Cathy 's Reviews > The Rise of Renegade X

The Rise of Renegade X by Chelsea M. Campbell
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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 numbers are very cool and set a graphic-novel-like tone. (Although I would have liked the type font to be a bit larger, it didn't actually bother me, which surprised be me because I'm used to my adjustable font ebooks now. Maybe because it was so dark?)

The premise is very cute, about a kid, Damian Locke, raised by his supervillain mad scientist mom to aspire to heights (ha - he's afraid of heights) of supervillainy, only to find out suddenly on his 16th birthday that his dad was actually a hated superhero. So it's sort-of a nature vs. nurture exploration. But the writing takes the story well beyond the cute premise into being a really fun and thoughtful book with tons of humor, sarcasm, irony, adventure, and heart. The author captured the best elements of superhero stories and turned a few upside down and inside out. As most of us realize at some point, very little in this world is black and white. It turns out that even heroes and villains have to deal with shades of gray. And that goes double (triple, quadruple) for teens growing up and trying to figure out what the heck their parents and friends are thinking and doing.

The author did a great job of writing Damian, his best-friend Kat and his new friend Sarah. All three really ring true, especially Damian. He's that sarcastic, witty kid with the hard shell and inner softy we all want for a best friend (except I'm not good enough with the banter to keep up with him). It was so easy to get swept up in his story that I read the entire book in 2 sittings. It had a great flow and just kept my interest the entire time. I also identified with, or at least recognized, his mom and dad all too well, both good points and bad. I'd like to think that his mom was a bit more cartoonishly obvious as a supervillain, but unfortunately selfishness and neglect aren't restricted to the villain genetic lines. His dad seems pretty obvious at first and has a few lines that just floored me with his one-track mentality, but he got a bit more interesting by the end.

This is a book that will appeal to a really wide range of readers. It's good for both adults and teens, male and female. Younger teens or tweens would have to be pretty good readers, but there isn't really anything inappropriate for kids who aren't super-sheltered (there are mentions of where he was conceived, kissing in school).

Overall it was a great, entertaining story and I hope you guys will all pick it up and support this newly-published but long-suffering writer. And make sure there will be more books to follow!
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Reading Progress

03/30/2010 page 1
0.28% "Great art! Cover & title page are very cool. Font is tiny but a little funky and sets a good tone. Author included a bookmark, too :)"
03/30/2010 page 159
45.17% "Quality YA villains vs. heroes, teen angst couched in bitter wit, smarts are honored, definition of morality is up for grabs so far. Fun!"

Comments (showing 1-3 of 3) (3 new)

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JG (The Introverted Reader) I wouldn't be able to keep up with Damien's banter either! Great review! I like what you said about the shades of gray with both the heroes and the villains. I didn't think about that, but you're absolutely right.

Cathy I was just looking at the reviews so far and they're all so great! It seems like everyone loved the book and can't wait for a sequel. They're also so well written! A lot of people took the time to write out thoughful and enthusiastic reviews. It's nice to see such a great response to this really fun book.

JG (The Introverted Reader) I didn't have time to read any reviews other than yours this morning. I'll have to go look at them. I'm glad they're positive!

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