Marissa Meyer is a tricky author. I adored her first series, the Lunar Chronicles, a futuristic (but not dystopian) retelling of popular fairy tales. It was light without feeling boring or simple. Her next project, a stand alone prequel to Alice and Wonderland was, simply put, a jarring departure from what I expected. This contrast made me skeptical, but still excited to see if Renegades could return Meyer to the author I know and love.
Renegades is set in Gatlon City, a city similar to Gotham or Metropolis- fake, futuristic and based on New York. In Gatlon, we follow two protagonists. The first is Adrian, the do-gooder son of the city’s most famous superheroes, who’s just trying to make a name for himself. There’s also the vengeance driven Nova, the niece of the city’s most famous super villain. When Renegades begins, we follow Nova as she manages to weasel her way onto Adrian’s training group, where she attempts to destroy the superheroes from the inside out. It’s a classic setup, but Meyer makes it work, adding her own twists, some which I saw coming, but many I did not.
“Maybe Ace really was a villain. Or maybe he was a visionary. Maybe there’s not much of a difference.”
Renegades reminds me of what I love about Young Adult. Meyer does not write about heavy, complicated topics, and if she does it is always entwined with happier themes. Similar to her previous work, and the work of many talented YA authors, her plots are page turning and amusing, but never basic. It is clear to me that Meyer works best when she is rewriting a classic idea or story- not when she tries to predict the past of certain characters. She is clearly a talented author and I am so excited to see what she writes next.