3.5 out of 5 stars
The Renegades trilogy finds it’s stride, then has to sprint for the end.
When we left Nova and company at the end of Archenemies (book 2), she had just robbed Renegades HQ of several iconic artifacts, including the helmet that allowed her presumed-dead, supervillain uncle Ace Anarchy to reign over the decade-long destruction of Gatlin City. Too bad the Renegades were busy, too: Capturing that same Uncle. So she had the helmet, but no head to put it on.
That leaves approximately 257 story arcs to be resolved in the last book: Nova’s secret identity exposed; Adrian’s secret identity exposed; are they in love; who killed Adrian’s mom; does Agent N get used; what happens to Max; will Genissa ever shut up; will Ruby and Oscar ever get together; do the Anarchists defeat the Renegades; did the Renegades fail Nova’s family; will Nova grow a heart of gold, stop repeating statements as questions, discover democracy, etc. Would we ever get there?
Spoiler-not-spoiler: It happens, but in a hurry.
After trudging through the first two books in this series, plot points on endless repeat, I had my doubts. But I’m a +1 star review happy to report that Marissa Meyer really did save it all for the last book. (Why she did it remains a mystery.) The first two installments ended on natural breaks in the story, but each was dragged out to book-length to reach it. Then Meyer packed so much into the last part of Supernova that I actually checked to see if there was a fourth book I hadn’t heard about.
The result of this poor pacing is a big jumble of resolutions that happen so quickly, each hardly gets its due. Big secrets are revealed left and right. People love/hate/trust/betray each other in rapid fire, like a machine gun of plot bullets spraying across the story. The epic confrontations – Anarchists vs. Renegades, Ace vs. Captain Chromium, Nova vs. Adrian vs. their feelings – all go down in the last 1/3 of the book, or 1/9 of the trilogy. Some of them should have played out sooner. Several of them deserved more time.
Overall, Supernova was good enough to make me satisfied with the entire the Renegades trilogy. (Not the epilogue. Hard pass on that spin-off setup.) A strong edit and different segmentation would have played the story to much greater effect, but it came together in the end. It’s no Lunar Chronicles, but it surpasses Heartless by plenty. That’s enough to make me look forward to the next Marissa Meyer project.