Renegades by Marissa Meyer: Series Review

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Title: Renegades

Synopsis from GoodReads:

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.

My Review:

I keep a “to-blog” shelf on GoodReads for books that I’ve reviewed but that haven’t made it to my blog yet. While clearing out that backlog, I realized that I reviewed the last book in this trilogy but not the first two. That’s the problem with my scattered approach to reviewing. So here’s my review for the entire series, without spoilers.

I loved Marissa Meyer’s Lunar Chronicles so I eventually decided to read her take on a superhero story. I like superhero movies but that’s about as far as I go (no comics or other books), so this was a bit of a step outside my comfort zone.

I really liked it. Sometimes superhero stories feel entirely too “good vs evil” to me. It’s rare to find a real situation that’s so clearly delineated. And that murky space is what Meyer explores in this series. The Renegades are the good guys but they’re a bit too comfortable in that role. They don’t trust regular people to police themselves and as far as prodigies (superheroes) go, well, The Renegades seem to think you’re either with them or against them. There’s no room for a prodigy to just be.

But Nova pushes back. She’s never been a fan of The Renegades because of her personal and family history. She infiltrates their ranks and learns their secrets. But she starts to see that they’re aren’t entirely the bullies she always thought they were. She still has concerns about their behavior and decisions that she vocalizes while maintaining her cover though. Mostly people blow her off but tiny seeds can cause big changes. Nova isn’t waiting for organic change to happen. She has bigger, more active plans to carry out against them.

Adrian is the son of the two lead Renegades. He’s tired of their current bureaucratic approach to problems and engages in his own brand of vigilante justice. He and Nova lock horns as their secret identities but find themselves attracted to each other in their public personas.

The series twists and turns, good guys make questionable decisions, bad guys perform selfless acts, startling discoveries are made, Nova and Adrian betray some of their own deeply held beliefs, and it all makes a great series populated with some fun secondary characters.

I loved Rebecca Soler‘s narration of the Lunar Chronicles series so when I saw that she narrated this series too, I knew I had to listen to it. She does a fantastic job, as I’ve come to expect. Dan Bittner joined her in reading the chapters from Adrian’s point of view and he quickly made it onto my list of must-listen narrators.

This series is a fun superhero journey and I highly recommend it, especially on audio.

Series Books, in Order:

  1. Renegades
  2. Archenemies
  3. Supernova

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