Morning mortals! You may be a little confused, didn’t I review Renegades yesterday? Why yes you are correct. Today I am reviewing a different book that is also called Renegades. I appear to have slipped back into old bad habits of reading sequels before the first book in series, I have too much on my reading list at the moment to go back and read Recruits but looking around the internet this does seem to be quite a different novel just with the same characters? So take this review with a pinch of whatever condiment you would like, but I feel like you can still get the sense of a sequel without reading book one.
Twins Sean and Dillon are using their transit abilities for good–but not everyone sees it that way. Arrested and imprisoned by a clandestine group within the highest reaches of the Human Assembly, Sean and Dillon are forced to choose sides between those who wish to serve and those who seek to rule.
At the same time within a distant outpost system, a young soldier is coming into his own. Logan has known since childhood that he possessed a special ability–a distinct form of transiting called ghost-walking. Though ghost-walking has been outlawed for centuries, Logan is secretly drawing together a crew for a risky quest.
The fates of these three young men will lead them, along with the entire Assembly, to the brink of destruction in this inventive tale of adventure, honor, and the things worth fighting for.
Kicking this review off with a question. Where are the women? That’s not to say that there were no female characters, there was a lawyer character and some of the fighters were women and let’s not forget the ex girlfriends who got mentioned a lot but never had any appearance in the book. All the same, this book was pretty man-centred. I can understand the difficulty because it’s a second book and you’ve already set up these two brothers as the main characters but there were so many other side characters who just didn’t need to be men. Maybe that’s me being whiny but if you want to make your book appeal to people who can’t relate to ‘being bros’ you need to write some good female characters, not just allude to their fighting prowess but not give them any real plot.
Second flaw in this book? Maybe it’s something to do with the idea of ‘transit’ and moving instantaneously from place to place but there are barely any transitions in this book. It’s a bit like watching an old film, or an awkwardly edited Youtube video but in book form. You move between settings, between characters and even between different times with barely any warning and no real setting of the scene. This is partly due to the fact that this is two stories gradually tying themselves together. But for some reason, where this really worked in something like Autonomous, in this instance there wasn’t enough world building on either side of the story for it to feel safe to move between the two without getting utterly confused.
But it isn’t all doom and gloom, there are some creative elements to this world, there’s an attempt at the idea of intrigue and ‘who do I trust?’ that almost lands and there are also some creative ideas at work in the various planets, I particularly liked the idea of how life might function on a planet with no atmosphere. There was clearly an idea beneath the surface of this all, Locke had thought about the histories of various places in some detail but the ideas aren’t given enough time to develop so the reader is left missing something.
Perhaps this book just isn’t for me, I will admit that this genre is something I didn’t explore in any great detail before this year, but I think I’ve read enough YA science fiction in that time to get a feel for what I enjoy and this book just didn’t engage me. If you loved Recruits maybe it’ll do it for you, but personally this wasn’t my thing.
My rating: 2/5 stars
By the way, I received a digital advanced review copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.
What say you? Too harsh? (I’m trying to work on actually giving books bad reviews but i still feel so mean when I do it!)