Renegade by Kerry Wilkinson (May 7th 2015, Pan Macmillan) Received with thanks from NetGalley
Silver Blackthorn is a fugitive from the law.
Silver Blackthorn has committed treason.
She is dangerous. Do NOT approach her.
A large reward is on offer. Report any sightings to your nearest Kingsman.
Long live the King.
Silver Blackthorn is on the run. She fled Windsor Castle with eleven other teenagers, taking with her something far more valuable than even she realises: knowledge.
With the entire country searching for the missing Offerings, Silver must keep them all from the vicious clutches of King Victor and the Minister Prime. Until now, no one has escaped the king and lived to tell the tale.
Or have they?
With expectations weighing heavily on the girl with the silver streak in her hair, will she ever find her way home?
I was so psyched to get approved on NetGalley for this. I LOVED the first book (you can see my thoughts on it here) and imagine my surprise to find me in the ‘praise for’ section for book two! For me, as a book blogger, there’s no better feeling than seeing that. Look out for me in your copy 😉
So, let’s talk about Renegade.
What worked for me?
Silver – She goes from strength to strength. I really appreciate how she takes the lead, even when the doubt is eating away at her. I also really enjoyed her reaction to Imrin (and Opie too, I guess); she’s not a swooner, and it was great to have a strong female protagonist that wasn’t turned to jelly by a love interest. I mean, sure, she’s interested, but I admire how Wilkinson has handled this aspect. Which leads on to…
The Romance – It’s important to me in a book. Obviously, only when it’s appropriate, but I think hormones have to play some part in a cast of teenage characters, true? I love Imrin. I can’t help it. He tries to be the hero for Silver, and through her eyes I felt the suffocating effect this was having on her. I can identify with that. But I also felt for Imrin because he really did mean well. #conflicted
The romance is a gentle undercurrent, it hovers under the surface while the main action and issues are splashing around on the surface.
Pace – Bam. Bam. Bam. It’s one thing after another, there’s hardly a chance to catch your breath before the plot pushes on again.
Setting – *chants* UKYA UKYA UKYA! Heh. This book is firmly set in the UK and I love it. It’s a changed landscape, a dystopian future, but it’s great fun to read. Now, take a deep breath, I’m about to make a bold statement: Not since George Orwell has there been such an effective use of the British countryside and townships in a dystopian fiction.
Opie – Ok, so I liked that he was like a constant figure in Silver’s mind for the most part, but I did start to get a little frustrated with how she was dealing with her emotions over him. That said, I was surprised how strongly I started feeling towards the argument Silver was having with herself.. some of those moments made me ache because damn, you know that’s gonna hurt later.. The third book is gonna break my damn heart, I know it.
Renegade was a ripper of a read. It tore open my head and heart and jumped inside. This made it painful to have to put down! It’s bleak and ballsy, but this is often softened by sweet, sparkly moments. (I’m thinking about the daisies, and the tortoise in particular).
A clever plot and an intelligently written cast of characters. Love it. Simple as. It left me wanting more, again!
I can haz book 3 nao?