Author: Marissa Meyer
Read: December 2017
Let me just say how much I actually love Marissa Meyer. I read The Lunar Chronicles about four years ago and I loved it! I own that series and I am currently rereading it. I am a big fan of the author and I was so excited when I heard that she was releasing another book from a new series! This is only going to be a duology, which seems to be a new trend going on right now. (The picture is Christmas themed because that is when I read it and took a picture of it.)
As excited as I was for a new book from Marissa Meyer, I was kind of disappointed with this book. Don’t get me wrong, I loved reading it and it was great to get back into a world created by Meyer again. The thing is that it’s not a very original story. It is also a huge book. Okay, it’s not that bad because I’ve read books much longer than this. But. This book is unnecessarily long. I feel like there was so much extra stuff throughout this novel. Like, I can’t list any because it’s mainly just the way that Marissa Meyer writes. There’s always the extra detail. Usually I can appreciate that but this book is just so long. I can understand why it would be longer due to the fact that its only a duology and she has to put most of the back story into this first one, but if both books end up being this big for no reason then why not just make it a trilogy? I mean the first one would probably end up being pretty slow-paced due to all the history and the back story that she would’ve had to write but at least we wouldn’t have to carry around bricks while reading it. I mean this book is 552 pages. It didn’t need to be.
In the story there are the people who have powers and while there are still regular humans without any powers or gifts you don’t actually ever meet any of them in the book. In this world, there are Renegades, which are the “good guys,” and then there’s also the Anarchists, which are the “bad guys.” The main character, Nova, was raised an anarchist and she is against everything that the Renegades stand for because of something that happened in her past. You can read about it in the very beginning of the book but I don’t want to give away any spoilers. So she is not technically a real anarchist because nobody knows she exists but she’s been working with them on the DL basically her whole life. And when she accidentally blows a chance to assassinate the main leader of the Renegades, she has to join the Renegades as a fake “hero” and pretend to be on their side. This is so that she can get close to everyone and learn as much as she can about their base of operations and all of the secrets they have within their levels and surrounding their so-called heroes.
Okay so the synopsis sounded really good and had me interested. But when it got down to it, it’s just another superhero story about going behind enemy lines and trying to take them down from the inside. I still enjoyed reading it but I feel like this story has been told many times over and if you’re going to write a book about it then it needs something new.
One thing that I really appreciated was the representation in this novel. The Renegades started out with just a few members and the originals are known now as the Council. The leader, Captain Chromium, is married to another of the original members, the Dread Warden. Everyone in this world is completely okay about homosexuality and it’s not a topic that was discussed in a negative way at all. Throughout the book, it’s mentioned and the topic is touched on but since it’s not a big part of the main story, its not a detail that is continuously talked about. When Meyer’s does write about it, there’s no negativity or homophobic tones to it. It’s a great way of tying it into a story in a complete normal way and not making a big deal out of it; it was refreshing.
Nova is actually not a white protagonist. She is half Italian and half Filipino (I think that’s what she is). It’s an interesting mix of a character but it wasn’t ever really a focus in the novel. There really isn’t any representation for her family’s cultural background or anything like that. I wasn’t expecting much of that aspect but I feel that if an author is going to create a mixed race character it should be represented in the actual character. It kind of made it seem that she threw that aspect in just to be able to say that there is representation in the novel. There is no mention of any racism or discrimination aimed at her. I’m not trying to say that there should be but don’t write in an important personality detail and not talk about it at all after that.
Okay. I think I touched on everything that I needed to say. I liked reading the book and I enjoyed it while I was reading it but it wasn’t my favorite Marissa Meyer book. I’m still going to read the second, and final, book in this duology and I hope that the story becomes more original and Meyer creates a better plot for the sequel. I am still looking forward to it because I am still a fan of Marissa Meyer I just hope the second one turns out better than the first.