The Rise of Renegade X, by Chelsea M. Campbell
Damien Locke is excited about his future as a supervillain like his mother. But his plans are spoiled when he learns that his bloodline is tainted. Over 16 years ago, his mother had a dalliance with a superhero years ago that led to Damien’s existence. When his father finds out, Damien is sent to live with his superhero family. This is a fate worse than death for Damien, surrounded by do-gooders and trying to hide his parentage from those closest to him. But he soon realizes that his superhero family and a new friend aren’t as bad as he thought. Then Damien discovers a plot to turn everyone that’s not a supervillain (superheroes and regular people alike) into mindless zombies, devised and to be controlled by his own mother. Damien has to choose between his dreams of being a supervillain or turning his back on his mother and best friends to become a hero and save those he has grown to love.
Damien Locke is a 16-year-old with a mildly vengeful spirit, but ultimately leans toward good in every situation he is put in. Campbell’s world is one where supervillains and superheroes with special powers are commonplace. But the so-called villains are merely more than the cartoonish variety, with visions of taking over the world and thievery but rarely truly evil. Damien’s relationships with his mother and friends are just like normal, fairly healthy genuine relationships. They just hate superheroes. So, it’s not much of a stretch when Damien has heroic tendencies. And he begins to realize that it’s not your ancestry that makes you a hero or villain, it’s the choices you make.
The Rise of Renegade X is pure fun from beginning to end. The humorous pranks that Damien pulls, his quirky personality, and everything he learns along the way makes for a character worth reading. With plenty of excitement, drama, laughs, cool gadgets and superpowers, and a bit of romance, this young adult science fiction novel is a must for comic book and superhero fans.