The Rise of Renegade X by Chelsea Campbell: Zombies, Superheroes and Villains

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.

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.

Have you read The False Prince by Jennifer A. Nielson? If you’ve been with me for a while, you know that I really love that book. It’s one of my 4.5 star books. One of the things I love the most about The False Prince is Basil, the main character. He’s a smart, cool, awesome dude that’s always one step ahead of everyone else.

Here we have Damien, the smart-alek, funny guy that’s daring and real. Good enough for me. Damien really is a great character, and I would love to know him in real life, (as well as probably a million other fictional characters…) and as I went through this story, I got to feel like I really knew him. We would get along perfectly in real life.

Another thing about this book is that there are a lot of fun superhero/supervillain jokes that are really funny in here, but even non-comic book fans could understand them.

It’s not only Damien, actually. This book has been praised for it’s characters, and I couldn’t agree more. I loved almost every single one of Chelsea Campbell’s characters. And that’s hard to do. The growth in Damien as he experiences more, gains friends and loses them, is beautiful and heartwarming.

I especially really liked the kick-start beginning to this book. The ending and middle were pretty fantastic as well, but my favorite part of this book was the beginning. There’s a lot of action, snark, sarcasm and humor to this story that I really enjoyed. 4.5 stars. I applaud you, Chelsea Campbell, and I can’t wait to see what else you have written.

pg count for the hardback: 352

Series: Renegade X

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