Book Review – ‘Supernova’ by Marissa Meyer

Title: Supernova
Author: Marissa Meyer
Genre: YA Fantasy
Word/Page Count: 560 pages (paperback)
Publication Details: by Pan Macmillan Australia on October 29th, 2019
RRP: $18.99 AUD (paperback)

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Blurb from Goodreads:

All’s fair in love and anarchy…

The epic conclusion to Marissa Meyer’s thrilling Renegades Trilogy finds Nova and Adrian struggling to keep their secret identities concealed while the battle rages on between their alter egos, their allies, and their greatest fears come to life. Secrets, lies, and betrayals are revealed as anarchy once again threatens to reclaim Gatlon City.

The publisher was kind enough to send me the whole Renegades trilogy, so for the past week, I have lived, breathed and bled Renegades (yes, bled, there was an altercation with my cat who was trying to tear apart my photo setup and dealt me a grievous wound when I had the audacity to intervene). And now that it’s all over, I have the worst book hangover of all time and I don’t quite know what to do with myself. But damn, it was an epic ride while it lasted! ❤

At the start of book 3, Nova and Adrian are still in the dark about each other’s alter egos, Nightmare and the Sentinel. Against all odds, Nova is still embedded in the Renegades headquarters as an Anarchist spy after her successful raid as Nightmare, and Adrian has even more cause to desire vengeance after the destruction left in her wake, leaving his little brother Max severely injured and in a coma.

I didn’t read the blurbs for each sequel and I was surprised to find that their identities still hadn’t been exposed by this stage – it could’ve seemed contrived, but as an outsider, it’s easier for us to spot the inconsistencies in their cover stories, and it made sense to me that they had a blind spot for each other. If there wasn’t any plot progression and the author had been simply spinning her wheels keeping them frozen in place, this would’ve been frustrating, but there was so much rich character exploration and delicious tension in keeping their secrets that I was more than happy to let it continue to play out. 😎 This isn’t to say that NOBODY finds out, however, and it was a relief and exciting to see the new character dynamics introduced once Adrian and Nova respectively had different people find out about their alter egos. In particular, Nova’s identity being compromised leads to an exciting new storyline involving a group known as the Rejects which had me gleefully wriggling at how the author blew up my assumptions at how things were going to go down yet again.

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One of the best things this series does is explore the traditional hero-villain dichotomy and show that it’s not so black and white. Just because someone has an ‘R’ emblazoned on their uniform doesn’t mean that they are automatically a beacon of justice and goodness, and simply because someone had a criminal past doesn’t mean that there’s no possibility they can’t grow and evolve into better people. What I really liked was that as much as the trilogy delved into the shades of grey, it didn’t lose the overall optimism that the heroes ARE the good guys and have the best intentions – it would’ve been really easy to do a simple swap and portray the Council as corrupt tyrants and the Anarchists as the downtrodden oppressed lower class, which only reverses who’s who in the hero-villain dynamic while still reinforcing it. But the author shows the larger-than-life Council members as being inherently noble do-gooders with regrettably human flaws like believing they know best and imposing rules without allowing for dissenting opinions, as well as taking shortcuts to ensuring peace by assuming that the ends justify the means because they’re panicking at losing control. :/

The first two books set the bar high, but Supernova truly excelled as it had the advantage of a now well-established cast of characters that have endeared themselves to us, making it so much more tense to read the two factions at war with each other when we care for people on both sides. 😕 There are more than a few shocking plot twists that are all the more satisfying and gut-wrenching for having been foreshadowed in the first two books, and I had moments where I had to put this one down to mull over all the hints that had been dropped that I didn’t pick up on at the time. I love how carefully thought out these twists were, it’s obvious they weren’t thrown in at the last minute for the shock factor as I could see in hindsight how delicately they had been seeded into the past storylines.

I have nothing but praise for the writing which is as addictive as ever. It was impossible to put this down as the author masterfully pulled our strings just like the Puppeteer, throwing out one heart-pounding action scene after another, keeping us ensnared with thrilling plot developments and new mysteries compelling us to keep reading in order to satisfy our curiosity, and of course the wonderful heartwarming team bonding and romantic scenes. 😀 There’s a hint of a f/f relationship between Danna and another character, which I’m a little disappointed wasn’t more developed on page, but the story is told from Adrian and Nova’s perspectives, and given the rapidly escalating events at the time, it wouldn’t have been possible to flesh that out more. At least Adrian’s dads were present throughout the book for some lovely gay representation showing a wholesome family unit!

Expectations were sky high with Supernova and I couldn’t fathom how Marissa Meyer would be able to wrap this up in a fulfilling manner, but I should never have doubted her. While the ending may have been a little too good to be true (it would’ve been nice to have some lasting consequences or some bittersweet in their victory), it honored the spirit of the series, leaving me happy and content. Fans will definitely find this to be a highly rewarding end to a fantastic series – and we’re all waiting with bated breath to see if there’s a spinoff or novella coming because you can’t turn that last page without wanting MORE.


Spoiler Section:

  • The Council was so reckless with Agent N, jeez, slow your roll!
  • Did anyone else tear up over Turbo?
  • OMG, Winston tho 😥
  • Nova was so cold letting Adrian get tortured!
  • The Phobia development had me hollering :O
  • Lol at the team being like ‘wait, we trust her again WHY?’
  • I kinda wish more good guys died?
  • I’m not the only one picturing Magneto in Ace’s scenes, right?
  • The conclusion with Max was epic and made a lot of sense, up til the part with people getting their powers back that he didn’t take in the first place
  • THAT MAGPIE REVEAL, AGH (also lol at her crushing on Max)

Personal Rating: 5 out of 5 kitties recommend this book.

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Disclaimer: Physical copy provided by publisher free for an unbiased review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

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