Supernova by Marissa Meyer
The Renegades’ worst enemy is back among them, threatening to reclaim Gatlon City. Nova and Adrian must brave lies and betrayal to protect those they love. Their greatest fears are about to come to life, and unless they can bridge the divide between heroes and villains, they stand to lose everything. Including each other.
Intrigue and action will leave readers on edge until the final, shocking secrets are revealed.
Supernova definitely improved from the second-book-slump of Arch-Enemies but didn’t quite manage to live up to the series opener of Renegades. Meyer’s writing is engrossing and entertaining, but residual plot problems from the second book prevented this one from knocking it out of the park.
It’s been about two years since I read Arch-Enemies, so I had genuinely forgotten how GOOD Meyer’s writing is. Her world building is so detailed and complete, but she manages to keep things fun and exciting. There’s lots of great action sequences, but they’re usually balanced nicely with character development. These books are so easy to get lost in, and I blew through 550 pages in two days.
I will say, however, that I could have used some subtle reminders of book two. When writing a series, one of the challenges is deciding whether to recap the previous book in some of your early exposition or to assume the reader will remember. Usually I roll my eyes at the recap sequences, but I found myself really needing them in this book. Mostly I couldn’t remember what happened right at the end of the last one. Oh well, I’m sure other people were like “thank God she didn’t include any unnecessary re-cap”. *shrug*
Nova and Adrian both remained compelling main characters, and I loved seeing their shades-of-grey ideals finally reach maturity until they were meeting in the (hero-slanted) middle. Their romance took a backseat compared to the last two books, but was still plenty swoon-worthy. But mostly I appreciated the depth Meyer gave them. Both are so conflicted, and both realize that they might have limitations after all.
Where this book suffered was in the pacing and tension of the plot. This was originally planned as a two-part series, and partway through writing the second book she decided it was a trilogy. The result was that an unnecessary mulligan was created in the need to rescue Ace Anarchy before the plot would continue. It gave the book a labored feeling, as Meyer threw more and more obstacles in the way of both characters in order to draw out the book.
In addition, the introduction of Agent-N in the last book was probably a mistake, as it became kind of a catch-all in this one. I don’t think Meyer intended it to get used so widely, but once she’d introduced it should couldn’t very well get rid of it. It kind of detracted from the nerves of the reader by way of being so dang predictable. Again, if this had been a two-book series Agent-N would have made for a shocking conclusion, but drawing it out over three just didn’t work.
But the plot moved on at a reasonable clip, and overall this was a super fun read. The ending was a little … meh for me. Can’t say why without spoilers, but if you ask I’ll let you know in the comments. However the epilogue I ADORED (which, honestly, when does THAT ever happen?) and left me wanting more from this series. Great twist!
If you read Renegades I definitely recommend finishing the series. If you haven’t started I highly recommend to superhero fans. Not recommended for people who prefer dark, broody YA books.