Saturday, November 20, 2010

Book Review: The Rise of Renegade X by Chelsea Campbell

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 moral for his own good, so when he finds out Damien exists, he actually wants him to come live with him and his goody-goody superhero family. Damien gets shipped off to stay with them in their suburban hellhole, and he has only six weeks to prove he's not a hero in any way, or else he's stuck living with them for the rest of his life, or until he turns eighteen, whichever comes first. (From Goodreads)

I'd heard good things about Campbell's debut before I picked it up, but nothing could have prepared me for what I read. The Rise of Renegade X was an action-packed, hilarious look at the son of a notorious mad scientist, and a superhero.

Damien was a great character. He was the perfect mix of snark, and insecurities about his identity. He was raised by his villain mother, but after discovering that he was the result of her one-night stand with a superhero, his villain status is thrown in jeopardy. Of course, it's pretty obvious that Damien isn't 100% villainous...he sets moths loose in a butterfly exhibit, and orchestrates a black plague scare. His mom and dad strike a deal, and soon Damien is off to live with his new superhero family. While there he experiences what it's like on the other side, and learns quite a bit about himself. There are also the super girls in Damien's life. There's Kat, the shapeshifter, and his ex-girlfriend, and there's Sarah, who is more than she seems.

I really enjoyed Campbell's fresh take on the superhero genre. You rarely get to read a book from a villain's perspective (or half-villain). I loved that she depicted a world in which villains aren't always evil, nor heroes perfect. For example, Damien's mom, Marianna (Mistress of Mayhem) loves Damien. Conversely, Damien's father, Gordon, gets frustrated with him. I mean, who honestly thinks that supervillains are horrible, and evil all the time?

Overall, I really enjoyed this one! I couldn't put it down, and it kept me laughing throughout. I can't wait for more from Campbell.

The Rise of Renegade X
By Chelsea Campbell
Published by EgmontUSA
352 Pages
Rating: A

*Also, thanks to all my followers! I reached 400 this week, and was super excited about it. Check back sometime in the next two weeks for a thank you contest.


Tales of Whimsy said...

You couldn't put it down and it was funny? Great combo. It doesn't get better than that :)

Bob Sanchez said...

I love the concept of going to college to become a professional evil genius. Does it require an advanced degree, or is a bachelor's enough? Gosh, where were those opportunities when I was young?

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