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The Rise of Renegade X (edition 2010)

by Chelsea M. Campbell

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126None95,215 (4.18)2
Member:terriko
Title:The Rise of Renegade X
Authors:Chelsea M. Campbell
Info:EgmontUSA (2010), Hardcover, 352 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:****
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The Rise of Renegade X by Chelsea M. Campbell

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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 |
I lost interest about 200 pages in. I soldiered on for about 40 pages more, because the beginning was pretty interesting, but no. The girl situation took away from the story instead of adding to it.
  GinnyTea | Mar 31, 2013 |
I did not know what to expect when I picked up Chelsea Campbell’s debut novel. I’d heard a lot of talk about it – and the talk was good. But still, I doubted. Superheroes and villains are cool, but I asked myself, are they my kind of cool? It didn’t take me long to realize how silly that question was: THE RISE OF RENEGADE X is an amazing book, filled with sarcastic humor, youthful insecurity, and awesome costumes.

Damien was such a fun character! Half the time he’s a super sarcastic little jerk and the rest of the time he was… well he was still a sarcastic punk, but he was a loveable one. He was absolutely hilarious and had me laughing aloud more than once. To me, he was a mix of V. Mars’ Logan Echolls and the funny guys you know in school – which is a pretty amazing combination. Damien was definitely my favorite part of the book!

I loved the craziness of RENEGADE. The entire novel, plot, characters, and all, are so creative and fun. It was unlike any other novel I’ve read and it doesn’t surprise me that it is already being considered as a possible film. RENEGADE definitely has a cinematic quality.

There is also a bit of romance in RENEGADE, but it is not a main focus of the novel. Damien was such a guy about the relationship though. I’m not sure there is a better way to describe his behavior, but I found it refreshing, honest, and hilarious.

THE RISE OF RENEGADE X is a must-read debut novel! I applaud Chelsea Campbell for writing a novel that can easily appeal to both guys and girls. ( )
  thehidingspot | Mar 31, 2012 |
This super book gets an awesome 4 gnomes and a gnome hat out of 5 gnomes. This book is a great mix of a rather snarky yet relatable main character and a comic book type world full of superheroes and villains.

This book kind of feels like a comic book as you read it, it's easy to visualize the characters and everything that goes on. In this world superheroes and villains are everywhere and easy to identify. I love the explanation about how it's decided whether a person will be a hero or villain. Both sides created a virus to reveal what a person will be at the age of sixteen, a person will either get an H or a V, it all depends on their parentage. Damien is all set to celebrate receiving his V when something unexpected happens. Apparently his Mom has a secret.

Damien is the kind of villain that funny enough I imagine my sister being. He always has something to say and is finding a way out of bad situations. He has some brilliant ways of seeking revenge that are also pretty darn funny. His use of scorpions and tricks with shampoo are both vindictive yet fitting for the situation.

Both the villains and heroes have prejudices against the other and they even have their own universities. Damien thinks that he's a shoe-in to get into the best villain school but not everyone feels the same way. This story raises some interesting thoughts about the whole nature versus nurture debate and the gray areas that are a part of being a villain or a hero. I think that this will probably continue in future books, at least from how the story ends.

The friends that Damien makes are also intriguing. His ex-girlfriend Kat is a villain who can shapeshift, which gets her into plenty of trouble. The other girl he shows an interest in is kind of the class weirdo, so the contrast between the two is another great quirk to the story.

Damien's one weakness/fear is wonderfully ironic with the events that happen in the story. The story also has a kind of a choose your own adventure type feel to it and the reader finds out that because of Damien's unique situation, the choices he makes will greatly impact his future.

Overall this is a great book with a story that flies by, I would highly recommend this book to anyone that likes the superhero genre/comics. This story will leave you wondering what choices Damien will make next and where those choices will lead. ( )
  raboyer | Jun 15, 2011 |
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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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Chelsea M. Campbell is a LibraryThing Author, an author who lists their personal library on LibraryThing.

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