Hey, guys! I am super excited to talk about one of my favorite books of 2018, which is Renegades by Marissa Meyer. I went into this book not really knowing much, and I am so glad that I did because it made me love and appreciate the story all the more. This one took me by surprise with how much I ended up loving it, and it is definitely one I recommend everyone read because it is so fantastic! But let’s go ahead and get into the review!
“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.”
Wow, this book was amazing.
This is probably my favorite book of the entire year. I honestly am having trouble describing how amazing this book was, but I am going to try. I honestly went into it with no expectations whatsoever. I went into it pretty blind. I didn’t really know much about it, and I think that is the best way to experience this story because it absolutely blew me away.
I adored the way this book explored the topic of heroes and villains. This book is literally about life. In life, there are no clear-cut heroes and villains. People are complicated, and that was really what this book was trying to convey. One person is not wholly evil the same way another person is not wholly good. We are human. We make mistakes, we grow, we change, we mature, and sometimes life is just cruel to us. If we are speaking about villains, they were never born inherently evil, the same way people are not born evil. Circumstances make evil. Evil is not born or inherited.
Along that same note, this book really was touching on how a villain is always the hero of their own story. We see that a lot in this book, the intricacies of such things. There is always another side to the story. We know how a certain event impacted Nova and made her hate the Renegades, but we still don’t know the Renegades side to the story, and I think that is going to be a thing that will be explored in Arch-Enemies when it comes out in November. This is just such an interesting and complex story with how it does examine all of these things, and as an English major, this was such a literary marvel to me. I just want to write a long paper on it!
Beyond all of that, the characters were super fleshed out, and they felt real, even with fantastical elements thrown in. Again, there are always two sides to every coin, and I loved seeing how Captain Chromium and the Dread Warden are portrayed according to the perception of Nova and the rest of the Anarchists versus how we come to know them as people and not just heroes through the eyes of Adrian. I think that really helped to get the full scope of who they really are, and I think that was super important.
I just loved seeing the relationships between the characters as well. Again with getting the full scope of these people. We see how they are with Adrian versus how Nova perceives these people, and I think it really helps to understand all of the characters and how separate their superhero identities are to who they are as people. We see this with Monarch, with Ruby and with all of the other people. They are so much more than superheroes. They are people, they are human, and they make mistakes. But that doesn’t make them any less heroic in my eyes. It makes them relatable.
Also, can I just say how fucking creepy I found the Puppeteer to be? I was going back and forth throughout the book between reading the physical copy and then picking it back up with the audiobook, and the narrators are fabulous, by the way. But the way they depict Winston is like ten levels of creepy. His voice is the voice of creepy horror movies and demonic dolls and shit. I literally cannot handle how creepy his voice sounds in the damn audiobook, Y’all.
But back to the characters, I actually did not think I was going to be a fan of a potential relationship between a certain two characters (even though nothing ever happens in the book really, which I actually LOVE). However, I was pleasantly surprised by how much I really enjoyed the relationship in the end. It is very slow-burn, and I love that so much. So many YA books are so blatantly instalove, and this is just so not. Its complicated and slow-burn, but nothing really happens, yet I know I am on board. I know. Such a novel concept. Two people having a potential relationship within a book when they haven’t even kissed yet? A Marvel! (Get it? *wink wink* *nudge nudge* Okay, I’m done…)
But guys, THE REPRESENTATION. There were gay dads who were superheroes and not stereotypes and had a son who was not gay. IT IS LIKE REAL LIFE. I am making fun of society so hard right now because there is this idea that all gay men are feminine and that if two gay people adopt a child, that child will turn out to be gay (so not the case with Adrian). I just love that Marissa Meyer is like, “Fuck everything about that” and makes them like literal real people. I love the rep in here (though I would love to see more rep for girls who like girls, but I digress).
Okay, but something I also wanted to talk about was not how Marissa Meyer wrote these characters, but how my brain ended up imagining them. I don’t think she ever touches on race in these books (as in the race of the characters), which literally does not matter to me at all, but my mind did do things with these characters and their races. I’m just going to throw it out there, and if you all hate me for it, feel free. I love diverse representation, so I obviously imagined them as all different races. She could have said they were, but I honestly cannot remember. But I imagined Nova as Hispanic (for obvious reasons, one of which is her last name), Oscar as Chinese (I don’t even know…), Ruby as black, and Adrian as white. Am I the only one that thinks its weird that my mind did this? I don’t know. I just wanted to share the weird thing that my brain did.
Also, on a different note, I put off reading the last fifty pages of this book for two weeks because I thought there was going to be 10x more shit going down than what happened, and now I kind of feel dumb for not finishing it sooner. Literally, nothing that I said (except for one thing) would happen by the end of the book ended up happening, which I think is super interesting. Keeping us readers guessing!
Overall, this is a really fantastic book that I highly, highly recommend that everyone reads because it is just so fantabulous! I am so excited for the final to this duology, and I just cannot wait to read even more works by Marissa Meyer because she is just such a fantastic writer, and I love her so much!
And there you have it! That was my review of Renegades by Marissa Meyer. What is one of your favorite books that you have read this year? Comment down below! I would love to know. And that is going to be it for this review today. Thank you all so much for reading this, I hope you enjoyed it, and I will see you next time!