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.The Rise Of Renegade X is probably one of the most unique YA novels that I’ve ever read. Funny, witty and action-packed, I definitely enjoyed Damien Locke’s struggle to remain villain in a family full of superheroes.
To get out of this mess, Damien has to survive his dad's "flying lessons" that involve throwing him off the tallest building in the city--despite his nearly debilitating fear of heights--thwarting the eccentric teen scientist who insists she's his sidekick, and keeping his supervillain girlfriend from finding out the truth. But when Damien uncovers a dastardly plot to turn all the superheroes into mindless zombie slaves, a plan hatched by his own mom, he discovers he cares about his new family more than he thought. Now he has to choose: go back to his life of villainy and let his family become zombies, or stand up to his mom and become a real hero.
Damien is one of those immature, snarky teenage boys that we only get to see as side characters in most novels. I was so entertained to read about one as a protagonist. His sarcastic comments and sharp ways of handling his newfound family was hilarious. After reading book after book of intense love triangles and paranormal creatures, this was such a nice change of scenery. I could hug Chelsea Campbell for writing this novel!
But even through all of the humor and nonsense, Damien does have conflicting emotions about his family, his complicated love life and which side he feels himself aligning to: superhero or villain. They’re not fully developed at times, but in the end, it all comes together. Damien goes from being a hard-headed, determined-to-be-evil villain to a decent, confused son of a superhero who still holds onto his villainous attitude at times. It’s quite a shift, but I adored it.
One thing I wasn’t a fan of was the love triangle. I was actually quite bummed that there even was one. Sarah was played up in the beginning, and I absolutely fell in love with her character, so I was a little miffed when Kat, someone who had cheated on Damien, was introduced back into the novel as a full-time character. I was disappointed with the romance aspect in the end, but fortunately I loved everything else so much that it was easy to overlook.
Overall, The Rise Of Renegade X is a must-read for everyone. Take a break from those paranormal creatures and sit down with villain Damien while he adjusts to living with his superhero half-family, quite comically and entertaining. I definitely loved it and recommend ti to everyone!
(Book reviewed and provided by Teen Book Scene Tours)