Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Renegade by J.C. Fiske

One of the best things about my editing job is that I get to read books that I wouldn’t normally buy. Renegade by J.C. Fiske is a great example of that. I am definitely not the target audience for Renegade and I probably wouldn’t have noticed it on an e-book shelf, but I’m glad I got the opportunity to read it. Renegade revolves around a community of warriors called Renegades with a focus on a young man named Gisbo. Gisbo was raised in another community and had no idea he was destined to be a Renegade. When he leaves his childhood home and becomes a Renegade, he finds the friends and support he never had before as he learns how to fight and think.

Renegade is a YA novel and I suspect one has to have a Y chromosome to really appreciate it, but us ladies can still find good things in it. For example, the author clearly has a great respect for women. The Renegades include women in their ranks, unlike another group of warriors called Strifes. Gisbo’s mentor, Falcon, tells Gisbo that the Strifes are missing out because women, while not as strong as men, bring their own strengths to battle and provide balance to male strengths. Renegades form their own relationships and it’s entertaining to read about Gisbo’s first romantic encounters with the opposite sex. Poor Gisbo has no idea how to deal with the games 14 year old girls play, but it was funny to watch him try. I also enjoyed seeing five Renegades clean an apartment to avoid the wrath of one woman. Yes, we women have power. Grr.

As a person who believes in spirit animals, I loved how Fiske worked animals into the book. Every Renegade warrior has a Boon, an animal that is a physical representation of their inner self. Of course, as I read the book, I thought about what my Boon would be. I would be disappointed if my Boon was anything other than a bat. You can imagine my squeals of excitement when a blind Renegade later in the book reveals his Boon is a bat (although bats aren’t blind.) Gisbo’s Boon is a beautiful white wolf named Fao and she kicks some butt from the first page we meet her.

Renegade reminds me a lot of a YA warrior version on Atlas Shrugged. If you know me at all or have read my profile, then you can probably guess that I just gave Mr. Fiske a huge compliment. If you are like me and have read and loved Atlas Shrugged, I cannot imagine that you wouldn’t like Renegade. You’ll probably want to buy Renegade for every young man in your family. The community that the Renegades live in is a valley in the mountains protected from the outside world by an illusion screen. Sound familiar? What’s even crazier about that is that Fiske hasn’t read Atlas Shrugged yet. Don’t worry, I’m still working on getting him to read it. One of the other similarities is that Renegade gets a bit preachy sometimes (no 30+ page speeches, though). I agreed with just about everything Fiske preaches, so I enjoyed those speeches. If you don’t agree with him, then you probably won’t enjoy the philosophy Renegade espouses.

Renegade is officially for sale and available here:

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