A couple weeks ago, I finally managed to finish the Renegades series by Marissa Meyer! It took days and weeks of waiting on hold lists at the library, but I was lucky enough to get my hands on a copy of Supernova, the final book in the series, right before the library shut down for the pandemic.
And I finished it in less than 24 hours.
Nova Artino is Nightmare, a supervillain in the fractured villain organization called the Anarchists. Betrayed as a young child by the Renegades, or superheros, who swore to protect her family, Nova now seeks revenge for her family’s murders and for the defeat of the uncle who fostered her, Ace Anarchy, former leader of the Anarchists and most powerful telekinetic Prodigy of all time.
But when her assassination attempt against the invincible Captain Chromium is thwarted by a Renegade patrol, the Anarchists must find another way to bring down the governing power of the Renegades. Though Nova’s debut mission for the Anarchists put Nightmare on the Renegade’s radar, Nova’s true identity remains a secret to the superhero organization. The Anarchists make a plan for Nova to infiltrate the Renegade Headquarters as Nova McLain, alias “Insomnia,” at the annual Renegades tryouts, where Prodigies of all powers and abilities show off their abilities in hopes of being selected and trained as a Renegade. Once selected, Nova must juggle her identities as the Renegade Insomnia, put on the patrol to hunt down and arrest Nightmare, and the Anarchist Nightmare seeking to find the weakness that will bring Captain Chromium and his self-righteous Renegades to the ground.
What I loved
My favorite thing about this book was the riff Meyer took on super powers. She created so much variety as well as put layers of depth in them. You have characters with the classic flavors of superpowers, like ice, fire, invincibility, but then there were others whose powers were more subtle and yet just as powerful. Each time Meyer revealed a new power that was less obvious than the next, I was squinting at all the characters we came in contact with through the series wondering if they were actually a prodigy or just a normal person. This was so engaging for me that I found I was thinking of obscure, yet interesting superpowers in my downtime between reading sessions.
Another thing she did really well and that I loved was her use of origin stories. Every superhero and every supervillain has them, and hers were extremely compelling. She steered completely clear of the genetic modification/experiment gone wrong/aliens on earth trope that we see with classic comic book heroes and villains. It was fresh, interesting, and I craved to know every one of them!
I also loved the conflict. Meyer did really well showing the grey lines of conflict between the motivations of the Anarchists and the Renegades. It becomes clear very quickly that the Renegades didn’t always make the right choices, regardless of their intentions, and the Anarchists were not evil just to be evil. The two groups are fighting for the same vision, but conflict over the means to the end. Additionally, conflict around Nova keeping her identity as Nightmare hidden was incredible. It put her ideals head to head against other characters in the cast and I was biting my nails as Nova’s tower of lies and alibis piled high around her, particularly since she was assigned to the Renegade installment assigned to hunt her alter ego down.
The last thing I LOVED was the series ending! It was fantastic, it made sense, it was action-packed, and was so awesome I yelled and tossed the book across the room, screaming at my husband he needed to read it. I cried, guys. The final twist, those final few pages, had a huge payoff and it made the series for me. Really. It did.
What I didn’t like
There weren’t very many things I didn’t like, and most of the things that bothered me were swallowed up by how good the series and story was holistically, enough so that I’m willing to overlook them.
The main thing that bothered me was the treatment Meyer gave to the fact that one of the main characters has two dads. Meyer presented it at the beginning by hitting the readers with a baseball bat and a shovel for multiple paragraphs and it didn’t feel natural or blended in with the story. It felt like she was trying to make a statement, which whiplashed me out of the narrative and into the real world conflicts and embroilments that surround the LGBTQ+ community, rather than naturally blending it into the story where the same embroilments and conflicts didn’t exist. I was happy, though, that by the time I hit book two, she had successfully blended the character detail in and it no longer pulled me out of the story.
After that, I had only a couple of minor problems with the story. I found the big reveal at the end of book one confusing. It was surprising and awesome, for sure, but confusing. The way it was written, it felt like a betrayal from the author, because the way that most of the characters talked, gave me the impression that nobody had the information revealed at the end…but it became obvious in book two that everyone had known the whole time. The feelings characters felt in book one, coupled with conversations had, made me feel like Meyer was intentionally misleading me solely for the purpose of the reveal.
My final problem with the story came with a reversal that happened in the last book. I honestly went back and reread the section a couple times to see if I had missed some information (I hadn’t). But by this point, the series had been so good, I was willing to let this bit of seemingly flawed or forced logic go, especially since by this time, we were building to the climax and I just. Wanted. To know. How. It. Ended! *fangirl squeals*
Renegades, Book 1
Violence: Low – Lots of action, though!
Romance: None. One main character has two dads.
Language: Low – Mild cussing
Archenemies, Book 2
Violence: Low – Action packed, though!
Romance: Tame – Teen romance and awkward flirting
Language: Low – Mild cussing
Supernova, Book 3
Violence: Medium/High – A good handful of people get killed in this book and there’s a lot of superhero fighting. Nothing I would consider particularly gruesome or traumatic, though. Definitely a lot tamer than some of the other books I’ve read.
Romance: Tame – Teen romance
Language: Mild – Some cussing
Full Series Rating:
9/10, HIGHLY RECOMMEND! This is a book series I would be comfortable recommending to pretty much anyone!
3 thoughts on “Renegades Full Series Review”
I read the series in a week a few months ago. I couldn’t read it fast enough! Glad to see someone else loved it too 🙂
Heck, yes!! What did you love about it?? 😀
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I loved so much 😂 I think the characters were my favorite part. It was a little trope-y at times but honestly it was so good. The dynamic of the different Renegade teams, the moral debates, and some of the romance were all things I really loved. I actually did a review too if you want to see the rest of my thoughts.