Renegades Review: Inside a Superhero’s Skin

Is it possible that some villains are unlikely heroes, and that perhaps some heroes are a little villainous? Marissa Meyer’s Renegadesthe first in a young adult science fiction trilogy, trails two teen prodigies, both with superhuman abilities, but from different sides of the fence.

Nova, alias Nightmare, had expected the Renegades to save her when a villain gang murdered her family. But those lifesaving superheroes didn’t come. Instead, her Uncle Ace Anarchy, lead villain of the Anarchists, rescued her and made her his protege. But when the Renegades defeated the Anarchists in an epic battle, they killed her uncle. Two strikes give Nova reason to want revenge. Infiltrating the Renegades during their prodigy selection trials might let her do just that.

But then there’s Adrian, alias Sketch, the adopted son of two superhero Renegade Council members. Did I mention Nova herself had attempted to assassinate one of them a few days ago? Adrian wants justice for the villain Nightmare who almost killed his father and answers, because he thinks she knows who killed his mother.  Of course, he has no clue that Nightmare is Nova, the new superhero on his team who’s slowly stealing his heart. And naturally, she doesn’t realize Adrian has secrets of his own.

Fresh Twist on Superheroes 

Some of my students have raved about Meyer’s Lunar Chronicles, and after reading Renegades, I can understand why. Her writing style is delightful and relatable, and in this case, offers a fresh twist on superhero fiction. She doesn’t redo a classic good versus evil or repeat the more recently overdone anti-hero trope typical in this genre.

Instead, she presents two protagonists on missions they sincerely believe will help make their world a better place. Their motivations make sense, and even as they seek to reach their own objectives, they knowingly or unknowingly begin to sympathize with each other.

The takeaway for me is to understand other people’s perspectives. The story reminded me of what Atticus said in To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee:

“You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view… Until you climb inside of his skin and walk around in it.”

Meyer invites us to climb inside the skins of these two characters to empathize with them both. Truth is, if they want to defeat the real villains, they’re going to have to work together.

4.5 out of 5 Stars

I recommend this mainstream book to my fellow Christian fiction readers with one word of caution. Adrian has two adoptive “dads,” superhero leaders of the Council. This lifestyle is presented as normal, though at one point Adrian jokes that he was “obviously” adopted.

Although today’s culture views such a family unit as “the new norm,” the Bible makes clear that God designed marriage for one man and one woman in a covenant relationship (Genesis 2).

I do appreciate that Meyer does not make any explicit references to their relationship, but would encourage readers, as with all books, to be discerning.

Archenemies, the second installment in the trilogy, releases this November, and because I care about Nova and Adrian, I want to find out how Meyer develops their already complicated relationship.

Read on! What books have you finished recently?

~ Kristen

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Announcing the Flag Design Contest Winner!

Congratulations to Brianna Ford for her winning entry of the fictitious ASU flag, which will be featured in The Revisionary.

I want to thank all the participants for their outstanding designs. It was an honor to share your creativity with my website readers.

Here’s some extra exciting news! My editor and I were so impressed with the submissions that we’re going to publish the runners-up in a special spread in the back of the book. All participants will have their names and designs in print.

Having these Alpha Omega Academy students be part of my book makes it all the more special to me. Thank you again to all who submitted designs and also to everyone who voted.

The Revisionary will release June 6, and the Kindle e-book is now available for pre-order. Those who pre-order will receive a special bonus feature, the prequel to Portia’s story, when they email their Amazon confirmation order to freebookforpreorder@gmail.com. For more information, click here.

Again, congratulations to Brianna and all the Alpha Omega Academy artists!

~ Kristen

 

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The Revisionary – Coming June 2017

revisionary-1I have two exciting announcements today! First, I want to congratulate the winner of the random drawing for the Women of Faith books.

Drum roll, please. The winner is … Trudy!

Thank you to everyone who participated! Remember, even if you didn’t win, you can still get these outstanding resources on Amazon or elsewhere. Also, I’ll be doing several more giveaways this year that you won’t want to miss.

Now, for my second big announcement: In partnership with Write Integrity Press, I’m thrilled to share some details about my new young adult fiction novel, releasing this spring!

The Revisionary is a dystopian suspense story laced with American history and flashbacks to its Judeo-Christian heritage. Unlike my first trilogy, which was staged in contemporary times, The Revisionary begins in a futuristic civilization, the remnants of what once was called the United States of America.

The Revisionary: Genre and Preview

A dystopia is the reverse of a utopia (ideal society), and this genre implies that all is far from right in the setting. In 2149, the American Socialists United (ASU) is a technologically barren land cut off from the outside world. Citizens in most squares eke out their existence in cube communities, remotely grateful they survived post-Apocalyptic conditions and painfully aware they owe their lives and fidelity to the Friend appointed by the Dome to rule.

At graduation, young adults receive their work assignments within their squares, except for an elite few selected for their undergraduate achievements. These draftees must report for selective training at the Crystal Globe University and ultimately, service in positions of leadership in the Dome or elsewhere.

The draft brings personal prestige and advancement for the graduate’s family, and no one dares defy it—no one, that is, except for Portia Abernathy’s brother. His rebellion condemned him to a western satellite, a sentence reserved for criminals and raiders.

Now, ten years later, the draft board calls Portia’s name. She hoped it would.

Unlike Darius, she wants to reform the system to make changes that will help the people. If she completes her Revisionary training and earns the Dome seat in her profession, she intends to rewrite the satellite rules to bring back Darius, and for that matter, other unfairly sentenced prisoners.

However, she soon discovers that citizens like Darius aren’t the only ones who need saving, and Portia must decide if it’s better to rewrite the rules or break them like her brother did.

Coming Soon

Fairly soon, I’ll be able to share a sneak preview of my cover. There’s a neat story behind it that I can’t wait to tell you!

In the coming weeks, I also want to introduce you to Portia, my heroine. In the meantime, here’s a trivia question for you:

Portia shares a name with a character from a famous play. Who wrote it, and what was the play’s title?

Also, if you have any questions you’d like me to answer in my next update, please leave a comment below. I look forward to hearing from you!

Kristen

 

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Coming this June! New YA Fiction, The Revisionary – @kjhogrefe and @WriteIntegrity (Click to Tweet)