Reader Review: Renegades #1 – Marissa Meyer

Renegades:  ★★★★

 When I first read the description of the plot for Renegades, I was pretty much hooked instantly. I knew that it was a book that I would have to read as soon as I got my hands on it and, once I spotted it in one of my local bookstores, I snapped up the opportunity to grab it and, damn, I’m glad that I followed my gut instinct to trust this novel from the get-go.

The story follows two main characters; Nova, who is allied with the Anarchists, and Adrian, who is part of a superhero division called the Renegades. The Anarchists and the Renegades are known to be rival groups – tolerating each other in only the rarest of situations, so the tension between the two main characters and their own conflicts are evident. However, the story follows Nova as she attempts to ‘infiltrate’ the Renegades by going undercover, only to form relationships, discover secrets, and face internal conflict regarding who she should really be siding with whilst Adrian tries to find his own way in taking on another secret superhero persona. The story is somewhat difficult to explain without giving too much away, though it definitely makes for a thrilling read.
From the very beginning, the opening is interesting and captivating – it draws the readers attention is without a doubt and motivates them to continue reading the story which is, of course, the goal. As the plot continues and the story twists, it follows a good pace which doesn’t feel too rushed but it’s not slow enough to grow bored of what’s happening, so the reader’s interest is maintained. Along with this, the settings and descriptions are constructed well, which makes the readers feel as if they’re involved in the world and the story as it unravels. Due to the good pacing, the readers can actually devote their attention and get lost in the story, so they’re even more directly linked to the world and characters being created. The action is immersive and written very well – it’s engaging, thrilling, and makes the audience feel like they’re in the moment. This also translates to the combat that’s written throughout the book as it makes the audience actually feel involved – they can visualise the environment that it’s happening within and the characters that are involved.
The plot and the concept have definitely been developed with a lot of depth, which means that the story has a lot of various interesting elements that tie into different subplots and side notes within the main plot itself. It’s not just playing off of one trope – it’s taken a story premise that’s been done before and expanded it into something that’s so much bigger than just a simple idea. The characters and the story make each other and compliment each other well, which creates a nicely well-rounded and well-developed story that creates an alternate universe you want to get lost in.
One of the first notes that I made on the book when I first started reading was that I really liked both Adrian’s and Nova’s characters. They had different personalities that were well-evolved and their own stories had depth which meant that the audience was actually able to get to know the characters and bond with them. I enjoyed exploring how Nova’s conflicted feelings between the Renegades and the Anarchists progressed and how the situations threw up different internal problems for her (who should she be loyal to and why?) Through the plot, as their relationship grows and evolves, I really liked the way that the dynamic changed and the pace in which it flowed. The overall character relationship building and development is gradual, realistic, and generally pleasant to read. The reader feels like they’re part of the dynamic between Andrian and Nova as it changes, and it’s nice for the reader to experience so closely due to the good writing. As you get closer to the characters and more people are introduced, you increasingly want to learn more about them and figure out who they are. With the various conflicting personalities that are introduced throughout the progression of the book, there’s quite a lot of diversity throughout the traits and the ‘tropes’ (I loved the humour that Oscar brought to the story).
Another point that I really found that I enjoyed was the adoption storyline aspect of Adrian’s narrative and how trope was made into something more than just the ‘adopted superhero origin story’ cliche. I liked the representation of his fathers and the general relationship between all of them, and I felt that it approached real-world issues such as adoption in a good light.
The book wasn’t completely original – there were some tropes that felt thrown in just because they were easy to make use of. Some of the ‘superpowers’ felt a lot less ‘creatively considered’ than others, though that’s to be expected when it comes to such a big plot like this one, especially with the number of character types.
The ending was also very good – it leaves questions unanswered, leaves plots open-ended, and it makes the reader want to discover more information and more secrets regarding the plot directly. It makes the audience want more which is, obviously, the main goal, so the ending is largely well done.
To put it simply; I really did enjoy this book due to the spin that it took on a rather used trope/plot premise. The idea and the story were developed very well, the characters had pools of depth, the cast was made up of an array of diverse traits, and the world was created magically. At every point did I feel involved and like I was a part of the action which made the read an exciting one. The book was not without fault, however, as some of the ‘superpowers’ and ‘plot twist’ tropes felt copy and pasted due to having being overused in previous media. Though this is to be expected of a plot of this style and scale, so I still thoroughly enjoyed the book and I’m looking forward to the continuation of the series.

Thanks for reading this short review and I’ll write you later. 

If you’re a fan of a diverse cast of characters with interesting intensity and rivalries, then check out Renegades

If you want to explore a twisting world regarding superheroes and villains with intense relationships and secrets to be undiscovered, give this book a shot. 

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