready for the plot to really get going.
I loved the tension between Nova’s placement as an Anarchist and as a Renegade. I wouldn’t say she really transforms as a character, but there is so much to be explored about Nova. There’s definitely more chapters from Nova’s third-person perspective than Adrian’s, but I really liked both of their perspectives. Adrian’s power was my favorite. I also really liked Nova and Adrian’s relationship. Romance is not at the book’s forefront, but I loved the growth of their (very much complicated) feelings.
I appreciated that both Nightmare and the Sentinel’s identities aren’t really revealed in this book because I think it would have been very expected. I also am in shock over the book’s ending, with the appearance of Ace. Like I said, Nova doesn’t have a new persona by the end of the book, but I cannot believe that she kept that hidden throughout. I would love to reread the book and re-analyze the way she talks about a certain someone’s death.
My Rating: 4/5 Stars
I really enjoyed Archenemies, but it really fell into middle book syndrome for me. This might’ve been partially my fault because I decided to read a 400+ page book during the last two weeks of the semester and didn’t have a lot of time to read a lot in one sitting. However, I still feel like nothing majorly climatic happened.
Archenemies again explores the morals of the Renegades, specifically if the organization is as a moral as they claim to be. The development of Agent N makes Nova and Adrian consider how they feel about the organization and their personal ethics as superheroes. Nova and Adrian feel that they must hide their identities from another yet again. I sort’ve love how this reveal hasn’t happened yet, and at the time of reading Archenemies, I really didn’t know what to expect when they do find out their superhero identities. I like the relationship development throughout Archenemies, especially when it came to the ‘ships.
My Rating: 4/5 Stars
I read Renegades and Archenemies fairly close together, but decided to take a few weeks in between before picking up Supernova. Back in December, I wasn’t in the biggest action mood and I wanted to read Supernova at a time when I would be really in the mood to read it. I’m so glad I did wait because Marissa Meyer created a conclusion with plenty of suspense. That being said, I admit that some of the action-packed chapters stretched on for a bit too long, especially towards the end of the book. While I appreciate how much Marissa Meyer was able to pack into this one installment, I think the book could have been a hundred pages shorter if she cut down on the reflective moments from both Adrian and Nova. As per usual with my reading tastes, I was more invested in how the characters’ relationships would be impacted by the action than the action itself. So much happens in Supernova, so there are some pretty drastic character and plot transformations by the end. Nova’s transformation was definitely the most impressive.
The two major reveals that really shocked me were about Adrian and Nova. With Adrian, I could not get over the relationship between him and Phobia, and with Nova, I did not see the big reveal about Ace coming at all! In a way, while I’m so happy that Max wasn’t sacrificed, I really thought the Renegades world would be a world without super powers. I feel like that would have made somewhat more sense, considering how much this book and the first two center around politics and morals. While the book does have a fairly happy ending, I was impressed by how many secondary characters don’t survive.
Although there were plenty of big reveals and twists throughout, the part that 110% unexpectedly surprised me was the epilogue! While you had to pay attention to the details surrounding her throughout the three books, and it doesn’t explicitly say, but we find out Magpie is Evie, Nova’s sister. I wouldn’t mind if Marissa Meyer left the Renegades universe this way because I really think this book provides a satisfying conclusion. But I wouldn’t mind another or spin-off installment either! I can potentially see some of spin-off following Narcissa’s life with the Rejects and Evie/Magpie.
Have you read the Renegades trilogy? Have you read The Lunar Chronicles or Heartless? Share in the comments!