I’m super late to the Marissa Meyer party. I’ve been going through her books like wildfire this year and I have loved every one of them. Renegades is no exception. It was definitely different from the fairytale retellings we have all come to expect from her, but no less extraordinary. This just proved that Meyer is capable of handling princesses and superheroes in the most amazing way.
Meyer has chosen to tell us a superhero story from the point of view of the villain. Nova Artino was raised by the infamous Ace Anarchy who threw the world into chaos in order to gain respect for prodigies, people with super powers. But Ace was thwarted by The Renegades, a group of superheroes who saw fit to make the world a better place. Since Ace fell, the original six Renegades have expanded to a world-wide organization with several hundred members. They not only act as superheroes, but as regular law enforcement as well. This is something that Nova does not agree with, especially considering The Renegades have been known to go back on their promises. Most notably they were not there when Nova’s parents were killed by one of the villain gangs, even though they promised to protect them. But Ace was there. In order to uphold Ace’s legacy and to bring down The Renegades, Nova infiltrates Renegade headquarters and becomes part of the group she swears to hate forever.
This book was such a refreshing pace from the good vs. evil trope of superhero stories. By telling the story from Nova’s point of view, and also from the point of view of one of the Renegades, Adrian, Meyer shows us that both sides have valid points and that not everything is black and white. It especially highlights that villains don’t think of their motives as villainous. They are the heroes in their own stories. From Nova’s point of view, The Renegades almost seem like a tyrannical government.
Renegades is a story that can teach readers about how humanity is at its best when the regular people do heroic things. Heroics are not always just for heroes. It’s hard not to root for Nova as she tries to take down what is essentially a larger-scale Marvel’s Avengers. The sequel, Archenemies, comes out November 6th.