If you’ve been with me since the beginning, you’d know that Marissa Meyer’s Lunar Chronicles series kicked off my obsession with books three years ago. So naturally, after finding myself in a 9 month reading slump, I immediately reached for the first book in her most recent series – Renegades.
Renegades is set in a dystopian world where a select few have been granted superpowers. At present, these blessed individuals are split into two factions; the Renegades – heroes for justice, and the Anarchists – the big bad guys. The story follows young Nova, an Anarchist who believes that the Renegades let her and her family down and seeks vengeance, looking to take them off their pedestal.
The plot sounds very derivative – and that’s because it is. This book is most certainly not taking any risks, and for that reason it’s unfortunately a little boring. In addition, Meyer has decided to give her heroes cheesy 80’s Power Ranger-esque lines which make it very difficult to relate to the character beneath the mask (and difficult not to facepalm your way through the book).
“Your days of villainy are over, Nightmare.”
She scoffed. “You sound like you’ve read too many comics.”
“You sound like you think that’s a bad thing,” he retorted.”
That being said, it’s not like the book isn’t fun; and as is typical of Meyer, very easy to read. I found myself flying through Renegades because it was so basic. This might sound like a bad thing to some – but for me at the time, I just needed to get back into reading in general, and this book did the trick. The plot was incredibly linear, and it wasn’t hard to guess where the story was going by the halfway point. Additionally, it doesn’t actually seem like much happens… a lot of the novel feels like a character introduction and only really gets juicy (ish) in the latter quarter of the book. If you’re looking for something with more subtle foreshadowing, deep, intricate lore or passionate prose, it’s probably best to look elsewhere. I’m sure I’m making this sound very bland, but think of it like this: every now and then, Marvel releases a new Spiderman movie, and while the core story is the same most times, it’s not like people don’t go ahead and watch and enjoy them anyway.
“She had always been astonished by people who could fall asleep fast, like there was nothing to it. Like their spirits weren’t burdened with suffering and resentment. Like their hearts and minds could so easily be at peace.”
Renegades definitely falls to the younger side of YA. I thought it was OK – I’m definitely reading on because I have faith in Meyer, but my hopes aren’t super high. It kind of makes me feel like I should go read the Lunar Chronicles again and see how much my reading tastes have actually developed! Renegades seems to have an abnormally high rating on Goodreads, and I attribute this to the horde of YA fans. Did you enjoy this book? If so why? And if you didn’t, let me know as well! This definitely isn’t the kind of book I’d reach for normally, but kind of enjoyed it nonetheless.