Archenemies is the sequel to Renegades, a duology-turned-trilogy series set in a war-torn city brought back to its former glory by a collective group of humans with superpowers, known as the Renegades. Nova, a part of the anti-Renegade group called the Anarchists, has her reasons to hate the Renegades. She infiltrates the Renegades by joining them undercover and meets Adrian, a boy hiding his own his alter-ego- the Sentinel. Nova won’t admit it, but she’s starts to develop feelings for Adrian. As the sequel unfolds, a new bioweapon is being developed by the Renegades, which can permanently take away one’s power. This presents a new problem to Nova, the Anarchists, and Adrian, as their lives are on the line, allies being taken away one by one.
I thoroughly enjoyed Archenemies a lot, with the unanticipated twists and superhero antics rarely seen in actual novels. The plot was incredibly deep, with almost all the pieces from the first book finally coming together in Archenemies. The characters developed a lot of personality, though I felt that the focus on Nova and Adrian, and the budding romance between them, was too much to the point where the rest of the diverse cast was largely ignored. Sadly, Archenemies was missing some of the fun interactions between the minor characters seen in the previous book. I also felt that the majority of the most compelling events in the book were packed into the ending of the book, with the middle just full of filler and fluff to make the book seem initially stuffed with content. With the lack of non-superhero graphic novels in the market nowadays, this is one of the most solid books I’ve ever read. As someone who enjoys reading superhero-themed graphic novels, I would definitely recommend Archenemies for those who enjoy similarly themed books. However, readers should read Renegades before Archenemies, otherwise they may be confused.
To be fair, the most memorable part about the book was during one of the patrol missions, in which Nova and Adrian are the only ones awake while the rest of their teammates are sleeping. This put me at ease, mainly because up until that point, the book’s events were fast-paced and had me at the edge of my seat. Thus, it felt like a momentary break from their life-risking vigilantism. The casual interaction in this scene made me remember that they were still regular teenagers, although with enhanced superpowers.
Reviewed by Allyson Tham, Twin Hickory Area Library
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