Sara's Reviews > The Rise of Renegade X

The Rise of Renegade X by Chelsea M. Campbell
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's review
Jan 20, 2010

really liked it
bookshelves: 2011, young-adult

In Golden City, superheroes and supervillains are plentiful, although they disguise their identities from the public. Damien's mom is one of the top supervillains, and on his sixteenth birthday, he's excited for the moment when a "V" (for Villain) forms on his thumb, as this is something that's passed down through genes. However, instead of a "V", an "X" appears - meaning he's the product of his mom and an unknown superhero dad. Damien is embarrassed and disgusted, eager to become a supervillain but unable to make that claim until his fingerprint decides to mark him as a villain or a hero. Things get even more complicated when his superhero dad finds out and Damien is forced to live with him and his family to see if being a hero is more his type.

This was a fun, pleasant read. I loved the city and world that the author created; the idea of all these heroes and villains openly (and alternately) causing mayhem and order around the city is awesome, as is the fact that tourists visit to see precisely this. Damien was an entertaining, if conflicted, narrator with lots of amusing one-liners. He wasn't a particularly evil wannabe villain, and most of the problems in his life seemed to be with other villains (such as his ex-girlfriend) who were also more than simply "bad" characters; I really liked how the characters were well-rounded. The girl who appoints herself as Damien's sidekick was especially endearing, even if he didn't always agree.

I feel like this book is the start of a series, but I'm not sure. The ending wrapped things up well, but there were enough loose ends to launch a series, so I don't know. I thought this book was a lot of fun to read and appropriate for most age groups; there are a few references to how Damien came to be the product of a supervillain and a superhero, but it's pretty tame, and most of the action was more fanciful than dire.

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