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The Rise of Renegade X Hardcover – May 11, 2010

Book 1 of 2 in the Renegade X Series

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 9 Up Damien Locke lives in an alternate universe inhabited by superheroes, supervillains, and regular people. If you are a hero, a letter H appears on your thumb when you turn 16. If you are a villain, you get a V. On his 16th birthday, Damien gets an X. He is half hero, half villain, the product of a one-night stand between his mad-scientist supervillain mother and superhero father Crimson Flash, otherwise known as Gordon Tines. Gordon is certain that his son will become a full-fledged hero, but the teen is equally certain that he is going to end up a villain, and is counting on admission to Vilmore, the villain academy. While he tries to make life for his father and stepfamily unbearable, Damien's mom is hooking up with the head of Vilmore romantically as well as using her hypno-device to take over the city, and Damien is forced to choose sides. This scenario certainly works as a metaphor for the shades of gray teens have to deal with as they struggle to find their identity. The book is definitely for older teens, as there is a significant semi-explicit focus on Damien's messed-up love life as he tries to reconcile with his villain ex-girlfriend, Kat, while stringing along his new hero love interest, Sarah. This is the YA equivalent of a B movie. Tim Wadham, St. Louis County Library, MO
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Review

"Damien's voice is snarky and delightful; get ready to cheer for a new type of hero."
--Julie Kagawa, New York Times Best-Selling author of THE IRON FEY series.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 352 pages
  • Publisher: EgmontUSA (May 11, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1606840606
  • ISBN-13: 978-1606840603
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.5 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (101 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,133,911 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Chelsea Campbell grew up in the Pacific Northwest, where it rains a lot. And then rains some more. She finished her first novel when she was twelve, sent it out, and promptly got rejected. Since then she's written many more novels, earned a degree in Latin and Ancient Greek, become an obsessive knitter and fiber artist, and started a collection of glass grapes. As a kid, Chelsea read lots of adult books, but now that she's an adult herself (at least according to her driver's license), she loves books for kids and teens. Besides writing, studying ancient languages, and collecting useless objects, Chelsea is a pop culture fangirl at heart and can often be found rewatching episodes of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, dying a lot in Dark Souls, or spending way too much time on Twitter and Facebook.

Customer Reviews

It's a very funny and entertaining tale.
Robert Carnevali
This was a witty and charming book that was easy to read and had me laughing out loud (literally) several times.
A. D. Asher
Over all it was an amazing book and I can't wait to start reading the sequel.
Matthew K. Milleville

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By S. Su on May 11, 2010
Format: Hardcover
All Damien Locke wants for his 16-year-old is to see the V appear on his thumb--the V that will indicate that he will become a villain, just like his supervillain mom. To his horror, an X appears on his thumb, indicating that his father was a superhero! Damien gets carted off to live with his father, the Crimson Flash, and his family, with the hopes that the hero within him may awaken.

Damien would rather go back to his old life of pranking and hanging out with his best friend and ex-girlfriend, Kat. However, an unexpected friendship with Sarah Kink turns his life upside down when he gets sucked into a battle of good versus evil, and he must decide which side he stands on.

THE RISE OF RENEGADE X is an astonishingly interesting debut YA novel that subverts the usual paradigms of the YA genre and our preconceptions of good and evil. And it does this all in the most entertaining way possible!

The gem of this novel is Damien's voice. A perfect balance of snark, sincerity, and your typical adolescent male stupidity, Damien will charm you into falling for his screwed-up ways. I took a kind of perverse pleasure in liking an irreverent character so much: it's not every author who can make readers like an obnoxious, mouthy, and crass protagonist!

The plot meanders through family subtleties, adolescent complexities, and the absurdity of a comic book, and so does get a bit choppy at times. However, despite the rather sudden climax and resolution, it is the character development of THE RISE OF RENEGADE X that you'll remember after reading. The love triangle between Kat, Damien, and Sarah is marvelously believable, lacking the flatness that can often occur in such satirical situations.
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16 of 19 people found the following review helpful By J.Prather TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on August 13, 2010
Format: Hardcover
This is a fun read that will have quite a bit of appeal to teens and offers up an interesting twist on the classic superhero tale. When children of superheroes or supervillains in Golden city turn 16, they get either an "H" or "V" that appears on their thumb. At this point they are all set to go to either hero college or villain university and pursue their careers of either causing mayhem and destruction or saving people. Pretty cut and dried, right? Well, not for Damien, who finds out he's the son of a hero and a villain. On his 16th birthday he gets an "X". This sets the stage for a coming of age story told on a grand scale as Damien tries to figure out just who he is and what is important.

The characters in the book are fabulous. Damien, Kat and Sara are all believable in their roles and do a great job of illustrating that things are not always black and white. The girls end up teaching Damien some valuable lessons about friendship and his true nature. The dialogue is very well written. The author gives Damien just the perfect note of teen snarkiness touched with just a dab of villainy and an undertone of nice guy. He's a treat to read and his struggles within himself are wonderfully done.

It's the plot that kept me from really jumping into this story. There's not a lot of superhero action considering this is a superhero story and in a couple of places the author used some really clunky plot devices, that while they did a great job of moving the story along, they really stuck out amidst all this great dialogue and character development. The plot line of the mysterious hypno device just never grabbed me. There was just very little tension considering all the build up. It was like the author would build up to things and say, oh never mind...
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Gaby on December 6, 2010
Format: Hardcover
In a world of superheroes and supervillains, you will meet Damien Locke. He's the typical teenager, dealing with his cheating ex-girlfriend, his supervillian mother and his upcoming birthday. His plans for the future are to study at the supervillain university and become an the best villain.

Except that something happens in his birthday. Instead of getting a V for Villain, he get an X, and suddenly, his future isn't so sure anymore.

Damien Locke is one of my favorite male character of all time. He has a great personality that fills the book with humor, and I couldn't help falling in love with him. He's funny and sometimes eccentric, and you really aren't sure if he's really a super-villain, or his worst nightmare, a superhero.

It was a fast paced book and I couldn't stop reading it until knowing what was going to happen to Damien. Besides, the author creates a world where finding super villains or heroes is normal, but they have the same problems we do, except that they can fly, or whatever.

Overall, I absolutely loved this book, and I really wish there would be a sequel. It's funny, original and fantastic, and you shouldn't miss it.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Reacher Creature on January 30, 2011
Format: Hardcover
Okay, I picked this book up on a whim, and I thought it would just be "oaky". Boy, was I wrong. This is such a fantastic read!

This is a story of a boy, Damien, who wants to be a supervillain. Not just any supervillain, but the best and baddest. Then one day he finds out that his mom had a one night stand with a superhero. That means that Damien can never really be a 'supervillain" because he has some "superhero" in him. Damien does things to prove that he should have the title "Supervillian" no matter what is in his bloodline. However, soon Damien has to make some hard choices in his life that will decide if he's a "villain", a "hero" or something inbetween.

This is such a fantastic and original story, you can't help but to be glued to the book to the very last page, and wanting more. The author has a unique writing style. She makes Damien not only face challenges for Damien to face, but also makes Damien face issues that todays teens have to face as well. Students of all ages will be able to identify with some aspect of Damien.

This has a great cast of characters. I love the characters of Damien, Kat and Sarah. This also has superheros and supervillains, something for everyone. If you have a boy who doesn't like to read, then I highly suggest this book for him. I can' promise he'll be hooked. This book is okay for kids in 5th grade or up.

Damien is such a snarky characters, you can't help to love him. He's a hoot.

I hope we'll see Renegade X and his friends in future books. I know I'll be first in line to get my copy.
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