Archenemies, by Marissa Meyer

Archenemies, the second book in Marissa Meyer's Renegades series, picks up immediately after the events of the first. Heroine Nova Artino is still working as a double agent, torn between her loyalty to the villains who raised her and the morally-questionable “superheroes” who control her city. Meanwhile, her love interest Adrian continues to be torn between vigilantism and his role as the highly-visible son of the city's most famous figures. When a chemical is developed that permanently removes supernatural powers, the stakes surrounding Nova and Adrian's secret struggles grow even higher.

I have the same problem with Archenemies that I had with Renegades: Meyer is still writing fanfiction. The story is an improvement over the first book (the conflicts are more personal, the plot more complex, and the characters better developed), but it is still a well-written but utterly derivative mass of cliches cobbled together from X-Men and Sailor Moon. I don't actually mind well-written cliches—I'm a historical romance fan!—but something in a fantasy/sci-fi novel should be original, and nothing in Archenemies qualifies. Meyer is a technically adept writer, but at this point she seems like she'd be better suited to a Carolyn Keene situation (a ghostwriter for an ongoing series) than as an independent author.
Posted by: Julianka


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