I have been an avid fan of Marissa Meyer’s writing for very many years. Ever since Scarlet came out.
The Lunar Chronicles is one of my favorite series ever and I fell in love with the Queen of Hearts plotline in Heartless. But something about Renegades just didn’t cut it for me.
If I hadn’t enjoyed Heartless, this wouldn’t have been such a disappointment. It would have been that I just liked TLC and the world and wasn’t a fan of anything else Meyer wrote.
But I did love Heartless and I had such high hopes for this novel.
What really got me was how it felt like it lacked some of that heart and passion that Meyer’s other books had. Where they were super cool and innovative and spearheaded the retelling subgenre, this felt a lot more commercial to me. Maybe it was because of the way Macmillan promoted it, or just what she wrote.
I’m not a fan of superhero stories in general.
Some of you might remember those dark, dark times when I tried to write superhero stories on Wattpad and it was all just one giant mess. Where are these powers coming from? And don’t give me that vat of toxic waste story.
Where TLC had justification for the Lunar’s powers woven into the storyline, there wasn’t as much background as to where the prodigies’ powers came from. There’s not a lot of background in general about the superheroes’ powers, and I don’t like this.
Nobody really ever explains superheroes’ powers in movies or literature beyond the “They have powers. Deal with it.” And this is something that I just don’t really like about this.
And, for all the lack of background on powers, the first half still felt so slow. There was some exposition, but it just kind of dragged for me and I wish it sped up and was a little more condensed because it felt like so much introduction, even though not a lot of exposition was happening.
The last half was a lot more exciting, especially the last 100 pages, although it still felt a little shallow to me on a whole.
Where Cinder talked about cyborgs and had all these subplots about the Letumosis and the Lunars and the romance and Cinder’s past, Renegades felt very one-focus to me: Nova wants revenge.
And that’s chill and all, but I was really expecting something a little more complex and deeper. Sure, there’s a subplot thing going on with Max, but the whole novel felt like it lacked an adequate amount of subplots that made it not warrant the sheer number of pages this book has.
There aren’t as many deep social commentaries on being human, although Meyer proposes some things about whether prodigies are important or not.
Also, side note, this whole story was pretty much about the prodigies. You see very few civilian interactions and I disliked this aspect and how much the story focused on the prodigies. They may have proposed a few topics about the civilians, but overall it felt like there was just so much focus on prodigy prodigy prodigy.
Maybe it’s just because I don’t like the topic as much as I like cyborg Lunar princesses, but this just wasn’t as enjoyable as Meyer’s past novels. I think Renegades possesses a lot of potential in its sequels with the introduction of new subplots and the civilian idea, but this book is probably my least favorite of all of Meyer’s works.
I can’t way whether or not I would recommend it–once I read book 2, I’ll let you know if this series is worth it. But for now, unless superheroes are your jam I’d say maybe go read something else until one of the sequels shows promise.