“What exactly are we looking for?” “Villains, doing villainous things.” ―
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.
Caitlynn: Alright, Renegades by Marissa Meyer. What did we rate it overall?
Jenn: I gave it 4.5/5.
Eden: I gave it 5/5 stars.
C: I also gave it 5/5 stars.
J: So, when we are talking superhero books, how does Renegades compare?
E: The only other superhero book that I can think of off of the top of my head are the Steelheart by Brandon Sanderson.
C: The Reckoners series?
E: Yeah, I loved the Reckoners series, that was a really good series. I really liked Renegades, I don’t know if I like it as much as I like the Reckoners though. I need to read the second book soon, so that will help me to determine how it compares.
C: When comparing it to Sanderson, I feel like I liked this series more because of the anti-hero component to it. I liked that we got a look at a “villain” viewpoint as the main character.
E: That’s definitely one of the things that made this so interesting, we were more rooting for the villains, essentially.
J: I agree. Coming into it, I thought the writing was really good and I really liked having the villains perspective in it. Comparing it to Sanderson’s series, I felt like they were pretty on par for me. I liked them both pretty equally. Honestly, there’s always something a little off in superhero books for me that makes it fall from a 5 star book just because there is always going to be a little bit of predictability and cheesiness that come along with the genre that can’t be avoided. I think between that and the only other book that I have to compare is Wonderwoman. I liked Wonderwoman more, but I think it was more because I had previous ties to it, so it’s an unfair connection.
J, also: I think Marissa Meyer’s writing style really lends well to the narrative of a superhero and action. It goes really frame by frame like a comic, which is what worked so well for this book because it read like a comic. I could picture every frame that was happening.
C: And I remember when we were reading the book that you had mentioned something at that time about how you didn’t like superhero books because anything that the characters said or any declaration that they made felt super cheesy to you.
E: What I liked most was that it was different from all of the superhero tropes that we get. We get a look at a villain that is essentially trying to infiltrate heroes.
J: What also goes along with that is that this book lived in the grey area and comic books are usually built on top of a black and white world where these characters are always going to be good and these people are always going to be bad. Meyer managed to make this world really grey with who actually had the best intentions…
E: Meyer hits those grey areas so well. We always talk about these authors like V.E. Schwab or Kiersten White who are able to walk the line and make you question what is right or wrong. Any time that you read a book and an author makes you questions why a character is a villain or not, then I think the author has done a really good job with that situation.
J: I would say also with Meyer’s writing, even the characters in this book that were true villains like The Puppeteer, she still was able to give the reader a true connection. That is a really tough thing for authors to do because you are trying to build a villain and they all have inherently built qualities that are evil, so people are automatically weary of them. It’s hard to build a villain in a book that your audience is still going to like as well and feel a connection to. The Puppeteer had sympathy built into his character that made the reader connect to him as a character and not just a figure-head.
C: I think that after comparing writing styles, like going back to Sanderson, people love his style of writing and they love the characters that he creates and I honestly feel like the writing styles between Sanderson and Meyer are so similar. Both of them made those essential connections to the characters, whether they were minor or major characters.
C, also: I think that is what surprised me the most with this book because for the most part we went into this book with lower expectations, but Meyer pulled one out with her writing style in this book. From the Lunar Chronicles, she has grown so much and this book really showcased that well.
E: I feel like, bringing in the Lunar Chronicles, before this Meyer was known for being the fairytale writer, she was known for the retelling fairytales. To hear that Meyer’s was writing this story about the two different factions that were going after one another. It wasn’t a book that anyone expected from her. It was nice to come in and be given something that I didn’t expect.
J: Going off what Caitlynn said about the writing styles being so similar is that it’s because of their previous novels where huge worlds were being built over a long span of novels with a lot of different characters. I think that really lent itself to why the characters had such strong connections to the reader. Both Meyers and Sanderson had such vibrant characters, both minor and major that it made it easy for them to come into these novels and really create an experience with the characters. The background in sci-fi and fantasy for both authors really helped them when they had to narrow it down into the comic book world.
E: It lends itself to it well.
C: I really enjoyed the book overall, I felt so many connections to the characters in the novels and I’m super excited to see what happens in the next book of the series.
J: I don’t want to set any expectations for the second book just in case it doesn’t go the way that I wanted it to go, but I am expecting the world to grow. She has a lot of stereotypical superheroes, but now the background characters are growing.