Renegades by Marissa Meyer
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Received: Raincoast Books
First Published: November 7th, 2017
Publisher: Feiwel and Friends
Recommended Age: 12+
Genres & Themes: Young Adult, Science Fiction, Action, Superheroes, Family
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.
From fairytale retellings to… Marvel-reminiscent superheroes.
Did anyone expect it? I didn’t. In my mind, Marissa Meyer still had Beauty and the Beast, The Little Mermaid, hell The Princess and the Frog, as well as many other fairytales to write entire books about.
But you have to admire her(?) decision to write about something different. She has no idea if her new series will be well-received or completely hated, and yet she still dared to write what she felt was right to her, not what everyone (like me) expected her to.
The writing is strong, but then again what is new? Marissa Meyer can start writing adult horror books with freaky dead dolls creeping into your brain and the writing would be incredible nonetheless. (I hope she doesn’t, though.)
I even enjoyed the story. If I’m not forgetting any past reads, this is my first superhero book read – or one of the firsts – so I was certainly very interested from the beginning, and my interest remained long enough for me to finish these 478 pages in a considerably short time.
Sadly, I have to complain about the overused storyline idea of the child seeking revenge for the death of his/her parents. What I love about vendetta stories is how fierce and determined the revengeful ones are and how important justice – though not exactly the right kind – is to them, which we have here. However, I have to admit that vendetta stories can get repetitive, so not everything in here is original.
Plus good vs. evil fighting against each other because they each believe their own worldviews trump the other’s? Meh.
But as I mentioned, I was still very interested, because Marissa Meyer knows how to make the reader want more, with small twists and turns hidden at various places inside the storyline, and by making us curious about the future of the characters, whether we’re fully invested in them or just a little. And it’s true the characters grow on you, even if in the beginning you’re not so sure.
I would suggest Ms. Meyer practiced writing fighting action scenes more, though, since they do feel rehearsed. I had trouble taking some of them seriously.
And since this is a blog tour, each participant got a unique Q & A with the one and only Marissa Meyer to feature on their blog. Here’s mine:
Q: Is there a particular city (or mix of cities) on which you modeled Gatlon City?
Marissa Meyer: Manhattan was definitely my biggest inspiration. Of course, Manhattan also served as the inspiration behind Batman’s Gotham, and I wanted to create a similar sort of vibe as that classic superhero setting—gritty, dark, and crime-laden, but with pockets of vibrancy and hope. Ultimately, though, Gatlon ended up taking on a life of its own as I explored the backstory, particular with regards to the Age of Anarchy and the villain gangs and what sort of destruction would have been wrought during that time, and what the Renegades had done in the years since to try and bring things back to normal. I wanted to show that the city has begun to flourish over the past decade, but it still has scars, and that some of those scars might never fully heal.
Oops, perhaps I should have said DC-reminiscent superheroes instead of Marvel. My bad!
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