Monday, June 25, 2018

Renegades (Renegades, #1) by Marissa Meyer

Narrated by Rebecca Soler
Synopsis (via Goodreads): 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.
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I didn't think a 17-18 hour audiobook would be that long, but I was very, very wrong. It wouldn't have been too bad on its own, but the audiobook I listened to before this one was equally as daunting. (It was Cress by Marissa Meyer, so maybe this author just likes to write big books!) I'll start spacing out the lengthy audiobooks from now on so my brain/ears don't feel so overwhelmed. It didn't help that I borrowed this from my library and wasn't able to finish it before it expired. I had to go back on the Wait List for a few weeks.

I am a huge fan of Marissa Meyer and all of her other books! However, Renegades was a tiny step down for me. While I enjoyed the story and the world-building, I never felt really connected to the characters. I thought they were interesting with unique powers, but there wasn't a connection on a personal level. It doesn't take away from the story at all, and wanting to feel tied to the characters is a personal preference.

Renegades is told from varying POVs, though I do think we see more from Nova's perspective. I love that we're sort of rooting for both the villains and the superheroes in this story, and Meyer does a wonderful job of showing how there can be good and bad on both sides. Not all of the Renegades are kind and want to help people, but instead enjoy showing off their powers and bullying others into doing what they want them to. The same can be said for the villains. The Age of Anarchy was started with the best of intentions, but other villain gangs came to power and started doing villainous things. It's hard to see everything as black and white, because a person's intentions should matter.

I will say that there are a lot of surprises throughout Renegades. Meyer kept me on my toes and threw some really crazy stuff at me when I wasn't expecting it. I hate that it ended when it did, or where it did, because I'm left with a ton of questions that I know won't be answered until the next book. A switch seems to have clicked in Nova, and I'm curious what this means for her going forward. Everyone has secrets, and it's only a matter of time before they're all exposed.

43 comments:

  1. That's quite an effective cover...it certainly catches the eye!

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    1. I agree! I think the cover fits the story perfectly. <3

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  2. I picked this up when it first came out and never got to it. I'm excited to start it now but I think I will wait until the next book is closer to coming out, I hate cliffhangers and unanswered questions. Great review for this!

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    1. It's really enjoyable, just long! Be prepared to sit/listen for awhile. Meyer is always descriptive with her worlds, but this one felt really detailed and thorough. There is a lot that happens right at the end that leaves a lot left unsaid, so if you don't like to be left with questions--wait for the next one! When will it come out? Next year?

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  3. the reviews seem quited shared about this one. But well I still need to read the sequel of Cinder. I'm late!

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    1. I think I would have enjoyed it more if the story had been condensed just a tad, and I felt a little more connected to the characters. Overall, very enjoyable!

      Yes! You need to read the rest of The Lunar Chronicles! It's one of my favorites. <3

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  4. Sorry this wasn't too enjoyable for you. That sucks that you had to have a little break from it while you waited for your turn again from the library!

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    1. Oh, it was very enjoyable! It was just a four-star read compared to the other five-star Meyer books I've read (Heartless & The Lunar Chronicles). I really liked the world Meyer has created, I just wanted to feel more connected to the characters and their goals. It's like I'm viewing everything from the outside instead of experiencing it with them.

      It was such a bummer to have to wait a few weeks before I could finish it! That might also have something to do with why I felt so disconnected. I'm looking forward to the next book!

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  5. I still need to read this one. I’m worried I’ll find it too long and boring. I hope not but yeah.

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    1. It's definitely long, but I didn't think it was boring. Lengthy and informative, maybe. It gives you a really good idea of what the world looks like, and how the two sides (Anarchists and Renegades) are seen and portrayed. There's a lot going on, so I feel like the author had to do a lot of explaining to cover everything. It just felt too descriptive at times, or a scenario would last a little longer than necessary.

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  6. I haven't read this book yet, mostly because I haven't finished the Lunar Chronicles yet. I'm sorry to hear you didn't enjoy it as much. I really want to read Renegades, but I should finish her other books first. Thanks for sharing your review.

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    1. I'm in the middle of The Lunar Chronicles myself! I still need to read the last book, Winter, but I recently finished Cress so I'm waiting a little bit. I've been told it's about 300+ more pages than Cress, and Cress was already a 17-18 hour audiobook. Winter is going to be a doozy! I need to be ready for that, so I think I'm going to listen to a few shorter books first.

      I did enjoy Renegades, truly. It just didn't meet my expectations after Heartless and TLC. I wanted to feel more connected to Nova and Adrian. I couldn't even get behind their forbidden, sort-of romance they had going on. It just wasn't there for me. I hope you love the rest of TLC and that Renegades works for you, too!

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  7. I was intrigued by this when it was being released but forgot all about it >.<

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    1. Sometimes books can get lost in the hype! I know people were talking about this one ages before it was released. Have you read any of her other books?

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  8. I've heard a lot of mix feelings of this book. Some people thought it was a let down from The Lunar Chronicle series and others loved it! I haven't read it yet, but I plan to :)

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    1. I think that's my problem... I'm comparing it to her other books and how they made me feel, which is a little unfair to this story. However, I always felt connected to the characters in her other books, and I feel like I'm reading this one from the sidelines. I want to be right there with the characters, but it's hard when I feel like I don't really know them. I hope you enjoy this one! The story and world-building are wonderful. <3

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    2. That is going to be a hard for me I bet. I love being able to relate to the characters and being emotionally attached to them. Not in a huge rush to read the book, but I'll keep it in mind :)

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    3. Let me know if you do decide to read it! I would love to hear your thoughts.

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  9. You know...I have yet to read ANYTHING by MM. =(
    Not because I don't want to I have the whole LC series just haven't gotten to it!

    Mary

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    1. If you have the entire TLC series, I highly recommend reading it sooner rather than later! It's sooo good! I'm dying to read Winter, but I know it's going to be insanely long. I need to be in the right mindset for that! Heartless was my first book by Meyer and I LOVED it. It broke my heart and stomped on the shards, but it was worth it.

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  10. I really enjoyed The Lunar Chronicles, but I read a lot of meh reviews for this one. I might have to give it another chance.

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    1. I would recommend giving it a chance, especially if you've loved the author's other books. It's a great story with an interesting new world. I loved the concept of The Anarchists and Renegades. They're both trying to achieve something better, but have different ways of going about it. It's hard to root for just one side when you can agree with aspects of both.

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  11. I love it when I can buy long audiobooks, but I'd probably be a bit more hesitant if I was borrowing them because I'd be worried I wouldn't be able to finish in time.

    This sounds like a really interesting book (and it's been on my radar for a while because of that cover alone!) I will definitely have to check it out at some point. Great review. - Katie

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    1. Well, I wasn't able to finish it in time, but that's okay! Eventually I was able to check it out again, so everything worked in the end.

      I adore the cover for this book and think it fits the story perfectly! I hope you're able to read it sooner rather than later, and that it's something you enjoy immensely! <3

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  12. Is it just me or it's super stressful to try and not lose where you are in the book when listening to an audiobook? Great review, by the way, I'm really glad to see a sympathizable villain (because the means layered character portrayal and development, which leads to quality writing).

    http://anneclarence.wixsite.com/thereadinglife/single-post/2018/06/25/Book-Review-The-Hating-Game-by-Sally-Thorne

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    1. Oh, I never lose my place in an audiobook! I use OverDrive and they save my place even if the book is returned and checked out again weeks later. It actually remembered my spot better than I did, because I had to rewind it for a few minutes to remember what was going on. <3

      Oh, yes. Meyer writes incredible characters with depth and development. I just didn't feel as connected to them as I wanted to. I'm hoping that changes in the second book.

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  13. I was the same in terms of not connecting to the characters in Renegades quite as quickly or deeply as those in The Lunar Chronicles. I think The Lunar Chronicles was just more up my alley in general... wow with these two series to go off of I think we can say that Marissa Meyer maybe likes fleshing out villains, huh?

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    1. Right? Didn't Meyer write a Novella just for Levana? I forget what it's called... Have you read it? It's supposed to be her backstory and explain how she became the villain she is today. I want to read it after I finish Winter! I feel like Renegades has the potential to be as good as TLC, and I'm hoping to feel more connected to the characters in the next book.

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    2. Levana's novella is called Fairest! If you're planning on reading it it might actually not be a bad idea to read it before going into Winter (since some of Winter's and Jacin's backstories are fleshed out in Fairest, as well as Levana's character motivations)... I read it going into Winter and I think it informed my reading a little bit? I wouldn't call it strictly necessary for reading Winter but it might be helpful?

      We have a trilogy for Renegades now so hopefully there's plenty of time to really connect to the characters. I do like the groundwork that was laid in Renegades.

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    3. Noted. Thanks for the tip! I'll definitely read Fairest first and then Winter. I've been curious about Levana's story since the beginning, and Jacin intrigued me when I read Cress. I feel like his motivations are strictly for Winter's benefit, but he has to be careful because Levana is the devil.

      Ah, that's awesome! Wasn't Renegades just a duology before? I'm really hoping to feel more connected to them in the next book now that the world has been set up.

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    4. Renegades was a duology until a few weeks ago, when they announced that it was going to be longer than that! I guess two books wasn't quite enough for Marissa Meyer to get in everything she wanted to...

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    5. ...but they're already so massive, lol. She does tell long stories! I'm excited to see where she takes this one. If it's going to span three books now instead of two, surely I will feel more invested in the characters and their lives... right?

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    6. Fingers crossed we'll both be SUPER invested by the time we get to the last book! (Which will, in true Marissa Meyer fashion, probably be big enough to use as, like, a doorstop or something. She does like her giant books.)

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  14. It is good you were able to enjoy this one even though you had a hard time connecting with the characters.

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    1. The story is phenomenal! I love the setting and the opposing sides both wanting something similar. They just have different ways of trying to achieve their goals. I'm really curious how everything is going to play out, and when everyone's secrets will finally be revealed. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that I'll feel more connected with the characters in the next book. <3

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  15. I'm pretty used to listening to long audiobooks thanks to all the fantasy novels I read, but I agree, they can feel *really* long sometimes! So far the only books from Marissa Meyer that I've read are Cinder and Scarlet, and I enjoyed both of them a lot. For some reason I haven't been moved to pick up any of her other books though. Maybe this one would work for me!

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    1. Maybe! You should definitely give it a shot. Oh, if you haven't read Heartless yet, I HIGHLY recommend that one! Renegades was long, but I appreciated the detail. I thought some of it could have been condensed a little, but overall I was fine with it. I'm just going to make sure my next few audiobooks don't exceed 8 hours, lol.

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  16. Glad that it was at least decent, but WOW, that is a long time for one book my goodness. I have heard from a lot of people that it was okay, but not like, as amazing as they've found some of her other books. Since this one didn't really entice me a ton to begin with, I'll probably skip it. Great review!

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    1. It was so very long, haha. I feel like I can still hear the narrator in my head, which is probably not a good thing. Oh well, at least it's Rebecca Soler. ;)

      I loved Heartless and am loving The Lunar Chronicles, but I only really enjoyed Renegades... if that helps. The world and the concept is amazing and unique, but I just didn't feel a connection with any of the characters. I like to feel really invested in the people I'm reading about.

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  17. I'm sorry to hear this one didn't work out for you as well as her previous books. I still have to check it out for myself but I think I'll wait until the next book releases. Great review!

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    1. That might be a good idea! Meyer doesn't really leave you with a cliffhanger, but she does leave the ending a little open-ended. I think it set up the next book nicely, I just have QUESTIONS.

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  18. This one has been on my TBR, but I've heard multiple reviewers say it's just not as good as her previous books. Still excited to read it though :) Great review!

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    1. I really enjoyed the story overall, but I didn't connect with the characters as much. I felt like I was simply observing what was going on, and I want to feel like I'm a part of the story with the characters. There was a lot of world-building though, so my hope is that the next book builds better connections for me.

      I hope you like it! <3

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