Friday, May 02, 2014

Review: Renegade by Debra Driza

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I received this book for free from HarperTeen in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Review: Renegade by Debra DrizaRenegade by Debra Driza
Published by Katherine Tegen Books on May 13th 2014
Genres: Sci-Fi, YA
Source: HarperTeen
Buy on Amazon

There is no one left for Mila to trust. Except for a boy she barely knows.

But Hunter has no idea who—and what—Mila really is. She can’t bear to reveal her secret, even though he’s unwittingly joined her search for Richard Grady, a man who may know more details of Mila’s complicated past.

Yet the road to the truth is more dangerous than ever. With General Holland and the Vita Obscura scouring the earth for her whereabouts, Mila must rely on her newfound android abilities to protect herself and Hunter from imminent harm. Still, embracing her identity as a machine leads her to question the state of her humanity—as well as Hunter’s real motives.

Perfect for fans of I Am Number Four and Divergent, this action-packed and heart-wrenching second installment of MILA 2.0 will leave readers breathlessly awaiting the series conclusion.

When I finished Mila 2.0 last year I was left quite eager to get my hands on the novel’s sequel. Mila 2.0 was action packed from beginning to end and quite possibly the most fun I had reading a book in 2013. Upon finishing Renegade I am left wondering “what the hell happened?” Where was the action and fun that I loved so dearly in the first book? It must have gotten lost somewhere because this book was a nearly 500 page yawnfest with 3-4 action scenes max.

We catch up with Mila and Hunter in Renegade as they are on the run from both General Holland and the Vita Obscura. Well, Hunter doesn’t know that they are on the run and the first good chunk of the book is spent showing us how Mila is struggling with telling him the truth. I mentioned in my review of Mila 2.0 that I had a hard time buying into the relationship between these two and that didn’t change in this book. At so many points in the novel she came so close to telling him the truth, maybe not about what she is every time, but at least where they are going and what happened before they left. It would be right on the tip of her tongue and then she wouldn’t tell him. This got really annoying fast because I wanted the focus of the story to be on Mila figuring out the truth not dealing with this “relationship” crap. Another thing that became quite bothersome is when Mila starts to question whether or not Hunter is working for the V.O. Exactly what was going on with him and what the big twist was when it came to his character was so glaringly obvious and yet this highly intelligent android didn’t even think of it at any time in the book. So suffice it to say that this relationship didn’t work for me again and that was really annoying because it felt like it took centre stage here.

For most of the novel we watch Mila and Hunter chat as they are on one long, seemingly never-ending, road trip. The first place they get to on this trip they basically find out nothing and that all encompasses the first third of the book. I was trying so hard to get into the story but I was just far too bored to even care by the time something finally happened at around the halfway mark. I’m not sure if this whole story felt like such a lull to me because it was suffering of middle book syndrome or what but I feel like what actually does happen and the truths we find out are just not enough substance to carry a 450 page book. I am left with a feeling that this is going to be one of those series where the first and last book are awesome but the middle book just feels like filler that could have easily been added into the other two.

We do get some excitement and a good twist to leave us off at the end of Renegade but I am sorry to say that for me it was simply too late. I felt disconnected to this novel and the twist didn’t even leave me wanting to get my hands on the next instalment because I was just too excited that the book was finally over. I’m beginning to think that maybe I need to start reading a lot more standalones because so many sequels have been leaving me underwhelmed lately. I do hope that other people who enjoyed Mila 2.0 end up liking this one much more than I did and I think the key to that may be getting your expectations in check. Renegade is not an action packed thrill-ride like it’s predecessor was, it’s more like a boring road trip with people you don’t really like where you try to plot ways to jump out of the moving vehicle the entire time.


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15 Responses to “Review: Renegade by Debra Driza”

  1. Amanda @ Book Badger

    I can’t help but agree Jenni, I’ve started to borrow more and more series from the library and I’m onto starting the second books in those trilogies and they do lack something; the first is always heart winning and has enough to make you come back, but books two’s seem to set the stage for book three’s and it’s a shame I think. I’m sorry this book let you down, but good luck on the standalones if you read more of them, it’s a good break away from series 🙂

  2. Faye @ The Social Potato

    Man, you know it’s a sad day for a reader when they’re more excited for the book to end D: A good book would make you have withdrawals already 70% in; just the knowing that it’s ending soon will drive you over the edge! It’s too bad that this wasn’t that kind of book, and I completely understand your frustrations. I’ve had readers where absolutely nothing happens and it becomes one big blur. And 450 pages of nothingness!!! That sounds like torture than anything else!

  3. Soma Rostam

    I finished reading Mila 2.0 last year. I really liked it . It was so action packed and amazing
    I am disappointed that this does not live up to the first book
    But great review, nonetheless.

  4. Pili

    Hmmmm, from reading your review it does sound like the book suffered from the middle book syndrome, when the second book just serves as a bridge from book 1 to book 3 without enough sustance of its own. Hopefully book 3 will be fantastic and will redeem the series for you, Jenni!

  5. Mary @ BookSwarm

    OMG. Jumping out of a car? Yeah, that’s not good. So hard when the relationship doesn’t develop and grow like it needs to. Hope your next read is better!

  6. Jenea @ Books Live Forever

    Awe, I just borrowed Mila 2.0 from the library. At least the first book is all action filled, and I have some warning about this one now. It’s too bad too, I was really looking forward to the series. Sorry it wasn’t as good as you were hoping for. 🙁

  7. Jeann @ Happy Indulgence

    I’m really disappointed that this sequel doesn’t live up to the first book, I have the first book on my TBR and I was really keen to read it! It’s so disappointing when the sequel turns out to be lacklustre. Let’s just hope the final book is a good one.

  8. ShootingStarsMag

    I’m bad with series because I’ll read the first and then forget or not have time when the second comes out. However, so many reviews have me cautious about series anyway because people tend to not like the second and/or third books. Sorry this one was such a let-down since you loved the first.

  9. Melanie (YA Midnight Reads)

    It’s a pity that this felt rather boring for you, Jenni, especially after Mila 2.0 being so entertaining for you. I’m not sure if I’ll bother with this series anymore.

    Lovely review, lady! <33

  10. Melliane

    I’m sorry it wasn’t as good as book 1… It’s always really difficult sometimes with sequels. In fact I saw a few reviews like yours so I think I’ll pass but maybe book 1 one day. Thanks for the review.

  11. Eileen @ Singing and Reading in the Rain

    Noo I loved Mila 2.0 as well and I’m so sad to see this one doesn’t live up the hype of the first book! The plot in general seems so uninteresting and the one exciting moment at the end definitely sounds like it doesn’t help the book’s case in general. Sorry this one wasn’t as big of a hit as the first book for you! 🙁

  12. Precious

    That’s sad and I’m sorry you didn’t like it as much as you wanted to. I know it’s against the rules (or at least not recommendable) to read a review of book 2 or 3 when you haven’t even read book 1. Well, in truth, I havent read MILA 2.0 yet. And now I’m sort of nervous to begin the series. Thanks for the great, honest review!

  13. arita

    I can’t understand at the end. Did Quinn set off the bomb already? Did it mean Mila had 2 hours time?

    Thank you very much