-- original review --
Marissa Meyer is such a reliable author - I pick up one of her books and I ALWAYS seem to love it! I had somehow missed Renegades release, but as soon as I saw a review I grabbed it on audio and was thrilled to immediately hear it was narrated by Rebecca Soler! She narrated all the Lunar Chronicles, so I already knew I loved her. And she did not disappoint. I was surprised (because I didn't read anything before purchasing the book) when I heard a male voice - but it was a pleasant surprise. Dan Bittner is another narrator I've listened to before (can't remember what books) and really enjoyed. So it was three great pieces all in one.
I enjoyed the world building in Renegades - despite being book one it never felt like an information dump and I also never felt confused about the world. It was the perfect balance. I loved the characters and the way so much tension is put on the idea of good versus evil. The "good guys" aren't clean and shiny and the "bad guys" have some seriously redeemable qualities... in fact, I'm not 100% which group I'm really talking about when I say "good guys" or "bad guys"! Are the Renegades - the super heroes - really the good guys? And are the Anarchists - the villains - really the bad guys?
I think because the story is told from the perspective of Nova, someone raised by the Anarchists but now getting to know the Renegades pretty closely, it's harder to see it as black and white. She has her loyalties and she's been taught certain things... and a lot of it I can't really argue with. But the values of SOME of the Renegades aren't so very different from her own. Watching her navigate those internal conflicts was enjoyable and I can only assume will grow more so as the series progresses.
The ending is awesome... but watch out! It's a cliff-hanger. Not so bad that I'm angry to be hanging. I can wait. And while I think it was supposed to be a shocker, I had been suspicious for a while that it was going to go that way to an extent. But I'll be eagerly awaiting book 2, regardless :)