The same author that created everyone's favorite steampunk Cinderella has now turned her eye to the superhero genre.
That's right. Cinder's Marissa Meyer has written a superhero book, Renegades! (You are either very excited right now and have stopped reading to go find said book (yay!), or you're backing away slowly because, really superheroes? Isn't that genre dead yet?)
Don't leave yet! She made steampunk fairytales. Give Meyer's superheroes a chance too! You won't be disappointed.
Basically, for hundreds of years humans with powers (prodigies) have hidden themselves from regular humans. Those discovered were often persecuted and killed (witch trials anyone?).
At least that was true until Ace Anarchy began organizing prodigies. But his prodigies (Anarchists) don’t want to take over the world. They don't care about ruling. They just want to tear down the existing structures (i.e. governments) so they can live openly and free.
That may sound like a good idea, but it quickly turns into a Mad Max dystopia where a lot of people die and civilization collapses into a black hole with food and water hard to find. That happens for years until prodigies who thought of themselves as comic book superheroes rise up. They are the Renegades and they fought and destroyed the Anarchists and restored order.
And everything is good and right unless you’re Nova, Ace’s niece, then you want the Renegades dead. She’s known as Nightmare and can make people fall asleep by touching them. The Renegades know she exists but they’ve never seen her face. She believes that the world would be better without the Renegades protecting everyone. Then people (i.e. regular humans) would have to take care of themselves instead of always expecting to get saved by a superhero.
After trying and failing to destroy the Renegades from the outside, Nova decides the best way to destroy the Renegades is to learn more about them and use that to destroy the organization. And how does she do that? By joining them and becoming a member of the Renegade team run by the son of the leaders of the Renegades. But not all of the Anarchists like her plan and some have decided to hijack it. At the same time Nova has to keep her triple identity safe as her own team has been tasked with hunting down Nightmare (gulp), and Nova must decide if the Renegades are as bad as she’s always believed.
Let's just say things get complicated fast and no one is as bad or good as they think they are. There's discussion of politics and Meyers describes realistically what the world might be like if people had powers. Between bouts of fighting (and there's a lot of action) Nova keeps questioning everything she sees. Where Cinder made you realize how icky glamour and mind control powers could be and how easily they could be abused, Renegades does something similar with superpowers. Everything starts off with comic book glory. But the closer you look, well... things are never as simple as they look.