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The Rise of Renegade X

(Renegade X #1)

3.89  ·  Rating details ·  2,926 ratings  ·  260 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
Hardcover, 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 whe…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)
Sean Duggan No swearing. Sex is discussed, and even planned, but does not happen in the book.

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Average rating 3.89  · 
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Oct 16, 2011 rated it really liked it
(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
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
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
A Canadian Girl
Feb 23, 2011 rated it really liked it
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
Clinton Harding
Feb 29, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Linda C
Nov 15, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Damien is celebrating his 16th birthday and about to have his thumbprint reveal a V for supervillain when he gets the surprise of his life and an X appears instead. In this world populated by superheroes and supervillains Damien has just found out that he is half of each. He gets sent to his father's family to learn about his other half and determine which way he will develop. As he tries to continue proving he is a villain he meets up with all these events that challenge his morals. The book is ...more
Nasty Lady MJ
Jan 05, 2015 rated it liked it
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
Feb 22, 2010 rated it really liked it
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 19, 2010 rated it it was amazing
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
Jan 12, 2015 rated it liked it
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 rated it really liked it

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
May 30, 2015 rated it really liked it

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 rated it really liked it
Shelves: arc, sff, 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! ...more
Mylan Allen
Feb 20, 2015 rated it it was amazing
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
Dec 22, 2015 rated it liked it
3.5 stars
Until a little more than half this story was awesome, after that it got all boring, predictable and pretty stupid. I'm still reading the next book with the hope it'll get better.
Oh my gosh this was so much fun to read. The entire time I was reading it I was thinking just how much I could see this being a tv show on CW or something. I really loved the concept of this. Damien was raised by a villain mom, plans to be a villain just like her, finds out his father is a super hero, then has an identity crisis. Only he continues to believe he's a villain while doing superhero things.

There's a bit of a love triangle here. I like him much better with Sarah than Kat, but as it s
Hannah Bradshaw Lozier
Feb 14, 2014 rated it liked it
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
Jul 12, 2020 rated it really liked it
Deep inside me there is a little Jo who loves Teen Titans, Megamind, and The Incredibles, and this book was for her. So fun and completely irreverent, yet not innocent enough to come across as dumb. Now to find the second book....
Feb 22, 2018 rated it really liked it
3.5 rounded up to 4.

Sketch notes: I changed the costume a bit to match the description in the book, plus stylized the "X" to keep it from looking to much like "X-Men".

Interesting characters.
Fun anti-hero protagonist.
A promising intro to the series, which gets even better in the sequel.

Not so nice:
Semantics. Super powered individuals are literally branded with an “H” or “V” to indicate them as heroes or villains. Ignoring the silly scientific explanations, the story is pretty cle
Plot: Family drama with superhero flavoring.

1. The Renegade X series starts with a pre-judged villain/hero dichotomy that's uh- not really explained all that well. I get that it's trying to discuss (possibly in a tongue in cheek manner) discrimination and judging by appearances and whatnot. But I really do not understand why you would make a conscious choice to have supervillains as the oppressed minority analogue while not discussing how exactly one gets branded a villain or a hero? From the ra
Jun 14, 2010 rated it really liked it
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 wat
Feb 02, 2010 rated it really liked it
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
Sep 30, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: disappointing

Before starting this book, I was hoping VERY much that it would turn out to be kick-ass, what with the amazing synopsis. Hello? Supervillains? With the promise of boundless fun and action? I WAS DYING TO READ THIS.
But what was expected to be kick-ass sometimes became more ass than fun.
First of all, Damian Locke... perplexes me. He BAMBOOZLES me. Why would he go off kissing Sarah when he's supposed to be concentrating on changing his thumbprint
Sep 11, 2009 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
JG (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
Coquille Fleur
Aug 13, 2011 rated it it was amazing
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
Oct 20, 2009 rated it really liked it
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
Nov 25, 2009 rated it it was amazing
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
Damien Locke lives in an alternate universe inhabited by superheroes, supervillains, and regular people. If you are a hero, a letter H appears on your thumb when you turn 16. If you are a villain, you get a V.

On his 16th birthday, Damien gets an X. He is half hero, half villain, the product of a one-night stand between his mad-scientist supervillain mother and superhero father Crimson Flash, otherwise known as Gordon Tines. Gordon is certain that his son will become a full-fledged hero, but the
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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

Other books in the series

Renegade X (5 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)
  • The Rivalry of Renegade X (Renegade X, #5)

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