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The Rise of Renegade X (edition 2010)

by Chelsea M. Campbell

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1492180,266 (4.13)2
Member:terriko
Title:The Rise of Renegade X
Authors:Chelsea M. Campbell
Info:EgmontUSA (2010), Hardcover, 352 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:****
Tags:None

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The Rise of Renegade X by Chelsea M. Campbell

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I have had this book to review for what seems like forever. I was excited to finally get around to reading it. The books starts a bit slow, but ends up being a witty and entertaining story about what it means to be a villain or a hero.

Damien is super excited for his sixteenth birthday, the day when the whorls on his thumb will arrange themselves into a V and he will be able to commit to the life of a supervillain. However things don’t go according to plan when instead of a V he gets an X on his thumb...the dreaded third mark that means he has a superhero parent and a villain parent. He knows his mom is the villain but who is his dad? When he finds out his mom suggests (forces) him to spend a few weeks with his paternal superhero family which goes against everything he’s ever known. Soon he will be forced to make a choice; will he chose the life of a villain which is all he’s ever known or does the life of a superhero hold more promise for him?

The book starts a bit slow and it took me a bit to get into the story, but once I did I really enjoyed it. Damien is very snarky and witty and I enjoyed reading about him. It was entertaining to watch him try to navigate a world of black and white where he ends up as a shade of grey.

What starts out as a seemingly simple mystery where Damien is going to help a new friend track down her dad, ends up as an effort to save the world. While Damien is used to and determined to be a supervillain, he also has a bit of a soft spot for doing what is right. It’s interesting to watch him struggle to straddle the two worlds while also trying to just be himself.

The side characters fell a bit short for me; none of them really grabbed me all that well. I also found the “romance” between Damien and Kat to be a dry and abrupt. Although I did enjoy Damien’s parents and how they represented good and evil while still struggling with normal parenting issues.

Damien is incredibly snarky and funny and some of the dialogue throughout the book is incredibly fun. The whole story has a overtone of snarky playfulness throughout with just a hint of heartfelt sincerity here and there.

This book does a great job of showing how sometimes heroes fall short and villains can be heroic.

Overall I ended up enjoying this quirky and witty little book about the shades of grey between superheroes and villains. It was an entertaining read; although it took me a while to really get sucked into the story the second half of the book was very engaging. I am uncertain right now as to whether or not I will read the second book, The Trials of Renegade X. I would recommend to those who enjoy coming of age type stories with snarky superhero villains. ( )
  krau0098 | Jun 5, 2015 |
Fairly well put together for a teen novel. Not particularly deep, but the pieces all fit together pretty well, and there isn't undue heartache for no good reason. A fun read. Don't plan on continuing the series although for its target audience it isn't half bad
overall 80% ( )
  jason9292 | Jul 18, 2014 |
Okay, so...first off, wow. This has to be the most original thing I've read in a while. Second, I found the main character very relatable. True, he was a jerk and some of the things he did were reprehensible, but it's also nature versus nurture. His mother encouraged to be a villain and solve his problems that way...and so that's how he reacted.

I mean, yeah, there were some moments that were over the top. Damien's fixation on Amelia's underwear and socks was a bit much. But, still, a very enjoyable romp. ( )
  liveshipvivacia | Apr 26, 2014 |
Damien is planning his life as a supervillain when his life is turned upside down by discovering that maybe he's not nearly as villainous as he thought...

Like a few other superhero/villain YA stories I've read, this focuses more on the characters and less on the powers. It's got snarky dialog, hijinks, sidekicks, gadgets, and some kind of dubious romance. Looking fowards to the next book! ( )
  terriko | Oct 17, 2013 |
Damien Locke is the son of the Mistress of Mayhem, a mad scientist supervillain living in Golden City. On his sixteenth birthday, he has a huge party to celebrate his thumbprint becoming a "V," meaning that he's a born supervillain. Except that it doesn't. It becomes a mythical "X," which can only mean one thing: his dad must be a superhero. Where does that leave Damien?

I had a lot of fun reading this! Damien might not be the most scientific supervillain, or the strongest, but he is definitely clever and creative, a combination that leads to some ingenious plans. But he also felt like a normal teen. He freaks out when his whole life plan and everything he knows about himself is thrown into question. He hides them well, but he has some insecurities. He's sarcastic but tries his best to be a good boyfriend and friend. Girls baffle him but he keeps trying. If he makes up his mind that he's got a reason to get revenge on someone, he takes it in ways that are totally unpredictable and frequently hilarious. He just can't help caring about the people around him in spite of himself.

I liked the way that this adventurous superhero story can also be read as a story about choices. Just because your parents are good or bad doesn't mean that you have to follow in their footsteps. Just because you think that you were born to be one thing doesn't mean that you can't at least try doing something else.

The other characters were great too. Kat was so totally random and fun and well-developed. She messes up before the story even begins and she feels awful about it. Sarah is just a geek to the rest of her school, but Damien finds out that she's brilliant and loyal. The supervillains didn't spend a lot of time being villainous, but they were great villains when they wanted to be.

There's a little bit of a love triangle, and I can see it happening under the circumstances, but the book would have been just as good if not better without it. But we all know that I am sick and tired of love triangles.

The superhero/villain thing had me thinking this might be more a middle grade book. Now that I've read it, I would put it firmly in the YA section. There's nothing graphic in the book, but Damien is a pretty normal 16-year-old guy, and what do teen guys think about? You got it. He just makes a few innuendos about sex and nothing serious happens, but it is in there.

I highly recommend it for the young adult and adventure-loving adult crowd! It was just a lot of fun and I enjoyed every minute of it. ( )
  JG_IntrovertedReader | Apr 3, 2013 |
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Expecting to become a supervillain on his sixteenth birthday, Damien Locke, son of one of Golden City's most notorious supervillains, is horrified to discover that he may instead be destined to become a superhero.

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