Book Review – Archenemies by Marissa Meyer

A quick disclaimer: I’ve fallen tragically behind on my book reviews, so I’m going to be playing catch-up for a while. Bear with me, but also please enjoy this influx of content.

Rating: 4.5/5 Stars

This will be a spoiler-free review.

So, y’all might remember how much I loved the first book in this series, Renegades. It really hit on everything I love to see in the novels I read, and has officially cemented itself as one of my new all-time favorites. The good news is that I loved this second book nearly as much as that one! The bad news is that there’s only one book left in the series. *sad face*

Joking aside, I really did love this book. I wouldn’t consider it one of my all-time favorites like its predecessor, but it was definitely a solid novel with many of the great things from the first book carrying over. The characters were just as fantastic as before, both on the side of the Anarchists (villains) and Renegades (heroes). In fact, I’d say I grew even more attached to the Anarchists in this book, which was nice, because I think that will lead to the third and final book feeling even more dynamic when the big series climax finally hits. The world was also just as fleshed out as before, and Meyer’s exploration of how the people in this world might react to certain… shall we say, controversial choices the Renegades make was very interesting.

I also felt that the tension built well throughout the novel, with certain events foreshadowed that added a lot of suspense. Meyers didn’t really hide anything from the reader. It wasn’t about setting up a huge plot twist, but rather about making her audience dread the inevitable, which worked really well for me. I kept praying for Nova, one of the two lead characters, to do something–anything–to prevent the unavoidable outcome of her actions. I was on the edge of my seat, waiting to see what would happen next.

However, the element that really shown the brightest for me in this book was the romance. While relationships between certain characters were teased in the last book, in this one we finally got some payoff, which I loved. Romance is my bread and butter, and Meyers is definitely skilled at writing scenes that are bound to make any romance lover swoon.

Oh! And I got my wish for more Adrian chapters! Yay!

With that said, though, there was one qualm I had with this book, which is the reason it was deducted half a star. Although most everything in this novel was just as spot-on as in Renegades, the one thing that fell flat was the plot. Unfortunately, this novel suffered from second-book syndrome. This means that it felt more like a segue between books one and three, rather than like its own unique entity. Honestly, the biggest issue was that there simply wasn’t enough plot. Or, at least, not enough of a main plotline. Mostly, this book consisted of subplots. This is why the romance was so great; because it got the most attention, even though it technically shouldn’t have been the most important part of this novel. Between scenes that forwarded the main plot, there were multiple scenes used to fluff up the story and kill time until the next major plot event happened. Fortunately, as I previously stated, I love romance, so this didn’t bother me too much. For someone less inclined toward romance, however, this book may feel tedious. To me, it seems clear that Meyers originally intended for this series to be a duology, but for some reason decided to stretch it out into three books instead. So, though I did love the romantic elements, I do think it would have worked better as a two-book series rather than a three-book series.

Still, I really did enjoy myself while reading this book, and I can’t wait to finish off the series when the third installment comes out in November!

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