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The Rise of Renegade X (Renegade X #1)

3.9  ·  Rating Details ·  2,284 Ratings  ·  226 Reviews
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 mo ...more
ebook, 1st Edition, 352 pages
Published May 11th 2010 by EgmontUSA
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James They're over-the-top in the way that most comic book melodrama is. Everything is at the extremes, with a heightened sense of importance. It's only…moreThey're over-the-top in the way that most comic book melodrama is. Everything is at the extremes, with a heightened sense of importance. It's only when the narrator, who tries to view the world through this heightened lens, gets to know people that their reactions become more nuanced. (less)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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This book was great. Very campy. Alot of superhero/supervillian jokes, but even non-comic book fans could relate. Damien Locke is hilarious and I would love to be best friends with Renegade X. Not to mention, read another book about him. Here are just a few great quotes from the book:

I've been kidnapped by a madman in tights and a cape.

I explained that I'd been homeschooled but that didn't help. She must have been picturing cavemenlike supervillians in capes grunting and showing me how to rub tw
Oct 16, 2011 Megan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
(Re-posted from

There is nothing, and I mean nothing, that I won’t forgive a book for if it gives me fantastic characters. Plot holes? Cliches? Incest? Like the annoying girl you tolerate because her brother is way hot, I’ll welcome all those flaws if the characters are bitching.

And boy are Chelsea M. Campbells characters bitching!

Which is not to say that the book is full of plot holes and clichés. Incest on the other hand… No, I kid. (Although, Damien does spe
WOW! This book! This book came super close to getting a 5 star rating from me, so close...

Unofficial rating:
First half: 5 out of 5 stars
Second half: 2.5 out of 5 stars

The Story
Imagine a world, where seeing a superhero flying through the sky, or being mugged by a super villain in a back alley isn't that unusual. But there is one place, Golden City, where the chances of this happening are even higher due to the high percentage of super-powered people. Damien, a witty and mischievous teenager, is a
4.5 really, a terrific book.

First of all, keep in mind that this is an advanced copy, so any and all items are subject to change. That being said, I doubt much will change. I'm not a great editor and was too caught up in the story to pay much of attention, but I didn't note any typos or or other obvious errors (and I often do).

Anyway, the experience starts with the great cover. The design is echoed on the cover page and the first page of each chapter. The font type for both the text and page nu
Clinton Harding
Mar 05, 2012 Clinton Harding rated it really liked it
I wish there were books like “Rise of Renegade X” on the shelves at my school library when I was that tender, impressionable age. Maybe I would have gotten into reading earlier than I did. This novel is perfect for boy readers who have a hard time making the transition between comic books to novels. Author Chelsea Campbell does well in transplanting the action of a superhero story into a novel. Yeah, there are cliché moments and tongue-and-cheek dialogue, but regardless I had fun. The novel does ...more
A Canadian Girl
Feb 23, 2011 A Canadian Girl rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2010, egmont, 4-stars
The Rise of Renegade X begins with its protagonist, Damien, waiting to become sixteen and get the V on his thumb that signals he will become a supervillain. With his supervillain mother - the Mistress of Mayhem (aka Marianna Locke), - his friends and a bunch of strangers on hand at his birthday party to witness this milestone in his life, Damien eagerly waits for the clock to turn to midnight. Unfortunately, when the clock does strike twelve, Damien’s thumbprint forms a horrifying X, which basic ...more
Jan 11, 2015 MJ rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
To see the review with gifs click here.

If you’re not a fan of comics, the Silver Age was a period in comics that is sort of akin to the 1960’s Batman series. Rather, than having gritty series that depict super heroes in a relatively realistic way, you get some goofy stuff. And I love it…


The Rise of Renegade X sort of takes the idea of the Silver Age with it and forms it into a YA book. Which surprisingly works even though there were a few cringe moments…just because Silver Age.

What wor
Oct 19, 2010 Krystle rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book is fabulous. For a story that revolves around superheroes and their superpowers you'd think it'd all be the glitz and glamor of what our main protagonist can do with very little depth or plot around them. Wrong. This book has everything you could ever want.

I can't even begin to explain all the issues that the author tackled in this story. There's a strong sense of finding your own identity while being torn in two different directions of what Damien is expected to be. There's also the
Mar 26, 2010 Karin rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Welcome to Golden City where superheroes and supervillains mingle with ordinary citizens. We meet the main character, Damien Locke, on the eve of his 16th birthday – the day his “V” is supposed to appear in his thumbprint. The day his fate is officially sealed. The day he becomes a REAL supervillain. His “V” will ensure his admission to Vilmore, the university for aspiring villains. So, standing in front of a crowd of people as the clock strikes Midnight, Damien watches as his thumbprint shifts… ...more
This book is a good read. But it was a one time read. Nothing more nothing less.
About the story - Damian is your cliche villain turned hero.
You will get your love triangle.
Spoiling world domination.
And super powers and stuff.

It's fairly enjoyable, but lacks originality.

Recommended to only those who likes super hero stuff and comics.
May 05, 2010 Danielle rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

Damien had spent his whole life believing himself to be pure supervillain--despite the mystery that is his father. But on the day of his sixteenth birthday, instead of a v appearing on his thumb, he gets himself the mythical Third Letter--x. The apparent offspring of a villain and a hero, Damien knows he'd be the laughing stock of the villainous world if this gets out, not to mention completly ineligable for the top Supervillain school in the country. To better understand the severity of this is
Jun 05, 2015 Karissa rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

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
Nov 28, 2009 Ingenue rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sff, arc, young-adult
My secret love of cheesy superheroic cliches made this vastly entertaining to me, probably more than it really deserves. Now I need a crossover with Disney's "Sky High" universe. I also need a sequel!
Mylan Allen
May 30, 2015 Mylan Allen rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
One of the first and best completely superhero-based novels that i have ever read!! Chelsea Campbell is one of my favourite authors and i cant wait to read more Renegade
Hannah Lozier
Mar 12, 2014 Hannah Lozier rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fans of formula and comic books
Shelves: superheroes
The Rise of Renegade X is a decent book with a lovable cast, but fails to really deliver on what could be a very interesting concept.

Superheroes are honestly one of my favorite literary topics. If superhero/metahuman lit was a genre all of its own, I'd spend most of my time and money there. I has high hopes for The Rise of Renegade X as a result -- hopes that were bolstered by its female author, snarky protagonist, and solid concept. What if you were raised by a supervillain, only to find out as
Mar 14, 2011 Tina rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ebooks, 2011, fantasy, ya
Original post at One More Page

I used to be a fan of the X-Men animated series when it was first aired in my country when I was a kid. I wasn't able to watch most of it, though, but when I got a little bit older, I loved watching the newer series, X-Men Evolution, which I loved and tried to catch as much as I can. I couldn't decide which mutant I want to become, or what superpowers I'd want to have if I were one.

The Rise of Renegade X by Chelsea M. Campbell reminded me of all those days I watch
Adam Bouzianis
May 11, 2016 Adam Bouzianis rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The Rise of Renegade X, written by Chelsea M. Campbell, is a book based in a dystopian world where one city, Golden City, is filled with Heroes and Villains. This makes Golden City unique because it is the only place in the world where, when you turn sixteen you are given powers, and a letter on your thumb. An “H”, if you are going to be a Hero with Hero based powers such as flying, strength, or teleportation, or a “V”, if you are going to be a Villain with Villain based powers such as laser vis ...more
May 15, 2010 Sarah rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Rise of Renegade X by Chelsea M. Campbell captured me from the first page onward. This is the book that is everything, everything wonderful about superheroes and villains, everything that Pixar's The Incredibles was not for me. And why you ask? Well, because of the main character. As countless authors have proven, an amazing protagonist can make any story a worthwhile read and such is the case here.

Damien Locke has been waiting for one major, life changing moment his entire life so far. His
May 18, 2010 Yan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Coquille Fleur
Aug 27, 2011 Coquille Fleur rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: comic book lovers, teen boys, teen girls, adult YA lovers
Recommended to Coquille by: My favorite cube-neighbor Emily
Shelves: fantasy, ya
This book has the perfect premise, so clear-cut yet utterly original. Fans of comic books and superheroes will absolutely eat this baby up. I devoured this book pretty quickly considering my lack of free time. The pace is fast and the writing is snappy, snarky, and sometimes snippy. Damien is a Supervillian, about to get his V (a sign that appears on the thumb on one's 16th birthday), but when the day arrives, complete with a money-making party for tourists, his world crumbles as an X appears. L ...more
JG (The Introverted Reader)
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 c
Mar 17, 2010 nikki rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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 fr
Peace Love and Reviews
The first page will immediately throw you into the world of our protagonist. All his life Damien Locke is set to be a great super villain. His mother after all is the great Mistress of Mayhem. A mad scientist who also happens to shoot laser beams from her eyes. Damien lives in Golden City (their very own Gotham City), where in heroes and super villains live among the regular people. Yes disguise and all that. It was said that on the night of a hero or villains sixteenth birthday, a mark on their ...more
Nov 08, 2010 Liz rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I don’t know of any other upper YA books that are about superheroes and villains like The Rise of Renegade X is. To be honest, I wish initially wary of this novel. I was concerned that it might be, “Action! Action! Fancy James Bond spy gear! Boyish emotion to which Liz cannot relate! MORE ACTION!” (Yes, I do periodically forget that boys have thoughts and emotions that I can relate to, although typically I wonder what they even think at all.) Campbell pleasantly surprised me with a lovable cast ...more
First Impression:
I had heard awesome things about this book last year and I never got around to reading it. I won a copy a while back and was glad to finally have time to pick it up. I knew it was about heroes and villians when starting it and found it engaging me from the first page.

While Reading:
I could see this book being turned into a movie in my head. I loved the dynamics between Damien and his mother. A mad scientist who tries to love her son, even though he isn't quite fully a supervillia
Mel Boulrice
May 15, 2010 Mel Boulrice rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ya-debut-2010, ya, fantasy
(originally posted on my blog:
Damien (aka Renegade X) is not just some punk with a cocky attitude who wants to be a villain, he's real and likable and although he may not want to admit it, he has a conscience. I loved the way Chelsea captured Damien's inner struggles and included his thoughts...which didn't always match what he said and had me giggling. Not only does he have his super hero/villain issues to deal with, there's his ex-girlfriend, Kat, whom he
 Tina (Fantastic Book Review)
In Campbell’s exciting and humorous debut, The Rise of Renegade X introduces us to some unforgettable characters. Damien Locke, son of supervillain – Mistress of Mayhem can’t wait for his debut in the world of Supervillains. He even has a revenge list. From the moment Chelsea introduced me to her exciting new world of heroes and villains, I was enthralled. I’m a big Marvel Comics fan and it was great to read a YA novel in this category.

I had plenty of laughs with this book. Chelsea’s sense of hu
I loved this book. What a pleasant surprise. I went in with fairly average expectations but this book was just soo good. This has been sitting on my kindle for probably about a year; I wish I had read it sooner.

The premise is super interesting. Golden City is home to famous superheros and supervillians. There's even two schools for them to go to. At the age of sixteen someone with superpowers will either get a V or H on their thumb which shows what you would think; if they are a villain or a her
Sab H.  (YA Bliss)
May 18, 2010 Sab H. (YA Bliss) rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own-arc, autographed
I've been considering for a while how to even begin to put this into words. I'm pretty sure you wont have read anything like this before. Not only is the premise completely fresh and fascinating, but the writing is so amazing in such a different yet fabulous way. I adored the dialog! Let me repeat this, just in case it is not clear enough: the dialog was absolutely amazing. I fell in love with Damien and his attitude and the unique way he has. He is way to clever and awesome to be real. And I'm ...more
Damien Locke, future super villain has grand plans to attend Vilmore, the elite boarding school for up and coming super villains. Unfortunately the X that appears on his thumb the night of his sixteenth birthday turns his life upside down. Now he will have to prove himself a villain or a hero.

My absolute favorite part of The Rise of Renegade X has to be main character Damien. His hysterical sarcasm had me laughing out loud more times than I can count. Truly the characters of this book were amazi
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Hero and Villians 1 5 Sep 24, 2014 03:27AM  
Superheroes and C...: The Rise of Renegade X by Chelsea M. Campbell 3 10 Sep 05, 2014 11:32AM  
Wild Things: YA G...: July 2011- The Rise of Renegade X by Chelsea Campbell 9 27 Aug 06, 2011 09:27PM  
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Chelsea M. Campbell grew up in the Pacific Northwest, where it rains a lot. And then rains some more. She finished her first novel when she was twelve, sent it out, and promptly got rejected. Since then she's written many more novels, earned a degree in Latin and Ancient Greek, become an obsessive knitter and fiber artist, and started a collection of glass grapes. Besides writing, studying ancient ...more
More about Chelsea M. Campbell...

Other Books in the Series

Renegade X (4 books)
  • The Trials of Renegade X (Renegade X, #2)
  • The Betrayal of Renegade X (Renegade X, #3)
  • The Phobia of Renegade X (Renegade X, #4)

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“My mom's a mad scientist. It's a lot like being a regular scientist, except without worrying about legal or moral limitations, and it's a commom profession among the scientifically inclined supervillain.” 10 likes
“I'm partial to telling all the sharks they're not as cool as they think they are, and that it's people like them who bankrupt the tooth fairy and don't leave any tooth money for the rest of us. Or we can make out some more. I'm planning on moaning, 'oh, Salty! You bad sea demon!' next time. Just so you're prepared."
Kat grins. "Who says we can't do both?"
"I knew I loved you." I lean in and kiss her. And then a shark swims by and I shake my fist at it and ask it where all my quarters are.”
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