Archenemies by Marissa Meyer
In Renegades, Nova and Adrian (aka Insomnia and Sketch) fought the battle of their lives against the Anarchist known as the Detonator. It was a short-lived victory.
The Anarchists still have a secret weapon, one that Nova believes will protect her. The Renegades also have a strategy for overpowering the Anarchists, but both Nova and Adrian understand that it could mean the end of Gatlon City – and the world – as they know it.
This series was intended to be two-books long, but somewhere between publishing book 1 and 2 Meyer decided it would be a trilogy. That was the greatest weakness of Archenemies. Renegades ended building very clearly toward the finale, and the change of direction into a sequel was abrupt and cheapened the end of book 1.
The end of Renegades ended with Adrian and especially Nova deciding for certain the trajectory they were going to go for the finale. So when at the beginning of this book they are both suddenly uncertain again, it was disorienting. It also meant that this entire book felt very wishy-washy. It turned into about 400 pages of will-she-or-won’t-she?.
This was especially frustrating as nothing seemed to happen that actually drove the plot forward in any way. A few twists were revealed, specifically Agent N, which was hinted at in the first book. Adrian and Nova’s romance moves along, but other than that it’s just a lot of “character development”. But the characters don’t actually develop all that much.
Also, there was absolutely nothing that could top the huge shocker at the end of Renegades. To her credit, Meyer didn’t try, but still, everything felt so anti-climactic after that.
I’m still fascinated by this world, and I enjoyed the romance, but I just felt like this book was completely unnecessary. I wish Meyer had left this series a two-parter.