Review: Renegades by Marissa Meyer

Title: Renegades
Author: Marissa Meyer
Publisher: Fiewel & Friends
My Rating: 4/5 Stars
Hardcover, 576 Pages
Published November 7th, 2017 (Today!)

Summary: 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.

When this book was first announced I was super excited for it, especially since I had been such a huge fan of The Lunar Chronicles. I was also a bit weary at first because I wasn't sure if this book was going to live up to the love and hype of her previous series. However, I ended up being delightfully surprised -- because this book was so much better than I could have expected.

As the summary explains, Nova is an Anarchist, so she is basically a sworn rival of the Renegades, the team of superheroes that basically works as law enforcement and the government ever since the world descended into chaos. Throughout this world are prodigies (both good and evil), people with all sorts of crazy, supernatural abilities that can lead to all sorts of trouble. Nova is determined to take down the Renegades, especially since they didn't come to save her when she needed them most, so she decides to go undercover at Renegade headquarters and take them down from the inside. But what ends up happening and who she ends up meeting becomes more complicated than one would expect...and things only get messier from there.

I wasn't sure if I was going to like this book since I am really not a sci-fi fan at all, but I decided to give it a shot because I had been just as hesitant when it came to The Lunar Chronicles and then I ended up falling in love with those stories and recommending them to everyone I knew. And what happened in this book left me delightfully surprised -- and it kept me hooked on every word. This is nearly a 600-page book and I tore through it in just a few days because I just kept flipping pages and wanting to know what happened next -- I definitely had some "one more chapter" moments here and there, and I spent a lot of time not studying for my exams or doing my homework because I was so engrossed in this story...oops. (But I'm still doing well in all of my classes, so at least we don't have to worry about this!)

I really loved the premise of the story, and all of the history that Meyer managed to weave throughout the entire thing. I especially appreciated how she worked so hard to blur the lines between "good" and "evil" -- from both Adrian and Nova's perspectives, she showed that a community's general perception of something is not necessarily a fact. The Anarchists had done evil deeds, but there was also a complex network of love, protection, respect, and even freedom there. And while the Renegades were admired for helping everyone, they were keeping some dark, harmful secrets of their own. Neither side was clear-cut in this book, and I feel like that was definitely the most important part. And it also the part I enjoyed the most.

(Important spoilers here, so please skip to the next paragraph if you haven't read this book yet!) The ending of this book totally caught me off guard. I was so shocked that I had to throw down the book and text a friend, because I could hardly believe my eyes as I read the line. There were absolutely NO clues about Ace being alive throughout the story (at least none that I picked up on), so I was so delightfully shocked when I read the last line of the book, and it immediately made me add the next book to my TBR because I just have to know where things go from here. Meyer hooked me with that plot twist, and she TOTALLY blew me away.

The only thing I wasn't crazy about with this book was the length. While Marissa Meyer is certainly known for writing longer books, I felt like it sometimes took a lot of time for things to happen in this book. When there were action scenes, they were certainly gripping and didn't feel like they were being dragged out, but there was also a whole lot of scenes throughout this book that didn't seem to accomplish much. I guess what I'm saying is that this book could've been just as gripping and effective even if it had been a little bit shorter. But that's really my only complain about it, because I was hooked to every other aspect of this story!

Overall, I really, really liked Renegades. If you're hesitating about putting this book on your TBR (whether because it's science fiction or because you're not so sure about having time to read such a large book), I can absolutely assure you that it is worth your time and you should definitely give it a try. I was on the edge at first but made the choice to dive in, and now I am absolutely hooked and I will be sharing this book with so many of my friends. Marissa Meyer outdid herself again with another wonderful series after The Lunar Chronicles, and I'm excited to see where this one goes!

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