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Includes six pages of handwritten, behind-the-scenes material.
From #1 New York Times-bestselling author Marissa Meyer, comes a high-stakes world of adventure, passion, danger, and betrayal.
She wants vengeance. He wants justice.
The Renegades are a syndicate of prodigieshumans with extraordinary abilitieswho 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 justiceand in Nova. But Nova's allegiance is to a villain who has the power to end them both.
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TEN YEARS LATER
The streets of downtown Gatlon were overflowing with fake superheroes.
Kids ran amok in orange capes, screeching and waving Blacklight-branded sparklers over their heads, or shooting one another with Tsunami-themed squirt guns. Grown men had squeezed themselves into blue leggings and painted shoulder pads to look like the Captain's armor, and now sat clinking glasses together inside the roped-off beer gardens that dotted the main street. Gender-swapping was a big thing this year, too, with countless women having shown up in risqué versions of the Dread Warden's signature bodysuit, and plenty of men having strapped cheap replicas of Thunderbird's black-feathered wings to their backs.
Oh, how Nova despised the Renegade Parade.
The street vendors weren't any better, hawking everything from cheesy light-up wands to tiny plush versions of the famous Renegade quintet. Even the food trucks were celebrating the day's theme, with Captain Chromium funnel cakes and Tsunami fish'n'chips baskets and one sign advertising DREAD WARDEN'S FAVORITE POPCORN CHICKEN — GET SOME NOW BEFORE IT DISAPPEARS!
If Nova had had an appetite to start with, she was sure she would have lost it by now.
A great cheer rose up through the crowd and the noise of a marching band broke through the din. Trumpets and drums and the steady thumping of hundreds of synchronized musicians moved through the street. The music grew louder, bearing down on them now. Cannons blasted overhead, dousing the crowd with confetti. The children went nuts. The adults weren't much better.
Nova shook her head, mildly disappointed in humanity. She stood at the back of the crowd, unable to see much of the actual parade, which was fine by her. Arms crossed defensively over her chest. Fingers drumming an impatient rhythm against her elbow. Already it felt like she'd been standing there for an eternity.
The cheering turned suddenly to loud, exuberant boos, which could only mean one thing. The first floats had come into view.
It was tradition for the villain floats to go first, to really get the crowd riled up, and to remind everyone what it was they were celebrating. Today was the ninth anniversary of the Battle for Gatlon, when the Renegades had taken on the Anarchists and the other villain gangs in a bloody fight that had ended with dozens of deaths on both sides.
The Renegades had won, of course. Ace's revolutionaries were defeated and the few villains who didn't perish that day either crawled away into hiding or left the city entirely.
And Ace ...
Ace Anarchy was dead. Destroyed in the explosion that leveled half of the cathedral he had made his home.
That day officially marked the end of the Age of Anarchy, and the start of the Council's rule.
They called it the Day of Triumph.
Nova looked up to see an enormous balloon, spanning nearly the width of the street as it floated between the high-rises. It was a cartoon-like replica of the Atomic Brain, who had been one of Ace's closest allies before the Renegades had killed him nearly fifteen years ago. Nova hadn't known him personally, but she still felt a spark of resentment to see the balloon's treatment of him — the bloated head and grotesquely disfigured face.
The crowd laughed and laughed.
The tiny transmitter crackled inside her ear.
"And so it begins," came Ingrid's voice, wry and unamused.
"Let them laugh," Phobia responded. "They won't be laughing for much longer. Nightmare, are you in position?"
"Roger," Nova said, careful to move her lips as little as possible, though she doubted anyone in the crowd was paying attention to her. "Just need to know which rooftop you want me on."
"The Council hasn't left the warehouse yet," said Phobia. "I will alert you once they do."
Nova glanced across the street, to the second-level window of an office building, where she could barely see Ingrid — or the Detonator, as the public knew her — peering out through the blinds.
The booing of the crowd started up again, more enthusiastic than before. Over the heads of the spectators, Nova caught glimpses of an elaborate parade float. On it was a miniature-scale version of the Gatlon skyline and standing among the buildings were actors wearing over-stylized costumes meant to resemble some of the most well-known members of Ace's gang. Nova recognized Rat and Brimstone, both killed at the hands of Renegades, but before she could be offended on their behalf, she spotted a dark figure near the top of the float. A surprised laugh escaped her, easing some of the anxiety that had been building all morning.
"Phobia," she said, "did you know they were going to put you on the villain floats this year?"
A hiss came back to her through the ear piece. "We are not here to admire the parade, Nightmare."
"Don't worry. You look good up there," she said, eyeing the actor. He had donned a long black cloak and was carrying an enormous plastic scythe with a bunch of rubber snakes glued to the handle. But when he opened his cloak, rather than being consumed by shadows, the actor revealed a pale, skinny physique wearing nothing but lime green swimming briefs.
The crowd went berserk. Even Nova's cheek twitched. "They may have taken a few liberties."
"I think I like it better," said Ingrid with a snort, watching the parade from the window.
"It certainly inspires terror," agreed Nova.
Phobia said nothing.
"Is that ...?" started Ingrid. "Oh my holy bomb squad, they have a Queen Bee this year."
Nova looked again. At first the actress was concealed on the other side of the cityscape, but then she moved into view and Nova's eyebrows shot upward. The woman's blonde wig was twice the size of her head and her sequined black-and-yellow dress could not have been any gaudier as it sparkled in the afternoon sunlight. She had black mascara running down her cheeks and was embracing a large stuffed bumblebee to her bosom, wailing about the unfair treatment of her little honey makers.
"Wow," said Nova. "That's actually not a bad impersonation."
"I can't wait to tell Honey," said Ingrid. "We should be recording this."
Nova's eyes darted around the crowd for what might have been the thousandth time. Standing still made her edgy. She was wired for movement. "Are you offended they don't have a Detonator?" she asked.
There was a long pause before Ingrid said, "Well, I am now."
Nova turned back to the parade. She stood on her tiptoes, trying to make out if any of their other comrades were among the costumes, when a loud crash startled the crowd. The top of the tallest building on the float — a replica of Merchant Tower — had just blown upward, and a new figure was emerging, laughing madly as he raised his hands toward the sky.
Nova clamped her jaw shut, the moment's amusement doused beneath a rush of fury.
The Ace Anarchy costume was the closest to reality — the familiar black-and-gold suit, the bold, iconic helmet.
The audience's surprise passed quickly. For many, this was the highlight of the parade, even more of a draw than seeing their beloved Council.
Within seconds, people had started to reach for the rotten fruits and wilted cabbages they'd brought with them for just this purpose. They started pummeling the villain float, shouting obscenities and mocking the villains on board. The actors took it with remarkable resilience, ducking down behind the buildings and screeching in feigned horror. The Ace Anarchy impersonator took the brunt of the attack, but he never dropped character — shaking his fist and calling the children at the front of the crowd stinking rascals and little nightmares, before he finally ducked down into the hollow building and pulled the top back over himself, setting up the surprise for the next street of onlookers.
Nova swallowed, feeling the knot in her stomach loosen only once the villain float had passed.
My little nightmare ...
He had called her that, too, all those years ago.
The floats were followed by a band of acrobats and a Thunderbird balloon gliding overhead. Nova spotted a banner being propped up on tall poles, advertising the upcoming Renegade trials.
BOLD. VALIANT. JUST. DO YOU HAVE WHAT IT TAKES TO BE A HERO?
She faked a loud gagging sound, and an elderly woman nearby gave her a sour look.
A body crashed into her and Nova stumbled backward, her hands instinctively landing on the kid's shoulders and righting her before she fell onto the pavement.
"Watch it," said Nova.
The girl looked up — a domino mask over her eyes making her look like a smaller, scrawnier, girlier version of the Dread Warden.
"What was that, Nightmare?" Ingrid said into her ear. Nova ignored her.
The girl pulled away with a muttered sorry, then turned and wove her way back into the teeming crowd.
Nova adjusted her shirt and was just about to turn back to the parade when she saw the kid crash into someone else. Only, rather than set her right as Nova had done, the stranger stooped low, grabbed the girl's ankle, and turned her upside down in one swift motion.
Nova gaped as the stranger hauled the girl, screaming and swatting his chest, back in Nova's direction. He was roughly her age, but much taller, with dark skin, close-cut hair, and thick-framed eyeglasses. The way he strolled through the crowd made it seem more like he was carrying one of those cheesy Captain Chromium plush dolls rather than a ferocious, flailing child.
He stopped in front of Nova, a patient smile on his face.
"Give it back," he said.
"Put me down!" the girl yelled. "Let me go!"
Nova looked from the boy to the child, then took a quick scan of the nearby crowd. Far too many people were watching them. Watching her.
That wasn't good.
"What are you doing?" she said, turning back to the boy. "Put her down."
His smile became even more serene and Nova's heart stammered. Not just because he had one of those easy smiles that made other girls swoon, but because there was something unsettlingly familiar about him, and Nova immediately began racking her brain to figure out where she knew him from, and whether or not he was a threat.
"All right, Mini-Magpie," he said, somewhat patronizing, "you've got three seconds before I send in a request to put you on probation. Come to think of it, I'm pretty sure the janitorial crew has been needing some help lately ..."
The girl huffed and stopped struggling. Her mask had begun to slip and was close to sliding off her brow. "I hate you," she growled, then reached into a pocket. She pulled out her hand and held it toward Nova, who uncertainly extended her own.
A bracelet — her bracelet — dropped into her palm.
Nova looked at her wrist, where a faint tan line showed where the bracelet had been worn every day for years.
Ingrid's voice rattled in her head. "What's happening down there, Nightmare?"
Nova didn't respond. Tightening her fist around the bracelet, she fixed a glare on the child, who only glared back.
The boy dropped her with little ceremony, but the girl rolled easily when she hit the pavement and had sprung back to her feet before Nova could blink.
"I'm not going to report this," said the boy, "because I believe you are going to make better choices after this. Right, Magpie?"
The girl shot him a disgusted look. "You're not my dad, Sketch," she yelled, then turned and stomped off around the nearest corner.
Nova squinted at the boy. "She's just going to rob someone else, you know."
Ingrid's voice buzzed in her ear. "Nightmare, who are you talking to? Who's getting robbed?"
"— can hope it will make her rethink her options," the boy was saying. His eyes met hers briefly, then dropped down to her closed fist. "Do you want help with that?"
Her fingers clenched tighter. "With what? The bracelet?"
He nodded and, before Nova realized what was happening, he had taken her hand and started peeling open her fingers. She was so stunned by the action that he had freed the bracelet from her grip before she thought to stop him. "When I was a kid," he said, taking the copper-colored filigree into his fingers, "my mom used to always ask me to help with her brace —" He paused. "Oh. The clasp is broken."
Nova, who had been scrutinizing his face with wary bewilderment, looked down at the bracelet. Her pulse skipped. "That little brat!"
"Nova?" crackled Ingrid's voice. "Have you been compromised?"
Nova ignored her.
"It's okay," said the boy. "I can fix it."
"Fix it?" She tried to snatch the bracelet away from him, but he pulled back. "You don't understand. That bracelet, it isn't ... it's ..."
"No, trust me," he said, reaching into his back pocket and pulling out a fine-tip black marker. "This wrist, right?" He wrapped the bracelet around Nova's wrist, and again, the sensation of such a rare, unexpected touch made her freeze.
Holding the bracelet with one hand, he uncapped the marker with his teeth and bent over her wrist. He began to draw onto her skin, in the space between the two ends of the broken bracelet. Nova stared at the drawing — two small links connecting the filigree and, between them, a delicate clasp, surprisingly ornate for a drawing made in marker, and perfectly matched to the style of the bracelet.
When he had finished, the boy capped the pen using his teeth again, then brought her wrist up closer to his face. He blew — a soft, barely there breath across the inside of her wrist that sent goose bumps racing up her arm.
The drawing came to life, rising up out of her skin and taking physical shape. The links merged with the ends of the bracelet, until Nova could not tell where the real bracelet ended and the forged clasp began.
No — that wasn't entirely true. On closer inspection, she could see that the clasp he'd made was not quite the same coppery-gold color, but had a hint of rosiness to it, and even a faint line of blue where the drawing had crossed over one of the veins beneath her skin.
"What about the stone?" the boy said, turning her hand over and tapping his marker against the empty spot once intended for a precious gem.
"That was already missing," stammered Nova.
"Want me to draw one anyway?"
"No," she said, yanking her hand away. Her eyes lifted just in time to catch a flash of surprise, and she hastily added, "No, thank you."
The boy looked about ready to insist, but then he stopped himself and smiled. "Okay," he said, tucking his marker into his back pocket again.
Nova twisted her hand back and forth. The clasp held.
The boy's smile took on a subtle edge of pride.
Obviously a prodigy. But was he also ...
"Renegade?" she asked, making little effort to keep the suspicion from her tone.
"Renegade?" cried Ingrid. "Who are you talking to, Nova? Why aren't you —"
The crowd burst into a new frenzy of hollers and applause, drowning out Ingrid's voice. A series of fireworks shot upward from the parade float that had just emerged, exploding and shimmering to furious cheers from the people below.
"Looks like the headliners have arrived," said the boy, somewhat disinterested as he glanced over his shoulder toward the float.
Phobia's voice crackled. "West station, Nightmare. West station."
Purpose jolted down Nova's spine. "Roger."
The boy turned back to her, a small wrinkle forming over the bridge of his glasses. "Adrian, actually."
She took a step back. "I have to go." She turned on her heel and pushed her way through a group of costumed Renegade supporters.
"Renegade trials, next week!" one of them said, shoving a piece of paper at her. "Open to the public! Come one, come all!"
Nova crumpled the flyer in her hand without looking at it and crammed it into her pocket. Behind her, she heard the boy yelling, "You're welcome!" She didn't look back.
"Target now passing Altcorp," said Phobia as Nova ducked into the shadows of an alleyway. "What's your status, Nightmare?"
Nova checked that the alley was empty before lifting the lid of a dumpster and hauling herself up onto its edge. Her duffel bag greeted her, resting at the top of the heap.
"Just grabbing my things," she said, snatching up the bag. She dropped back to the ground. The dumpster lid crashed shut. "I'll be on the roof in two minutes."
"Make it one," said Phobia. "You have a superhero to kill."
Nova slung the bag over her shoulder and reached for one of the weighted ropes she'd set up in the alley the night before. She wrapped her arm around the rope and untied the sailor's knot from the weights holding it to the ground.
The weights attached to the opposite end dropped, dragging it through the pulley on the rooftop above. Nova jerked upward, holding tight as the rope whistled past the building's concrete wall.
The second set of weights crashed into the ground below.
Excerpted from "Renegades"
Copyright © 2017 Rampion Books.
Excerpted by permission of Feiwel and Friends.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
I really, really wanted to like this book! I love comic books and am a fan of all things super hero. I think my biggest issue was that Marissa Meyer had too deft a touch at making Nova sympathetic. She tried to balance her internal struggle of her parents death and blaming the Renegades for it with her dislike of the actions of some of the other Arnachists. Her hatred always won over her softer feelings. In contract you have the golden child Adrian who is a Renegade by day, and yet wants his mothers killer to come to justice so bad that he’s willing to break the rules a bit to find them. I believed his character more than hers, and because of this his developing feelings for her felt too faked. If I couldn’t like her, how could he? There were elements in this novel that I loved. The world building was phenomenal. The super powers were pretty cool and I liked the characters, with the exception of Nova. I’ll clarify that statement by saing that I didn’t hate her, I just didn’t care what happened to her. Apathy for your main character is just not a good thing for a reader. If not for the big twist at the end of the book I wouldn’t even think of reading Archenemies (Renegades #2) when it comes out in November. That ending made me curious so I’m on the fence, but my feelings for this first novel are pretty black and white. Meh.
When I heard that there was a new book by Marissa Meyer I got so excited and know I just had to get my hands on it asap.And then I saw the cover and it is so beautiful and I wanted to read the book even more. And then, finally, there it was... Renegades. I started reading right away and was thrown into a story filled with villains and superheroes. A little bit of romance too. Did I like it. YES I DID! IS there something I didn’t like? Well, it was a little bit slow at times. Aside from that, no complains and now I can’t wait for the next book. I chose to read this book and all opinions in this review are my own and completely unbiased. Thanks to NetGalley and Pan Macmillan!
When humans started developing super powers they were hunted like witches. Then the Anarchists arose and made it known that they were not going to be hunted any longer. Although the protégés we no longer the prey, many rival gangs to the Anarchists arose and started terrorizing the human. So the Renegades started to stop the Anarchists and the other gangs. In the ten years since they defeated the leader of the Anarchists, Ace, the Renegades have started rebuilding everything and getting commerce moving again. But the humans rely on the Renegades for everything. Nova was six when a man came and murdered her family. She used her powers and put him to sleep. Ace arrived shortly thereafter and took her in. She learns that her father had asked the Renegades for help protecting his family. They told him if he stopped making weapons they would help. But they didn’t, only Ace was there. From this moment Nova started hating the Renegades and wants nothing more than to bring them down. Nova is grown and has been surviving with the remaining Anarchists in the abandoned subway tunnels. But she has to opportunity to infiltrate the Renegades as Insomnia. The whole plan is to gain as much knowledge of the Renegades and their tower to bring them down. But she didn’t count on Adrian. After the ultimate betrayal from the Renegades Nova can think of nothing else than to bring them down. What better way than to become a Renegade herself? But she didn’t count on starting to become friends with them. Nova, as Nightmare tried to kill Captain Chromium and had a tussle with the Sentinal. Nova let slip a saying that was pinned to Adrian’s mother’s body when she was found killed. Adrian is now intently hunting Nightmare to find out what she knows. Now Nova is balancing on a knives edge as Insomnia trying to help capture Nightmare. I really enjoyed this story. It kept me enthralled waiting to see if Nova got her revenge or if she decided that she could change and become a Renegade. Rebecca Soler and Dan Bittner did an amazing job narrating this story. They really brought it to life. This is a great young adult superhero story that I think you should check out. I received Renegades from Macmillan Audio for free. This has in no way influenced my opinion of this book.
Spies, superheros, villains! What more could you ask for? An excellent easy read about morality and justice. What really makes someone a villain? Highly recommend.
Really good book! I may have to re-read the last bit of it when the next one comes out to catch back up. I look forward to the movie.
This book is violently disgusting and I simply can’t and won’t finish it. You cannot tell Who the heros are. You have no sense of anything more than violence for its own sake. What happened to the Meyer of the Lunar Chronicles?
I absolutly fell in love with this book and can not wait for the next one!!!!!!!
This book had a lot of well written action scenes; however it was simply to slow. And some of the descriptions were way overwritten and done.
All right guys, I read this in five days because I wanted to know everything that was going on when I went to hear Marissa Meyer at Quail Ridge Books in Raleigh, NC. It did start off a little slower than I was expecting after how quickly I went through The Lunar Chronicles and Heartless, but damn, the last 70-100 pages sucked me in hard. Because I'm not really an in-depth reviewer, I'm just going to go through some bullet points of what I loved and what I less-than-loved: -loved Adrian because he is the OPPOSITE of your typical agro male super-lead; he's awkward and nice and a very realistic, believable character -loved Nova and how she would NOT be swayed by her feelings even as she completely didn't repress them -I was able to put the pieces together for one character death, but the clue was really small (at least I thought it was small) so good luck finding it -GAY DADS AND GAY CAPTAIN AMERICA PARALLEL--need I say more?! -TWO POC MCs--need I say more?! -the reveal about Renegades' big plan at the end was kind of expected but engaging nonetheless and will definitely build up well to next year's book -there are definitely your superhero tropes, but Meyer did a GREAT job of both inverting them and also not letting them choke out the rest of the story -and I was so glad that it did turn out different from the many drafts it went through to become the book we have (not gonna lie, I would not have been thrilled that it was set at "yet another super/secret school") All in all, I highly recommend this book just like all of Meyer's previous books. #jointherenegades
Okay, you may see the three crowns at the top of this review, but I promise, it's okay. No, really, it's okay, because Meyer is still queen and my favorite author and a total genius. I'm okay, this book is okay, and everything is okay?? But I mean, I think that's the problem - everything was okay? And I kind of wanted it to be more, but no, really, I'm totally not freaking out that this was my most anticipated book of 2017 by the queen and I wasn't fully in love-forever fangirl mode with five billion crowns and a full princess train and met my new Cresswell ship. But it's okay, really. I'm handling it. Know what's not okay? My overuse of that word and "really" so I'm going to stop. Don't get me wrong - Meyer is still queen. Her writing will never stop being amazing. Her voice, her ease, her flow. Everything about her writing is superb, and this book is no different. If you have never read any of her previous books, trust me, you're always going to get amazing writing, which this was. I love the wit she infuses in it, too. There were a few times that I actually laughed out loud because of little side comments she added in. The only thing I noticed that was different than her previous book with her writing in this one was the pacing. The pacing was so slow, and it kind of drove me insane. This book is big. I mean, it's really big. 540+ pages. That's a lot for anyone to read, but when the pacing is really focused a lot on character development, it just seems to drag on and on. There is a lot of necessary information for the characters and the plot happening, but to me, I just wanted it to go a lot faster. Maybe I was just too eager to devour all of Meyer's work whole and it caused me that issue? I will admit I began skimming at parts, which killed me, but I couldn't deal. The characters were interesting. In previous books, Meyer pays so much attention to her characters and developing them. Nova was easily my favorite. I really enjoyed her. She was funny, witty, and I loved how she was a villain. She definitely had some complex motivations, but I understood her so easily. She was the one I most sympathized with, and I will admit I kind of just wanted to skip Adrian's parts sometimes because I wanted to bask in Nova's storyline and her head. She was fun, and I can't wait to go back to her story and characterization. The rest of the characters were just kind of...eh to me? I mean, I liked a few, but I never really fell in love. There were a lotttttttttt of characters - superheroes and villains - and I really got lost on all of the superheroes. I'm still not sure who is who with Adrian's dads. There were just so many characters, and truthfully, I was far more partial to the villains. I loveddddd the villains. They were complex and fun and just so unapologetic. I was dying to see more of them, and truthfully, had this book featured more of them, it would have a lot higher rating for me, because this is where Meyer shone for me. Gosh, they were brilliant. The plot was interesting as well. I feel like it really, really picked up at the end. I loved the beginning and middle parts, but I did kind of die out in the middle. Again, it paid so much attention to the characters and the slower pacing, I kind of got a little bored. I will say that I do believe the second one is going to be a lot more interesting especially with the big things that happened at the end. Yes, it might have felt a bit cliche at parts, but I think Meyer did well with an ov
Can not wait for the next one!
Please tell me you r wrighting a seond one cuz I WILL DIE WITH THIS LLIFHANGER
I love all of marissa meyers books and i just finished rereading heartless for an unknown amount of times when i discovered she has another book coming out. To new fans, i strongly advise you read the lunar chronicles. Im so excited to read this!