Renegades Review: Superheroes and Villains with (Not So) Secret Identities

November 9, 2017 by Jeann @ Happy Indulgence | 3 stars, Books, Reviews

Renegades Review: Superheroes and Villains with (Not So) Secret IdentitiesRenegades by Marissa Meyer
Series: Renegades #1
Published by Pan Macmillan Australia on November 7th 2017
Source: Publisher
Genres: Young Adult, Science Fiction
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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.

Set in a world wrought with high crime and anarchy, Renegades features a corrupt world where superheroes reign. Deemed to fight crime and to be the hope of the people, the renegades seek to defeat the villains, also called Anarchists.

The book features my favourite topics of all time – superheroes, shades of good vs evil, secret identities and villians. However, the slooow pacing and length of the book made it a chore to read at times. There were some parts of it I enjoyed, but the main issue was I didn’t really warm to the two main characters, Nova and Adrian. Part of this is because we already find out what their intentions and secret identities are at the start of the book.

Firstly, Nova’s power that she enters the Renegades with, is not needing to sleep, ever. Her superhero name is “Insomnia”. From the reactions of the characters around her, including the Renegades themselves, it seems everyone acknowledges how lame this is. She’s also conveniently athletic and trained in martial arts, physics and electronics. Now that I think about it, most of these skills of hers were never really explored any further beyond my favourite scene of the book: when she duels a Gargoyle in an arena to prove her worth.

Adrian…I actually don’t have that much to say about him, except that the scenes where he tries and hides his secret identity by conveniently disappearing during crucial scenes were excruciating. Between Nova and Adrian, you have a whole lot of awkward cover ups. Because the reader knows about it, these scenes were actually quite facepalm worthy. At least there was barely any romance (yay)!

For a book with over 500 pages, I kind of expected there to be more action. The Renegades are given a mission to conduct surveillance on a library, and other than this scene, there weren’t any other big missions. Instead, the book is filled with lots of musings on the Age of Anarchy and why the Renegades were established, Nova sneaking around and visiting her fellow Anarchists, and the rest of the Renegades interacting with one another. With all the world building, it definitely felt like a first book in a series. I also found like the whole ‘crime corrupted city’ setting was more told, rather than shown.

I also had no idea why a handful of Anarchists would think they could take down an entire legion of Renegades, just because they’ve got someone planted on the inside. From the badly planned missions to each of them wanting their own glory moments, these guys were doomed from the start.

Now to the crux of the book – Renegades also explores the shades of grey between superheroes and villains, and the ill perceptions of each other based on their ultimate goals. When it comes down to it, does killing someone make them evil, if they believe it’s for the greater good? If you’re fighting for a better future, what makes you a superhero…or a villian?

Renegades is a slow start to the new superhero series by Marissa Meyer (author of the Lunar Chronicles). While it features a lot of detailed world building and some cool superpowers, I found it to be rather slow and tedious.

Rating: 2.5 out of 5

Thanks to Pan Macmillan Australia for sending me a review copy in exchange for an honest review.

Renegades is available from Australian bookstores for RRP$18.99.

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Jeann is an Aussie YA blogger and mum who loves to read and recommend books! You can usually find me fangirling about books on my various social media channels including Twitter @happyindulgence, Instagram and Youtube.

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19 responses to “Renegades Review: Superheroes and Villains with (Not So) Secret Identities

  1. Unfortunately I just couldn’t get into it and another DNF for me sadly. That’s the first thing I noticed too Jeann, just how slow it was. I felt really overwhelmed by all the new characters all at once, the powers and who were the good and bad guys. I think superhero themes just might not be my cup of tea. I’m glad you were still able to enjoy it though, do you think you’ll continue with the series? Great review, really enjoyed it <3

  2. AWWW NO. 🙁 This was one of my most anticipated books, so I am so sad to hear it was so disappointing. 🙁 One of the things I loved about the Lunar Chronicles was the fast pace, and it makes me so sad that this one didn’t have that same fast pace. Thanks for sharing and, as always, fabulous review! <3
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  3. Yes I agree with everything here! I also found this to be incredibly predictable, though to be fair I feel like most of what I’ve read my Marissa Meyer was very predictable (especially Cinder haha). I think I was most upset with how the Anarchists weren’t at the same standing at the Renegades. Plus the Renegades themselves were just super annoying. I kind of just wanted to punch them all (whoops lol).

    Great review Jeann! I’m tempted to read the second book just because I want to see whether the Anarchists get the upper hand, but I just don’t think I could get through 500 more pages.
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    • I KNOW I mean how the hell do the Anarchists think they are going to overtake the Renegades? And there really wasn’t too much to world-build about, because it was so stock standard but then it tried to go into it a bit more? I dunno…so disappointed!

  4. I’m about halfway through the books and I’m also very disappointed so far. I ADORE the Lunar Chronicles and Heartless, but so far this book is so slow and I’m finding myself barely invested even though I’m already halfway through! On top of that, I don’t particularly enjoy superhero books and movies soooo. Oh well. I was expecting more from Marissa Meyer. Also, I didn’t know that this was going to be a series!
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  5. Ugh, this is my biggest fear with this book. I am so hesitant to read it, and Val had basically the same exact experience as you, so that is TWO trusted friends who were like… “meh”. And like- I didn’t LOVE the two books I have read in the Lunar Chronicles? They’re good, but kind of predictable, and if this is slow AND predictable… idk, Jeann, I am probably going to have to pass. Fabulous review!! (And thanks- I think I might be dodging a 500+ page bullet here)
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  6. Eeek, I’m so worried about starting this one. I LOVED the Lunar Chronicles but then Heartless was completely tedious imo?!? So it’s hard! I’m definitely reading it next week though, but since my attention span is the length of a gnat, I’ll just have to be prepared.

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