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What: Archenemies (Renegades #2) by Marissa Meyer

Who: Pan Australia

When: November 13th 2018

How: A copy of this novel was provided by Pan Macmillan Australia for review.

Part thriller, part superhero fantasy, here is the fiercely awaited sequel to the New York Times-bestselling Renegades by Marissa Meyer, author of the Lunar Chronicles.

Are Nova and Adrian each other’s worst nightmare?

In Renegades, Nova and Adrian (aka Insomnia and Sketch) fought the battle of their lives against the Anarchist known as the Detonator. It was a short-lived victory.

The Anarchists still have a secret weapon, one that Nova believes will protect her. The Renegades also have a strategy for overpowering the Anarchists, but both Nova and Adrian understand that it could mean the end of Gatlon City – and the world – as they know it.

When I fell in love with Renegades last year I was incredibly keen to read its sequel. And what I thought was going to be the end of the series. Then I found out that what was going to be a duology turned into a trilogy. And I’m sad to say it, but it felt forced. Archenemies really fell into Second Book Syndrome, in which almost nothing happens and where the entire thing feels like a bridge between book one and book three. I truly feel like the Renegades series has suffered by being extended, and here are some reasons why Archenemeis just didn’t work:

1) Nothing happened

I was sitting at my laptop trying to think about what had happened in Archenemies, and honestly, nothing much came to mind. Nothing groundbreaking happened in this book, neither in terms of furthering the plot, world building, characters, or their relationships. Everything stagnated.

2) Repeat to fade

All throughout Archenemies, the exact same things were angst-ed about over and over and over again. Nova angsting about her feelings for Adrian but no she can’t have feelings for him because he’s a Renegade but now she has to fake feelings because ~infiltration~ but are the feelings fake because she might actually like him but can’t like him because he’s a Renegade. Shove that 100 times over into a 500 page book and I bet you’ll be bored. I sure was.

There was also ruminating on Adrian’s behalf about does Nova like me? I wanna be the Sentinel but can I do it without telling my friends? I’m going to draw some shit. Snore.

3) The romance

I loved the romance in Renegades. I thought it was good that it was in the background and was such a slowburn. Both of those things flew out the window in Archenemies. The romance was the main plot point in this novel, and my god did it move fast. I swear Nova hadn’t even really thought she liked Adrian in the first book and now suddenly she’s mooning over how much she likes him? Pass.

4) The Anarchists???

Where the hell were they? WHERE WERE THEY? Why would you create such amazing characters and give them approximately five lines in an entire book? I was certainly sad to see hardly any page time for the Anarchists, especially since they played an important role in the first book.

5) The ending

The not-romance part of Archenemies was all about helping a certain Anarchist get back on their feet. It took too long and was boring af but it was there. And then the ending came around and literally everything was for nothing. So those 500 pages I slogged through were worthless. Hence why I believe this was really filler book only meant to connect book one and three. Nothing of import occurred in Archenemies in the slightest, and I honestly think it would have benefited from some intense editing to bring this series back down to a duology.


All in all, I was really disappointed in Archenemies. After loving Renegades, I was looking forward to its sequel so much. But Second Book Syndrome was here in full force and it left me feeling bored and unimpressed. Will I read the third book? I have no idea. Right now I feel like I need a break from reading about the same things over and over, and I can only guess the characters will be ruminating about the same things in book three, and I don’t know if I’m up for that again. I guess I’ll have to wait and see how I feel when it comes out.

© 2018, Chiara @ Books for a Delicate Eternity. All rights reserved.

trigger warning

reference to murder of parents and infant sibling, graphic physical fights, use of ableist language, reference to experimentation on a minor, attempted murder, torture, murder, reference to death of mother (via fall/presumed murder)

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Posted on: December 4, 2018 • By: Chiara

4 Responses to Archenemies by Marissa Meyer: A Bland Sequel

  1. Oh no! I’m sorry to hear this was such a let down for you. I still haven’t read the first book, but it seems like it would have been better off as a duology since the sequel is mostly filler…and a long book of repetitiveness is not fun for me either. haha


    • Chiara says:

      I’m sorry, too! I was so excited but since I learned it was extended I was worried that this book would fall into the trap that so many second books do :/ A lot of repetitiveness just takes away from the impact the thing they’re repeating is supposed to have >.<

  2. Oh man, this sounds pretty disappointing especially seeing as you loved the first book! I didn’t have a great time with the first one so I’m skipping this one. Hope the next book picks up for you, lovely!

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