The Rise of Renegade X

The Rise of Renegade X

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 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.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781606840603
Publisher: EgmontUSA
Publication date: 05/11/2010
Pages: 352
Product dimensions: 5.80(w) x 8.20(h) x 1.30(d)
Lexile: 760L (what's this?)
Age Range: 14 - 17 Years

About 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 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 28 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!
thehidingspot on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I did not know what to expect when I picked up Chelsea Campbell¿s debut novel. I¿d heard a lot of talk about it ¿ and the talk was good. But still, I doubted. Superheroes and villains are cool, but I asked myself, are they my kind of cool? It didn¿t take me long to realize how silly that question was: THE RISE OF RENEGADE X is an amazing book, filled with sarcastic humor, youthful insecurity, and awesome costumes.Damien was such a fun character! Half the time he¿s a super sarcastic little jerk and the rest of the time he was¿ well he was still a sarcastic punk, but he was a loveable one. He was absolutely hilarious and had me laughing aloud more than once. To me, he was a mix of V. Mars¿ Logan Echolls and the funny guys you know in school ¿ which is a pretty amazing combination. Damien was definitely my favorite part of the book!I loved the craziness of RENEGADE. The entire novel, plot, characters, and all, are so creative and fun. It was unlike any other novel I¿ve read and it doesn¿t surprise me that it is already being considered as a possible film. RENEGADE definitely has a cinematic quality.There is also a bit of romance in RENEGADE, but it is not a main focus of the novel. Damien was such a guy about the relationship though. I¿m not sure there is a better way to describe his behavior, but I found it refreshing, honest, and hilarious.THE RISE OF RENEGADE X is a must-read debut novel! I applaud Chelsea Campbell for writing a novel that can easily appeal to both guys and girls.
ChristianR on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This is a creative, well-written and new take on the superhero theme. I thoroughly enjoyed it.Damien is excitedly waiting for his 16th birthday, when he will develop a V thumbprint, identifying him as a Supervillian like his mother, friends, and other relatives. He's shocked when he instead forms an X thumbprint, which means that his father (whom he doesn't know) is actually a Superhero. Depending on his actions, Damien's thumbprint will eventually turn into an H (for Superhero) or a V. He's determined to become a Supervillian. He sneaks around his mother's things to see if he can figure out who his father is, and ultimately learns that he's the Crimson Flash, whose television show on safety for kids has been the target of his and his best friend's derision for years.The next thing he knows, he's temporarily living with his Superhero family and hating it. He acts like a typical teenager with an attitude, and so does his half sister. That's one of the great things about this book -- the Superhero families (especially the kids) can be just as irritating to one another as non-Superheroes, and the Supervillian families can be just as loving and caring towards each other as non-Supervillians. He misses his best friend/ex-girlfriend (who he still secretly likes but can't admit it because he was too hurt when she cheated on him) but also becomes entangled in a relationship with a new friend at his new school. It's all so confusing!And when villainous acts involve someone he actually cares about, he finds it awfully hard to not be a hero. But nothing is in black and white, even for the Superheroes.
raboyer on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This super book gets an awesome 4 gnomes and a gnome hat out of 5 gnomes. This book is a great mix of a rather snarky yet relatable main character and a comic book type world full of superheroes and villains.This book kind of feels like a comic book as you read it, it's easy to visualize the characters and everything that goes on. In this world superheroes and villains are everywhere and easy to identify. I love the explanation about how it's decided whether a person will be a hero or villain. Both sides created a virus to reveal what a person will be at the age of sixteen, a person will either get an H or a V, it all depends on their parentage. Damien is all set to celebrate receiving his V when something unexpected happens. Apparently his Mom has a secret.Damien is the kind of villain that funny enough I imagine my sister being. He always has something to say and is finding a way out of bad situations. He has some brilliant ways of seeking revenge that are also pretty darn funny. His use of scorpions and tricks with shampoo are both vindictive yet fitting for the situation.Both the villains and heroes have prejudices against the other and they even have their own universities. Damien thinks that he's a shoe-in to get into the best villain school but not everyone feels the same way. This story raises some interesting thoughts about the whole nature versus nurture debate and the gray areas that are a part of being a villain or a hero. I think that this will probably continue in future books, at least from how the story ends. The friends that Damien makes are also intriguing. His ex-girlfriend Kat is a villain who can shapeshift, which gets her into plenty of trouble. The other girl he shows an interest in is kind of the class weirdo, so the contrast between the two is another great quirk to the story. Damien's one weakness/fear is wonderfully ironic with the events that happen in the story. The story also has a kind of a choose your own adventure type feel to it and the reader finds out that because of Damien's unique situation, the choices he makes will greatly impact his future. Overall this is a great book with a story that flies by, I would highly recommend this book to anyone that likes the superhero genre/comics. This story will leave you wondering what choices Damien will make next and where those choices will lead.
ssalach21 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Before this book I have never read a Superhero/Supervillian book and I wasn't sure what to expect. Part of me thought it wouldn't be believeable and would be somewhat childish, partly because of the concept and partly because of the comicbook type cover. But this story is quite believable and not childish in anyway. Chelsea creates a world in which there are Superheroes and Supervillians, as well as normal people that are aware of the prescense of heroes & villians. I loved the fact that this story focuses on Damien, who is raised as a villian, but is in fact both villian and hero.Throughout the novel Damien learns of his mothers one time tryst with a superhero *gasp* that leaves him as not the villian he always thought he was. When his Superhero father learns of his existance, Damien is sent to spend six weeks with him to see if there is a superhero side to him.I enjoyed going with Damien on his journey. Along for the ride were Damien's sleezy on-again off-again girlfriend Kat, his sidekick and one time romantic "lab partner" Sarah, and and his ex-best friend Pete, as well as his evil scientist Mom and her boyfriend Taylor(who also happens to be the Dean of the villain school Vilmore). I loved the different powers that the heroes and villains had, some of which are flying, laser eyes, shapeshifting and controlling radiowaves.With great characters, action and a fun new twist to the superhero/supervillain(just because I haven't read hero/villain stuff doesn't mean I don't watch it on tv! =P) genre, there isn't much about this book not to love. The ending was great and there is no cliffhanger or anything that makes me feel like I HAVE to have a sequel, but I also think there is a lot that could be done in one. So *fingers crossed* for that!I recommend this to any YA fans looking for something different to read. While there isn't much swearing, there is lots of sex talk and mentions of porn and other things not quite appropriate for the younger ones, but other than that this is something you should def. pick up!
SunnySD on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The residents of Golden City have a better than average chance of being rescued from thugs, fires and villainy. Of course, they also have a better than average chance of being victims of mind-washing, bank robbery and general nefariousness - and of making money from tourists who come to see the resident superheroes duke it out with the resident villains. For Damien Locke, turning sixteen means he's going to get his V and take up the family business. Making a bundle from the party-goers who've come to see his V manifest seems like the only right thing to do - except that instead of a V he gets an X. Seems mommy dearest has done the unthinkable... with a superhero!And so begins Damien's quest to track down and identify his father and get his V. Question is, when all is said and done will being a villain be as satisfying as he's always thought it would be?Clever dialogue and a lot of entertaining pranks and stunts, but a bit uneven.
BookSwarm on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
REVIEW: I really, really enjoyed this story (when you finish a book in just a couple of hours and don't just skim the thing, you know it's good!). It was fun and snarky. Yay for the anti-hero. Or at least a kid who's convinced he is an anti-hero, hates heroes and everything to do with them, and swears he'll never be a hero.But is he really the villian he thinks he is (and really wants to be)? Well, he's dating a supervillian chick who's power is shapeshifting. He "punishes" those who annoy him with robot scorpions in their backpacks and worms in their shampoo. He has a List of those on whom he will seek revenge (It sounds much more ominous written with proper grammar. Go figure.) when he gets his powers. But he freed his mother's lab rats. And goes out of his way to help his ex-girlfriend when she makes a mistake. And befriends the class outcast. Guess that's why he's a renegade. Well, besides the fact that "Renegade X" is a really cool name.Campbell does a great job developing her snarky antihero. The dialogue is snappy, and I can totally hear echoes of my students in Damien's conversations with not only his friends but his parents. The other characters are also well drawn: Mom as the science-focused evil scientist; Kat as the friend/ex-girlfriend/girlfriend; Sarah as the nerdy sidekick; and Dad as the put-upon superhero. All in all, a very enjoyable summer read.Final Grade for THE RISE OF RENEGADE X by Chelsea M. Campbell: 95/A352 pagesYA SuperheroAvailable now (hardcover)Review copy purchased
galleysmith on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This book can be described in one word as Fantastic!Fantastic characters, fantastic world built, fantastic plot¿.yup, you guessed it fantastic all the way around. So fantastic, in fact, that I can¿t decide where to start.Shall I begin by speaking about Golden City? Ok, sure, that¿s a great place to start. I mean, where else can supervillains and superheros co-exist but in a place that sounds so very much from the heart of a comic book? Golden City , at times, gave off a very distinct 50¿s era vibe. Most notably when in the presence of superhero Gordon (The Crimson Flash) who¿s television show The Crimson Flash and the Safety Kids feels a bit like Romper Room on steroids. But wait, it isn¿t really set in the 1950¿s it only feels that way here and there. Because, a lot of the time there was a pretty decent more modern Gotham City vibe as well.An interesting crux of the story is that the path a child takes is out of their control. In Golden City, whether a person becomes a hero or a villain is determined by a letter designation that appears on their thumb on the sixteenth birthday. H = hero and V = villain. But oh no! What if that letter shows up as an X!?!The sky is falling, the sky is falling!This means that the wearer of the X controls his own destiny because his actions directly influence what that eventual final designation will become. He can still be a villian, he just has to perpetrate enough nefarious activity to turn that X to a V.Despite having the ability to take up heroism or villainy as the mark of their thumbs predisposes them to do, these teens lead a pretty typical life. Sure, they have super powers, but really most of what happens is about as typical in the angst department as any other story. Girl dumps boy, boy still loves girl and wants to win her back, girl secretly still loves boy but won¿t admit it¿.you know, great stuff like that. It¿s just that the superhero/villian bent makes it all that more interesting because it¿s another layer in the dynamic that these kids need to navigate.Same holds true for the family dynamic. Single mom villain has a quickie with hated arch rival superhero thus producing a son of neutrality. That big ol¿ letter on his finger is a whopping neon sign that reveals her secret and opens up the door to a future Damien is unsure he wants. This, naturally is where the angst comes in and where the lessons are learned. How does one get what they want when over the course of time they may grow to learn they may not want it anymore? Great stuff I tell ya, absolutely¿.you guessed it, fantastic!Have I mentioned that the world of Golden City needs saving? Because, yea, it totally does! The who, why and what of it all to remain a secret here so you can enjoy it yourself but I¿ll say enjoy it I did. It was a somewhat surprising element of the story that creeped into Damien¿s life slowly over time and built perfectly to help him make his ultimate decision as to whether he wanted to go the way of good or evil.Oh and I gotta give Campbell her props, she has a great sense of humor. She¿s built Damien as a witty smart-alec of a boy. A boy who¿s sarcasm doesn¿t come off as aggressive or hurtful but rather fun and entertaining. He¿s charming and lovable (despite his darker tendencies) and just genuinely enjoyable to follow through the story. I often found myself laughing out loud at his dialogue and actions.I¿ll also add that there wasn¿t a character in this book that I didn¿t love or didn¿t love to hate. Not a one was overbearing or annoying. The attention on each was well focused and even handed.Who would I target this book to?Pretty much anyone. It¿s an awesome read from start to finish. Quick to get through too. It¿s definitely a good book for reluctant boy readers because it has that comic book superhero/villain factor to it. But the glory of this story is that these elements won¿t detract from offering it up to girls too. There¿s a bit of romance and some cute boy
peaceloveandpat on LibraryThing 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.
conuly on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This is SO much better than I expected!I have to admit it, I bought this book for the lulz. I thought a book about a poor little supervillain who is FORCED to live with his superhero dad and experience personal growth was going to be HILARIOUSLY bad. I mean, I thought it was going to be so epically horrible that we'd be mocking this until we all died.I thought wrong.Okay, the premise is still a little goofy, and the teenaged angst is still a little... well, maybe I'd like it more if I were still a teenager, and yes, Damian has the idiot ball more than is really, truly necessary (these are all spoilers, but let me just say that his sidekick would never have gotten kidnapped if he'd told his mom he knew her and liked her instead of lying about it, I mean, DUH), but... it's still good.I was amazed. I was laughing, sure - but because the book has actually funny jokes, and because Damian's idea of a good time is to snark at people while pranking them. And the ending... I won't say I didn't see it coming, but it was well done for all of that. I find myself hoping there's a sequel, or at least some good fanfic.This is not serious fiction, nor does it pretend to be. If you want to read serious fiction, please pass this one by. If you want something nice and easy to read, a bit funny, and definitely better than it sounds - give this one a shot. (Oh, and don't overthink that whole "hero and villain families" bit. I can't wrap my mind around it in any sort of moral universe, but I don't think you're supposed to either.)
stephxsu on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
All Damien Locke wants for his 16-year-old is to see the V appear on his thumb¿the V that will indicate that he will become a villain, just like his supervillain mom. To his horror, an X appears on his thumb, indicating that his father was a superhero! Damien gets carted off to live with his father, the Crimson Flash, and his family, with the hopes that the hero within him may awaken.Damien would rather go back to his old life of pranking and hanging out with his best friend and ex-girlfriend, Kat. However, an unexpected friendship with Sarah Kink turns his life upside down when he gets sucked into a battle of good versus evil, and he must decide which side he stands on.THE RISE OF RENEGADE X is an astonishingly interesting debut YA novel that subverts the usual paradigms of the YA genre and our preconceptions of good and evil. And it does this all in the most entertaining way possible!The gem of this novel is Damien¿s voice. A perfect balance of snark, sincerity, and your typical adolescent male stupidity, Damien will charm you into falling for his screwed-up ways. I took a kind of perverse pleasure in liking an irreverent character so much: it¿s not every author who can make readers like an obnoxious, mouthy, and crass protagonist!The plot meanders through family subtleties, adolescent complexities, and the absurdity of a comic book, and so does get a bit choppy at times. However, despite the rather sudden climax and resolution, it is the character development of THE RISE OF RENEGADE X that you¿ll remember after reading. The love triangle between Kat, Damien, and Sarah is marvelously believable, lacking the flatness that can often occur in such satirical situations. Damien¿s family members are well-rounded and believable in their (sometimes twisted and misguide) support of Damien.It¿s hard to adequately describe THE RISE OF RENEGADE X, as it¿s like a subgenre of its own. All I can say is that, plotting issues aside, it is one enjoyable ride for anyone who likes superheroes, supervillains, giggle-inducing adolescent humor, and a great narrative voice.
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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