Renegades by Marissa Meyer
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.
Okay, you may see the three crowns at the top of this review, but I promise, it’s okay. No, really, it’s okay, because Meyer is still queen and my favorite author and a total genius. I’m okay, this book is okay, and everything is okay?? But I mean, I think that’s the problem – everything was okay? And I kind of wanted it to be more, but no, really, I’m totally not freaking out that this was my most anticipated book of 2017 by the queen and I wasn’t fully in love-forever fangirl mode with five billion crowns and a full princess train and met my new Cresswell ship. But it’s okay, really. I’m handling it. Know what’s not okay? My overuse of that word and “really” so I’m going to stop.
Don’t get me wrong – Meyer is still queen. Her writing will never stop being amazing. Her voice, her ease, her flow. Everything about her writing is superb, and this book is no different. If you have never read any of her previous books, trust me, you’re always going to get amazing writing, which this was. I love the wit she infuses in it, too. There were a few times that I actually laughed out loud because of little side comments she added in. The only thing I noticed that was different than her previous book with her writing in this one was the pacing.
The pacing was so slow, and it kind of drove me insane. This book is big. I mean, it’s really big. 540+ pages. That’s a lot for anyone to read, but when the pacing is really focused a lot on character development, it just seems to drag on and on. There is a lot of necessary information for the characters and the plot happening, but to me, I just wanted it to go a lot faster. Maybe I was just too eager to devour all of Meyer’s work whole and it caused me that issue? I will admit I began skimming at parts, which killed me, but I couldn’t deal.
The characters were interesting. In previous books, Meyer pays so much attention to her characters and developing them. Nova was easily my favorite. I really enjoyed her. She was funny, witty, and I loved how she was a villain. She definitely had some complex motivations, but I understood her so easily. She was the one I most sympathized with, and I will admit I kind of just wanted to skip Adrian’s parts sometimes because I wanted to bask in Nova’s storyline and her head. She was fun, and I can’t wait to go back to her story and characterization.
The rest of the characters were just kind of…eh to me? I mean, I liked a few, but I never really fell in love. There were a lotttttttttt of characters – superheroes and villains – and I really got lost on all of the superheroes. I’m still not sure who is who with Adrian’s dads. There were just so many characters, and truthfully, I was far more partial to the villains. I loveddddd the villains. They were complex and fun and just so unapologetic. I was dying to see more of them, and truthfully, had this book featured more of them, it would have a lot higher rating for me, because this is where Meyer shone for me. Gosh, they were brilliant.
The plot was interesting as well. I feel like it really, really picked up at the end. I loved the beginning and middle parts, but I did kind of die out in the middle. Again, it paid so much attention to the characters and the slower pacing, I kind of got a little bored. I will say that I do believe the second one is going to be a lot more interesting especially with the big things that happened at the end. Yes, it might have felt a bit cliche at parts, but I think Meyer did well with an overused plot. It still felt quite fresh and new.
The last part I loved was the worldddddddddddddddddddddd. Omigosh, Meyer knows how to build a world, and she does it well. I never got confused or bored or wondered what the hell was supposed to be going on. She simplified a world that was bursting with life and complexity and made it so interesting. Meyer knows how to create a wonderful world, and this book had one, for sure.
So, yes, I’m disappointed with how it turned out because of the slow pacing and no real love of the characters, but honestly, I really am okay with it. This was a solid beginning to Meyer’s series, and I mean, I didn’t hate it. It still had some totally amazing parts, and I am quite eager to get back to this world and the plot. Was it Meyer’s greatest work? No, not at all, but it was still a good read. I think I’m at that final stage of acceptance?? 3 crowns and a Belle rating!