This book is squarely aimed at fans of The Hunger Games, the Marvel superheroes and lovers of dystopian future tales and, as such, is very much on trend.
Two factions-the Renegades and the Anarchists-vied for control of society. The Renegades won the battle and were lauded as the dispellers of chaos and the restorers of order. Ace Anarchy was believed to have been killed and his niece, Nova Artino, vowed revenge for the man who had raised her when her parents and baby sister were murdered. Living with a small band of Anarchists in disused underground train tunnels she saw little hope of achieving her goal until it was decided that she would infiltrate The Renegades and destroy them from within.
One thing The Renegades and Anarchists have in common is that they are all prodigies, possessing superpowers which can be used for good or evil. These powers are revealed by Meyer in a series of set battle pieces and the prodigies are named for their gifts, helping readers to keep track of the fast-paced action. The core of the book is built around these confrontations and, as a result, there is some stereotyping of characters and some repetition of scenarios and thought-processes.
However, Meyer injects a moral dilemma into the narrative as Nova is reluctant-at least at first-to kill and she articulates her concern that society is looking to The Renegades to solve all its ills, with little or no input from ordinary people. The political dangers are clear-and, indeed, reflect to some extent those existing in contemporary society.
Somewhat inevitably, romance builds between Nova and the adopted son of the two leaders of The Renegades and this is where cliché abounds. Fluttering chests, pounding hearts and a feeling of being held like ‘precious cargo’ or ‘a damsel in distress’ bring little of any real worth to the narrative.
There is an unexpected twist at the end of the book which clearly signals a sequel. This will delight lovers of the genre and those who relish a long and sustained read.