*Read during Day-A-Thon (24-Hour Readathon January 2019)
BY: Marissa Meyer
SERIES: Renegades #1
GENRE: Sci-Fi, Young Adult, Fantasy
PUBLICATION: Nov. 7, 2017 by Feiwel & Friends
RATING: 3 Stars
‘We were all villains in the beginning.’
Prodigies, individuals who have powerful abilities, were feared, oppressed, hanged. For ordinary people, they were witches, abominations, demons, and freaks. Until Ace Anarchy gathered some powerful prodigies and rebelled. They ruined buildings, took bridges down, turned the cities in chaos. Then the people: government gone, law enforcement gone. They called it THE AGE of ANARCHY. Prodigies turned violent, setting the world in chaos. But then, there’s hope.
“Hope called them Renegades.”
During the Age of Anarchy, a group of prodigies, dressed in capes and masks, stood up and put an end to the chaos. People see them as heroes, the ones who will be there when you’re in need. But when Nova was 6, the Renegades failed her. If they came, her parents and younger sister might’ve been still alive. Orphaned, she was taken in by her uncle Alec, also known as Ace Anarchy by everyone else. Nova grew up in her uncle’s shadow believing that her uncle Ace was in reason. But the Renegades also took Ace from her. Now ten years later, Nova got a chance to ruin the Renegades. But then she meets Adrian, a Renegade boy who believes in justice, and weirdly in her. But Nova’s allegiance is not to the Renegades.
The blurb above is what made me buy this book the moment it’s available.
Back then I just finished this author’s other series, The Lunar Chronicles, and loved it. And so when I received my copy of Renegades, I read it the moment I hold them. It was back in 2017. Now I had to reread it to refresh my mind before reading book 2. And oh boy, my rating really changed big time. And this is going to be a long review which I don’t usually do.
THE WORLD: I think World-building is Marissa Meyer’s strength. I was fascinated by the world-building in The Lunar Chronicles and I feel the same way here. I can clearly see Gatlon City in my mind, all the renovated, resurrected and ruined parts. Also the Renegades Headquarters. Even the Subway Station that the Anarchists call home is so vivid. Not only that, the author succeeded in showing not just the present state of Gatlon, but also the past, even before the Age of Anarchy and before the Renegades. Marissa Meyer established a strong setting in just few chapters.
THE PLOT: It is fine. It’s the concept that actually caught my interest before. It’s cliche but that’s forgivable because let’s admit it, most superhero stories have a lot in common. And I love revenge and hidden identities. I knew I was in for a great read. I was disappointed. The EXECUTION is too lame. Too disappointing. I can even say that the plot was almost wasted. Here’s the thing, in revenge stories and hidden identities, there should be suspense. There’s none. I was expecting to be on the edge of my seat while reading the book fearing for Nova. But no, I was disappointed. The whole book is not boring, but it’s not also suspenseful. And maybe you’re thinking, maybe that’s because you’ve read this before. NO. I was aware of this problem before and I don’t know why I rated it 5 stars. I was wrong. The fight scenes are well done, though. And that ending, THAT EFFING REVEAL, in the end, is so worth it.
THE SECRET IDENTITY: Let me just talk more about this. This should be the main source of suspense but no. Seriously, it’s very unbelievable that no one caught the fact that Sentinel is Adrian and Insomnia is Nightmare and Nova. (This is not a spoiler ’cause it’s revealed as soon as Chapter 1.) Adrian and Nova are so obvious. There are plenty of times where their hidden identities are mentioned and they would cough or something like that. You know what I mean. Especially Adrian. He’s so obvious. And wow, every time and I mean every damn time, their secret identities would show up, Nova and Adrian are the only ones that’s missing. So how come no one noticed.
THE CHARACTERS: Nova, first of all, has a Filipino and Italian heritage. And there are two gay dads who I adore. I actually don’t have complains (except the dialogues) on the characters while reading but when I’m done with the book for the second time, I realized something big. With Nova, the author really did a great job at showing Nova’s personality-a personality that’s obviously greatly influenced by her uncle and her hatred on Renegades. By the way, Nova is one of the Villains, the Anarchists, and we all know that a good villain is someone who thinks that she’s in the right. And you can see that in Nova.
In fact, you can see it in all of the Anarchists. They are my favorite characters and they’re the villains. It’s because aside from the general objective of the Anarchists, each of the villains has their own individual THING that separates them from the other villains. They have their own personalities and my favorite is Winston, the Puppeteer. There was even a scene that my heart cried for him.
But the Renegades. It seemed to me that the characters of the Renegades are all about being Renegades. They became their mission. Renegades are heroes, and all the characters who are Renegades are just that. They’re just like ‘We’re heroes and we believe in Justice and that’s all we are.’ No other distinct personality that would separate them from other renegades. I think the only difference between every Renegade character is their power. That’s just bad characterization.
AND THEN THE DIALOGUES: Ugh! So cringe-y. I love superhero movies. I grew up as a DC fan and now there’s Marvel. I love those cringe-y lines, but here, they’re just too much. Seriously, I can’t stress this enough. I wanted to give you some examples of the dialogues but when I tried, I figured they’re not as cringe-y as they are in books. So I’ll wait for you guys to read the book and then let’s talk about the dialogues.
Overall, this book has plenty of flaws but there are good things in it too. Like I said, I love the World-Building, The Ending and The Anarchists. I am really curious about the Anarchists. I want to know all their backstories, especially Winston, the puppeteer and Phobia. And oh Max, the 11(or 12) year old kid. He’s one of the most interesting characters in the whole book.
My rating really went down big time. This never happened to me after a reread and I’ve reread a hundred books. I’m not even exaggerating. I’m a real fan of reread. I’ve never lowered a rating, taking 1.5 stars. Usually I would take .5 star but 1.5? Never.
So did this ever happened to you? What book made you change your original rating? Have you read this book? Or are you going to? Tell me in the comments.