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Tuesday, April 6, 2010

The Rise of Renegade X by Chelsea M Campbell

Damien Locke knows his destiny--attending the university for supervillains and becoming Golden City's next professional evil genius. But when Damien discovers he's the product of his supervillain mother's one-night stand with--of all people--a superhero, his best-laid plans are ruined as he's forced to live with his superhero family. 

Going to extreme lengths (and heights), The Rise of Renegade X chronicles one boy's struggles with the villainous and heroic pitfalls of growing up.

Let me just start by saying that I don’t like comics nor do I read many (if any) superhero books. I wasn’t too keen on this book and wasn’t actually planning on reading it until I won an ARC in a contest. When I actually read what it was about, it interested me a bit, but I was still unsure. My only experience with YA superheroes and supervillians was Sky High, a movie I thought the book sounded quite a lot like. This only increased my wariness.

Boy was I wrong!

The Rise of Renegade X was fabulous. The main character, Damien, was absolutely enchanting. His snarky, sarcastic voice had me laughing on multiple occasions. Even if the story had sucked, I still would’ve enjoyed the book simply because of Damien. He’s cynical and quirky and doesn’t give a care what people think about him or who he hurts. He’s the supervillian you should be rooting against but can’t help but love. I highly enjoyed watching him struggle with identity and the goodness that lies beneath his evil exterior.

The story was unlike any other superhero story I’ve read, proving my previous concerns wrong. It was intriguing to see the story from the supervillians’ side rather than the superheroes’. I couldn’t decide who I was rooting for. I liked the people on both sides, even if the supervillians were being extremely evil. In addition to that, all of the characters were extremely well written. They all had their little quirks and, no matter what side their allegiances were with, I found myself liking them. Each and every one of them was wildly different than the others and their odd traits made them all the more endearing.

Finally, I really liked Campbell’s idea to make a person’s thumb reflect whether they were a hero or villain. It was a unique idea and played into the story wonderfully. It brings up the question: What really defines a person? Is it their genes? Or their actions? I loved it and the way it applied to Damien, as well as all the other superheroes and supervillians.

This book was a complete and total surprise. I’m so happy I decided to read it because Damien could possibly be one of my favorite YA boys of the year. Whether you’re a fan of superheroes or not, I’d highly suggest this book.

5 Stars!

Source: Won from a contest


  1. Hmmm...I'm not usually that into comics either, but you make this book sound like a fun read!

  2. I've liked the sound of this one ever since I saw the trailer the author made for it. It sounded really fun. Glad to hear you liked it.

  3. I love comics and superheroes. :) This title has been on my wish list since I first heard of it. Glad to hear that even the villians are relatable and likeable. The thumb concept sounds really cool. I'm even more excited about this book after reading your review. Thanks!

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  5. Great review!
 not really related, until I read your review, now this comic is in my wishlist. :D , just found your blog and now I'm following you.

  6. i would have to agree that it's unusual to focus on the super villain side..and it's interesting to know their quirks and their struggle not to feel love and goodness

  7. I just found your blog - looks like an interesting read! (I'm a fan of comics/superheros so I'll dive right in).



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