Hey Wordnerds! Here it is!
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.
First of all, I need to gush. THAT FREAKING COVER! It’s like an old school comic book cover and I LOVE it! I do know people that think it’s ugly, and everyone is entitled to their opinion – but my God, I will swoon over that art until the end of time.
Alright. The book.
I can now write this review – after having spent ample time upon closing the back cover to stare at the wall and question all of my life choices. I knew that this book was brand new and the first part in a duology – but did I consider maybe reading it a little closer to the release of the conclusion? Apparently not. Past me is so mean to current me.
I would like to say that this book had me hooked from the very beginning, but that’s just not true. The first chapter was a set up for the rest of the book and is really important, but at the time, a superhero story just wasn’t what I wanted. However, it became EXACTLY what I wanted. This book had serious Overwatch vibes – for those of you who aren’t obsessed with Blizzard Entertainment and the video games they put out, I’ll leave a link at the bottom of the post for a little background research. The Renegades are the Overwatch and the Anarchists are Talon – to say that the Renegades are the glossy, godly, superheroes, and the Anarchists are the cunning, villains bent on chaos.
Our main character, Nova, is a bit of an anti-hero who struggles with her need for vengeance against the Renegades after their failure to save her family, versus her growing understanding when she gets accepted into Renegade ranks for an undercover mission proposed by the Anarchists. Once Nova is in, she grows rather fond of the son of the Renegade leader, Adrian (A.K.A. Sketch for his ability to draw things and pull them into reality.) However, her crush on Adrian isn’t the only thing leading her to question her loyalty to the Anarchists – there are a few shady moves made by her home team.
One of the things that I loved so much about this book is the variance of super powers. A lot of people who write about people with extraordinary abilities tend to stick to the classic elementalist tropes. While there are a couple of water-controllers in roster, there are also a who slew of abilities that I had never seen before. Sketch’s ability to pull his drawings into reality, the Red Assassin’s blood that crystalizes and can be used as a weapon, Nova’s ability to put people to sleep – while not being able to sleep herself. There’s a guy who uses his enemy’s deepest fears, a girl who controls bees and another girl who transforms into a swarm of butterflies in an instant. Some of the powers were just so out there and so creative that I wanted to know everyone’s origin story.
Then there’s the Sentinel. A hero that no one has ever heard of, that harbors MULTIPLE powers – something unheard of among prodigies. The Anarchists believe that he is some top secret Renegade science experiment. The Renegades believe he’s some kind of strange vigilante. We know who he is, but the characters do not. This leaves many edge of your seat moments where I found myself biting my nails and wondering if the Sentinel’s true identity would be revealed to either side.
I think that at the end of the book, the thing that really broke me is that – as with all good cliffhangers – there was SO much left unanswered. I absolutely loved this first installment. I wasn’t surprised by this as pretty much everything that Marissa Meyer writes is my favourite thing. However, I do really regret not waiting to devour it until closer to the release of the second book. This is usually why I don’t read series until the final book is released. There’s too much anticipation!
Someone please read this one, just so I have someone to talk to haha.
So in closing, seven out of five stars! Loved it! Will reread closer to the sequel – and quite possibly a million times after that. Well done Marissa! Keep them coming!
Happy Reading Wordnerds!
(As promised, a link to Overwatch info: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Overwatch_%28video_game%29)