Book Reviews

Archenemies // Is a villain really evil?

Archenemies (Renegades, #2)Archenemies by Marissa Meyer

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


Time is running out. Together, they can save the world. But are they each other’s worst nightmare?

Nova’s double life is about to get a lot more complicated:

As Insomnia, she is a full-fledged member of the Renegades, a syndicate of powerful and beloved superheroes. She works with Adrian’s patrol unit to protect the weak and maintain order in Gatlon City.

As Nightmare, she is an Anarchist—a group of villains who are determined to destroy the Renegades. Nova wants vengeance against the so-called heroes who once failed her when she needed them the most.

But as Nova, her feelings for Adrian are deepening, despite the fact that he is the son of her sworn enemies and, unbeknownst to Nova, he has some dangerous secrets of his own.

In this second installment of the Renegades trilogy, Nova, Adrian, and the rest of their crew—Ruby, Oscar, and Danna—are faced with escalating crime in Gatlon City, while covert weapons and conflicting missions have Nova and Adrian questioning not only their beliefs about justice but also the feelings they have for each other.

The line between good and evil has been blurred, but what’s clear to them both is that too much power could mean the end of their City—and the world—as they know it.

My Review:

It’s not all black and white, good and bad. People’s actions…their motives…there are gray areas.”

This might have been my favorite read of the year so far… Archenemies picks up right after Renegades. Nova is still undercover with the Prodigies, Ace is alive, the Puppeteer is still in Renegade custody, and Adrian still keeps his identity as the Sentinel a secret. After the ending of the first book where the Detonator was killed and the Anarchists’ location was discovered, the Renegades are more set on “fixing the problem” of prodigies that fail to conform to their standards and rules. The new revelation of Agent N is the Renegade council’s answer to weeding out the “good” and “bad” prodigies. But Nova proposes the main question, how can they make themselves “judge and jury, lawmakers and enforcers?” The Renegades have disregarded prodigies’ rights if they deem the prodigy themselves evil. Meyer highlights the importance of checks and balances on government officials, here the Renegades.

Once we have total power, what to keep us from becoming villains ourselves?

Nova and Adrian both realize that prodigies are being oppressed, though the same cannot be said for the rest of their team.

In continuing her quest to find Ace’s real helmet and further infiltrate the Renegades headquarters, Nova starts her job working in the artifacts department. It is here she discovers the real fate of Ace’s helmet, but also finds many helpful tools along the way, which play a crucial part to the Anarchists’ work. Symbolically, she finds and takes back her Insomnia mask – the main piece to her Insomnia disguise that symbolizes all of her ideals and life as an Anarchist. Her relationship with Adrian finally picks up speed, which totally has me swooning and heart breaking at the same time. They truly care about the other and are trying at all means to contain their hidden secrets from the other at the same time. In a way, they have found an ally that can understand themselves and what they truly hold dear, they understand the gray area a prodigy may skirt, yet they don’t voice what they feel. Adrian is dead set on finding and killing Nightmare, whereas Nova has decided the Sentinel is her sworn enemy. That they haven’t discovered each other’s secret identities amazes me, but it will truly be a climatic point in the final installment of the series (forgive me while I shed a tear). The clues of their identities have been so great, it amazes me that they haven’t put two and two together! Though perhaps it’s because they honestly couldn’t imagine the other as their enemy, whereas us, the reader, obviously know the truth. (pg. 387 is all I’m going to say!)

Adrian tries very hard to forever close the Sentinel chapter of his life. But just like the tattoo, the Sentinel is a permanent part of him. He brings this alter ego of himself out only when he truly has to. He does finally open up to Nova, even letting her come to his house and see a part of himself that so few have ever seen. He is an artist that brings to life one of few dreams that Nova remembers from when she did sleep. The moment is so romantic and affectionate. Nova feels a sense of peace and homeliness when by him.

I won’t lie, the character of Phobia is so intriguing! His powers are pretty bad a** and yet we know so little about him. I know even Nova will agree, we need more backstory on this guy!!!!
Honey: I was beginning to think someone might have conducted an exorcism and sent you back to the underworld
Phobia: You think that’s where I’m from?
Honey: Well I don’t think you’re from the suburbs.

Honey so perfectly reminds me of the character Queenie in Fantastic Beasts. A true queen is made not in times of prosperity, but in times of hardship. For any people out there not feeling their worth, Marissa Meyer has given us a wonderful quote to remind ourselves that we are all Queens, especially in moments of our worst.

I still wish we had been given more insight into the Puppeteer. His character was arrested by the Renegades instantly in the first book, (view spoiler) I find myself wondering how did he get his powers of puppeteering? Why does he act mad? Why did he really ask Adrian retrieve his puppet doll? What is the full story behind the creepy doll?

Fairness. Justice. Peace. These are ideals worth sacrificing for.
This quote spoke so loud to me. I think myself and others whom have raised our right hand and taken oath prior to joining the military can agree. It was powerful reading it from Ace’s mouth though. You learn just how deeply he feels for his cause. However you have to consider, does Ace’s dream and intention go too far? He wants to wipe out all Renegades because they side with the council that Ace so greatly hates. But as we have seen with the council, they will wipe out anyone that opposes them. So really, anyone part of the Renegades organization as a whole is doing so to survive. Ace emphasizes that the Renegades have painted the Anarchists as villains, but he only deems his actions as necessary. The amount of lives lost, necessary. His vision, one of “freethinkers.” On one extreme, the Renegade council wants to wipe out anyone that opposes them and does not conform to their ideals and rules. On the other extreme, you have Ace that wants to wipe out anyone that sides with the Renegades. It truly makes you second guess, who are the villains of this world?

I’m going to destroy her…Nightmare. Will you help me?
Yes, of course I will, she heard herself say

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