Genre: Young Adult, Speculative Fiction - Superheroes
Edition: ARC ; Provided by Traveling ARC Tours
Page Count: 346
Pub & Date: EgmontUSA ; May 11, 2010
Series: Yes (?)
Reading Challenge: Debut Author, Speculative Fiction, Young Adult
My Rating: 4 stars (out of 5)
Amazon.com: N/A (Available for Pre-Order)
Goodreads: 4.64 (Average)
Recommended For: Fans of YA (age 16+), superheroes, mad scientists, devious plots, and exciting adventures.
Sixteen-year-old Damien Locke has a plan: major in messing with people at the local supervillain university and become a professional evil genius, just like his supervillain mom. But when he discovers the shameful secret she’s been hiding all these years, that the one night stand that spawned him was actually with a superhero, everything gets messed up. His father’s too moral for his own good, so when he finds out Damien exists, he actually wants him to come live with him and his goody-goody superhero family. Damien gets shipped off to stay with them in their suburban hellhole, and he only has six weeks to prove he’s not a hero in any way, or else he’s stuck living with them for the rest of his life, or until he turns eighteen, whichever comes first.
To get out of this mess, Damien has to survive his dad’s “flying lessons” that involve throwing him off the tallest building in the city—despite his nearly debilitating fear of heights—thwart the eccentric teen scientist who insists she’s his sidekick, and keep his supervillain girlfriend from finding out the truth. But when Damien uncovers a dastardly plot to turn all the superheroes into mindless zombie slaves, a plan hatched by his own mom, he discovers he cares about his new family more than he thought. Now he has to choose: go back to his life of villainy and let his family become zombies, or stand up to his mom and become a real hero.
The Rise of Renegade X is an unconventional tale that explores an avenue of both superheroes and supervillains in a whole new YA adventure. And it plays out to be a super fun ride!
First and foremost, what really makes this book so enjoyable is the voice of our leading protagonist, Damien Locke. He's got a well mixed blend of snark, sarcasm, and teenage kid idiocy. Like any teen his age, he can't help but get himself into trouble. Only his kind of trouble involves the lives of both family and friends.
But not only is Damien Locke the shining star of the novel, he is followed by some very enjoyable secondary characters. Whether it's his mad-scientist mom, or his safety first father, or the two smart (yet very different) girls who have both taken a romantic interest in Damien - each one has a unique voice and provides a certain vivaciousness that keeps the story at a constant entertaining level.
Through the rest of the journey of caped heroes, evil villains, nagging siblings, and budding love interests, we see Damien in a constant battle with the unforeseen force of his heritage. Being that he is one of the few people in history to have the infamous "X" mark on his thumb, proving that he is product of both superhero and supervillain - he actually has a chance to choose his destiny. After being raised by his supervillain mom for the last 16-years, the boy has a flair for mischief. But little by little we see the good side start to come into focus. But which side will he choose?
Overall Consensus: The Rise of Renegade X isn't your average superhero tale. Sure it's got the capes and a devious plan to take over the world, but it also explores the avenue of the superheroes and villains as regular people underneath the tight garb and special powers. It's not all about fighting good versus evil, but shows the love between family that gives the book a believable feel. The characters themselves are wild and vivid, always providing interesting dialogue and I loved them all. It's an exciting ride from start to finish; displaying a few super powers of its own. Fantastic debut from Chelsea Campbell!
► (This ARC copy was provided by Traveling ARC Tours. Thanks guys!)