The line between good and evil is permeable and almost anyone can be induced to cross it when pressured by situational forces.
— Philip Zimbardo
Renegades by Marissa Meyer was utter fun. Renegades takes place in a dystopian future where a group of superheroes, called the Renegades, lead the city of Gatlon. The story starts with Nova, a young prodigy who has every reason to hate the Renegades. The failed her when she needed them most and they took away her only family. Nova wants vengeance for what the Renegades took from her, but then she meets Adrian. Adrian is the adopted son of two original Renegades (Captain Chromium and The Dread Warden). Adrian’s mother, Lady Indomitable, was murdered when he was young and, ever since then, he has wanted justice. When Adrian and Nova end up working together, their beliefs are put into question and they must determine what they truly believe in.
I think my favorite part about this book was its characters. Meyer’s characters had very unique powers and abilities that aren’t always typical superhero powers. For example, Adrian has the power to bring his drawings to life as long as he wills it. I also loved the amount of time she spent creating the origin stories of her characters, especially the side characters. The members of Adrian’s team all had interesting back stories and weren’t just born with their powers. All of the characters were charismatic and interesting. I found myself rooting for all of the characters (yes, even the villains).
The world that Meyer created was also incredibly well thought out. You could tell she spent a lot of time thinking about the state of Gatlon in the present as well as the power struggle to get there. I could see both sides to the story. Ace Anarchy, prolific supervillain, wanted prodigies to have freedom and acceptance. He didn’t want prodigies to rule, he just wanted to save his kind from persecution. But, I can also see why the Renegades ended up in power and why they want to maintain their power. That’s what makes this a good example of dystopian fiction! When you can see both sides and how they got into this conflict and where one side doesn’t seem any more right than the other. It really paints the picture of how the citizens in the book ended up in the place they did, as well.
What kept this book from five stars for me, was that it needs a sequel. Renegades a very introductory novel and left a lot of unanswered questions at the end. While I don’t always mind a cliffhanger, this book had a lot of loose ends. You can definitely tell Meyer wrote this with the sequel at the front of her mind. Now I just have to wait patiently till it comes out next year!
Overall, this book got a four out of five stars from me because it was fun, interesting, and kept me wanting more.