The Rise of Renegade X

The Rise of Renegade X

4.6 18
by Chelsea M. Campbell

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Sixteen-year-old Damien Locke has a plan: major in messing with people at the local supervillain university and become a professional evil genius, just like his supervillain mom. But when he discovers the shameful secret she's been hiding all these years, that the one-night stand that spawned him was actually with a superhero, everything gets messed up. His


Sixteen-year-old Damien Locke has a plan: major in messing with people at the local supervillain university and become a professional evil genius, just like his supervillain mom. But when he discovers the shameful secret she's been hiding all these years, that the one-night stand that spawned him was actually with a superhero, everything gets messed up. His father's too moral for his own good, so when he finds out Damien exists, he actually wants him to come live with him and his goody-goody superhero family. Damien gets shipped off to stay with them in their suburban hellhole, and he has only six weeks to prove he's not a hero in any way, or else he's stuck living with them for the rest of his life, or until he turns eighteen, whichever comes first.

To get out of this mess, Damien has to survive his dad's "flying lessons" that involve throwing him off the tallest building in the city—despite his nearly debilitating fear of heights—thwarting the eccentric teen scientist who insists she's his sidekick, and keeping his supervillain girlfriend from finding out the truth. But when Damien uncovers a dastardly plot to turn all the superheroes into mindless zombie slaves, a plan hatched by his own mom, he discovers he cares about his new family more than he thought. Now he has to choose: go back to his life of villainy and let his family become zombies, or stand up to his mom and become a real hero.

Editorial Reviews

School Library Journal
Gr 9 Up—Damien Locke lives in an alternate universe inhabited by superheroes, supervillains, and regular people. If you are a hero, a letter H appears on your thumb when you turn 16. If you are a villain, you get a V. On his 16th birthday, Damien gets an X. He is half hero, half villain, the product of a one-night stand between his mad-scientist supervillain mother and superhero father Crimson Flash, otherwise known as Gordon Tines. Gordon is certain that his son will become a full-fledged hero, but the teen is equally certain that he is going to end up a villain, and is counting on admission to Vilmore, the villain academy. While he tries to make life for his father and stepfamily unbearable, Damien's mom is hooking up with the head of Vilmore romantically as well as using her hypno-device to take over the city, and Damien is forced to choose sides. This scenario certainly works as a metaphor for the shades of gray teens have to deal with as they struggle to find their identity. The book is definitely for older teens, as there is a significant semi-explicit focus on Damien's messed-up love life as he tries to reconcile with his villain ex-girlfriend, Kat, while stringing along his new hero love interest, Sarah. This is the YA equivalent of a B movie.—Tim Wadham, St. Louis County Library, MO
Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books - Jeff Chang
Campbell effectively creates an urban setting wherein superheroes and villains with their accompanying powers and gadgetry are commonplace, and she sets against it an entertaining coming-of-age story with an unusual take on a familiar question, who do you want to be? Damien's authentic struggle with that question and his further challenging of values and relationships he'd always taken for granted elevate this story above mere spandex action.
The Seattle Times - Stephanie Dunnewind
A snarky protagonist, laugh-out-loud quips and fresh twist on superheroes (who knew there could still be one?) make ... "The Rise of Renegade X" a surprising hit.

Product Details

Publication date:
Product dimensions:
5.80(w) x 8.20(h) x 1.30(d)
760L (what's this?)
Age Range:
14 - 17 Years

Meet the Author

Chelsea Campbell grew up in the Pacific Northwest, where it rains a lot. And then rains some more. She finished her first novel when she was twelve, sent it out, and promptly got rejected. Since then she's written many more novels, earned a degree in Latin and Ancient Greek, become an obsessive knitter and fiber artist, and started a collection of glass grapes. Chelsea is a pop culture fangirl at heart and can often be found rewatching episodes of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, leveling up in World of Warcraft, or spending way too much time on Livejournal and Facebook. Visit her online at

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The Rise of Renegade X 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 18 reviews.
stampymom More than 1 year ago
Damien Locke, future super villain has grand plans to attend Vilmore, the elite boarding school for up and coming super villains. Unfortunately the X that appears on his thumb the night of his sixteenth birthday turns his life upside down. Now he will have to prove himself a villain or a hero. My absolute favorite part of The Rise of Renegade X has to be main character Damien. His hysterical sarcasm had me laughing out loud more times than I can count. Truly the characters of this book were amazing. From Damien's mad scientist mother to his shape shifting ex girlfriend they just don't get better than this. I also really enjoyed Chelsea's ability to make me feel like I was a part of each of the scenes as if I were standing in Golden City watching the events take place instead of just reading about them. Never have I had so much fun rooting for the "villain" of a story. I am super stoked that Chelsea is working on book 2. If you haven't picked up a copy of The Rise of Renegade X I highly recommend that you do, and then get ready for a wild ride and a lot of laughs!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I personally love superheroes, powers, and PG rated comedy. This book is the perfect combination of all 3! I recommend this to anyone who ever dreams of themselves flying. You will really enjoy it. That's a promise.
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TeensReadToo More than 1 year ago
Welcome to Golden City, where superheroes and supervillains mingle with ordinary citizens. We meet the main character, Damien Locke, on the eve of his 16th birthday - the day his "V" is supposed to appear in his thumbprint. The day his fate is officially sealed. The day he becomes a REAL supervillain. His "V" will ensure his admission to Vilmore, the university for aspiring villains. So, standing in front of a crowd of people as the clock strikes midnight, Damien watches as his thumbprint shifts... into... an... X. The "X" has only been a rumor - until now. The shock of the "X" is bad enough to send Damien into a tailspin, but the cause of it is downright devastating. The "X" means he has superhero in him. He's never known his father, but always assumed he was another supervillain like his mother - but he was wrong. His fears are confirmed when he confronts his mother and she reveals she had a one-night stand with a superhero in the middle of a particularly heated battle. Damien is thrust into a world he doesn't want anything to do with when his mother sends him to spend six weeks with his father and his superhero family. He attempts to maintain his supervillain persona in the midst of the enemy, and is forced to make his own decisions about right and wrong. Damien Locke is a delightful character. His snarky personality fills the book with humor and causes the reader to fall in love with him. Even though Chelsea M. Campbell set THE RISE OF RENEGADE X in a fantasy world filled with superheroes and supervillains, Damien still deals with typical teenage problems. He has to deal with a rotten friend, a cheating girlfriend, and major parent issues. THE RISE OF RENEGADE X is a fun story. The reader will love getting lost in Damien's world. I know I can't wait for the sequel.
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Fantastic_Book More than 1 year ago
In Campbell's exciting and humorous debut, The Rise of Renegade X introduces us to some unforgettable characters. Damien Locke, son of supervillain - Mistress of Mayhem can't wait for his debut in the world of Supervillains. He even has a revenge list. From the moment Chelsea introduced me to her exciting new world of heroes and villains, I was enthralled. I'm a big Marvel Comics fan and it was great to read a YA novel in this category. I had plenty of laughs with this book. Chelsea's sense of humor spills across the pages with witty lines and hilarious moments. I couldn't get enough of Damien Locke. After his coming out party as a supervillain is ruined, his future is undecided. After discovering his genetic flaw, he's the underdog in Golden City's world of heroes and supervillains. It was impossible not to root for him on his quest for self discovery. What's a prodigy to do? For this is the very question Damian has to figure out. Which side to choose? Right or Wrong? I thoroughly enjoyed his journey to find out. Readers looking for something new and exciting and quite different from the paranormal norms should pick this novel up. How can you say no to heroes and villains in spandex? Great debut by Chelsea! I can't wait to see what she cooks up next.
ChelseaW More than 1 year ago
Golden City has a rather high concentration of people with super powers. On their sixteenth birthday, super teens get marked with an H (hero) or a V (villain) on their thumbs. Villain Damien Locke can't wait for his V to appear, but what he gets instead is an X. As in half hero, half villain. It doesn't take him long to figure out who his real father is, and he's not too thrilled about it. But his father negotiates six weeks with him, to convince Damien of his potential for being a hero instead of a villain. Days (and many hero/villain lifestyle clashes) later, a situation arises that will ultimately test which side Damien prefers to be on. This is a super awesome book. I am a long time fan of hero comics, so this book was high on my reading list. And it felt a bit like the X-Men with an element of Dawson's Creek, so bonus for me. I loved the two women interests of Kat and Kink (was SO cool!) and would read a spin-off with either of them as the star. Damien's dialog is at times very funny, and the whole book has a writing style that could easily be adapted for film or comic book. Seeing Damien and his step-family clash was realistic - all kids with divorced parents will be able to identify. Add super human elements and it turns into fun. Campbell has written a totally cute, edge-of-your-seat action book. Can't wait to see what she does next!
peaceloveandpat More than 1 year ago
The first page will immediately throw you into the world of our protagonist. All his life Damien Locke is set to be a great super villain. His mother after all is the great Mistress of Mayhem. A mad scientist who also happens to shoot laser beams from her eyes. Damien lives in Golden City (their very own Gotham City), where in heroes and super villains live among the regular people. Yes disguise and all that. It was said that on the night of a hero or villains sixteenth birthday, a mark on their thumb will be formed. V for villain, H for hero, and X for mix genes between hero and villain tryst. It is very rare and frowned upon since they obviously hate each other. Damien never dreamt that he would be one of these rare ones. All of a sudden his dreams of going to Vilmore (super villain school) and training together with his ex-girlfriend Kat seems impossible and to get matters worst his curiosity to find who his superhero dad turned bad. He only wanted to know who the guy is not live with him. The events following that was full of hilarious and villany antics. Befriending a girl named Sarah, surviving flying lessons with his dad, writing people on his revenge list, sorting out his feelings with Kat, blackmailing his half sister, all the while telling himself that he will be a great villain yet he keeps doing some heroic stuff and adapting the code name Renegade X. Damien Locke is sarcastic, smart, hilarious, quick witted and shrewd young man. I wasn't sure that I was really up to reading it. The Sky High-ish theme of this book not to mention the very eye catching blurb changed my mind all too quickly. This was more than what I have expected. Damien will charms every reader. Despite the fact that our protagonist was raised as a super villain his traits are actually a cross between hero and villain, his views sounded more reasonable. He has the making of a great action hero. When is book two coming out? I'm excited to see what Kat, Sara and Damien going to be doing.