shiiki (shiiki) wrote,

Renegades review (and some PJO stuff)

About three weeks ago my hold on the e-book for Renegades by Marissa Meyer came through from the library (and its one of those where I have to check it out right off or I’d have to wait again for the next round) so I checked it out even though I was too insanely busy between school/work and drafting my DoW fic at the time. But since I completed my crappy first draft and got through my presentation today I treated myself to the book. And blew through it in a day, naturally.

I loved this so much. It’s funny because I’m not a big fan of superhero movies. At the first chapter, I didn’t expect to like it as much as I did.

Maybe because it ISN’T such a clear-cut superhero vs villains story. In fact, the main character is on the ‘villain’ side, at least the villain in the story world.

And Nova was compelling even from the prologue. I really like Marissa Meyer’s style. I find it easy to relate to her characters and their struggles, and those issues they face really make me think. She does backstory really well, and suspense is ratcheted up bit by bit so I just HAVE to know what is coming, with that missing piece just tantalising enough but without removing too much context for me to understand what’s going on.

I also found it surprisingly easy to follow all the code names and aliases, which is something that usually loses me with other complex disguise/spy/mystery novels. So I could have a clear image all the time of who was who and what was going on.

The premise of the story gave great potential for the lines between good and bad to be blurred and for us to sink our teeth into the hard questions—what makes a hero? The powers were cool and there was such a great complement of them. And I love that the central characters didn’t have outwardly flashy talents despite a society/group that had built their foundation on the obvious talents. Nova’s gifts, Adrian’s sketching—they are subtle and show the power of the invisible.

I love the underlying themes of heroism and how powers play into it. Nova’s belief that everyone had a part to play contrasted with Adrian’s view of superheroism. Their backstories were exquisitely crafted to match how they saw the world. And they came together with the perfect blend of chemistry yet with the forbidden romance element that is only known on Nova’s side, but gives the reader a delicious amount of tension throughout.

The suspense was really well developed with all the little clues slowly put in, just enough context at the beginning to follow but not enough to give everything away so I really wanted to keep going, to find out more about Max and all the backstories.

The one thing that gave me pause was the cliffy at the end. I’m not sure what I think about it; I may have to go back to look for clues to see if it’s believable. I feel like it’s right on the borderline between totally misleading and just enough deception. But it certainly sets that stage for a sequel. The thing is, I’m not sure I think it’s a sufficient cut point. I wasn’t really expecting the story to end quite there.

Anyway, it was a great read and I definitely recommend it.

I also found the short story Percy Jackson and the Singer of Apollo and that was a nice fun read. It wasn’t deep or anything, but it was certainly entertaining and I do love Percy’s original narrative voice. I can’t figure out where this short is meant to fit in within the canon series though, because it’s set in spring and obviously after PJO, but then two springs after the first series are both taken up by either Percy’s disappearance or Apollo’s quest so none of these events could possibly have occurred! (Yeah I know, why should this even matter ...?)

Anyway, because Grover is such a big part of this one, it got me thinking about The Burning Maze and a fear I have about that book. I haven’t read it yet because well, release day yesterday, I didn’t get it (was thinking to wait for ebooks or library ebooks because it’s not like I have a burning desire for Apollo’s adventures—no pun intended, but okay there it is anyway) and, excuses. But although I’m trying to avoid spoilers, I have a feeling I already stumbled on a few anyway.

Saying that ‘the thing we didn’t think would happen happened’ kind of is a spoiler to me because I already know what it is we don’t think will happen!!!

And is it weird that I’m feeling more jittery now about reading the book than I am about my impending presentations?

I guess it won’t make that much of a difference. I got spoilt on OotP because my wonderful friend back then flipped to the back (we got our books together) and when I read up to Sirius’s appearance around chapter 5 or so, she said to me, ‘Yeah, but he dies at the end.’

But ahhhh. I haven’t even read the thing and now I’m really sad about it.
Tags: book reviews, books, percy jackson ftw, pjo, reading, renegades
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