In ‘Renegades,’ the Villains Might Not be the Bad Guys

Tara Smith

Have you ever read a book that feels like it grabs you by the shoulders and drags you into it’s captivating world? Over quarantine, I picked up a book and was pulled into a wondrous magical world. I used to be an avid reader but I fell out of it during the transition into high school. Reading has always been a hobby of mine because I love the way you can escape reality into an entirely different world. That’s why for my first book after a year of only reading books we were required to read for English class I picked up the book Renegades (published by Macmillan Children’s Publishing Group and a New York Times #1 bestseller) by Marissa Meyer who is also the author of the popular Lunar Chronicles series which tells the story of a cyborg girl in the city of New Beijing.

The story revolves around our main character Nova Artino who lives in a world run by a group of prodigies called the Renegades who are superheros. These Renegades have rebuilt the ruins of a torn society as a result of what’s called the Age of Anarchy where villain gangs were in power. Everyone idolizes the Renegades except for the villains they overthrew. Nova has a deep hatred for the Renegades and she is on a mission for vengeance. She meets a Renegade boy named Adrian, who believes in Nova, but Nova’s allegiance is to the villains who have the power to end them both.

My non-spoiler review: I absolutely adored this book and the world it created. It was a quick read in the sense that I picked it up and couldn’t put it down. From the very first page I was hooked and captivated by the emotion, action, and storytelling written on each page. The story was enticing, intriguing, and provoked deep thoughts throughout. The magic and superpowers that characters possess are so unique and unlike anything I have seen before. Although it is a classic fight between the villains and superheroes Marissa Meyers does it in a way that feels brand new. I would rate this book a four out of five stars.

The book has a little bit of everything from action, to drama, romance, and the politics of the society in the book. It made me question whether or not villains are as bad as they are made to seem. It made me question the morals of not just the Villains but the Renegades as well. It made me question the idolization of superheroes and if they really are as heroic as they appear. This story was a roller coaster of questioning the principles of each side from the Villains to the prodigious Renegades.

The fantasy aspect was written exceptionally and it is a great book and trilogy to pick up if you want to get back into reading or want to try the YA fantasy genre for the first time. Our main character, Nova, is written really well as she journeys on this mission of vengeance and learns more about herself, the Renegades, the Villains, and the world in which she lives. From the first page I felt like I was immersed in the world of Gatlon City and was torn between who I was rooting for the Anarchists or the Renegades. Sometimes, I was even torn if I should be rooting for anyone at all.