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Archenemies is the second book in the Renegades trilogy by Marissa Meyer. It was released on November 6, 2018 by Feiwel & Friends.


Synopsis

Part thriller, part superhero fantasy, here is the fiercely awaited sequel to the New York Times-bestselling Renegades by Marissa Meyer, author of the Lunar Chronicles.

Are Nova and Adrian each other’s worst nightmare?

In Renegades, Nova and Adrian (aka Insomnia and Sketch) fought the battle of their lives against the Anarchist known as the Detonator. It was a short-lived victory.

The Anarchists still have a secret weapon, one that Nova believes will protect her. The Renegades also have a strategy for overpowering the Anarchists, but both Nova and Adrian understand that it could mean the end of Gatlon City – and the world – as they know it. [1]

Plot

Nova, Adrian and their Renegades team are in hot pursuit of rogue prodigies. The rogues take a civilian hostage while the Renegades debate as to whether they should forsake rules to fire on the guy holding the innocent girl hostage, but the rogues get away.

Nova & Adrian feel like they should’ve forsaken the rules and acted to save the girl. Nova chases after them as Adrian takes off in another direction to secretly change into his Sentinel suit. 

Nova hits a dead end when Hawthorn, the rogue she’s pursuing, jumps from a bridge onto a barge. The Sentinel manages to get aboard the ship further down the river. He and Hawthorn battle, much of which Nova can’t see as the barge continues to drift away. When she gets a good view again, the Sentinel lost the battle as Hawthorn tosses him overboard.

The Renegades search the water for the Sentinel’s body but don’t find him. Meanwhile, Adrian washes up nearby on shore. He’s soon spotted and comes up with a flimsy excuse as to why he’s soaked.

Nova gets permission to take on a second job (in addition to her work on the patrol) with her extra time since she doesn’t sleep. She gets to work at the artifact warehouse with Snapshot (who can look at any artifact and discern its usefulness). Snapshot supposedly has information on where Ace’s real helmet is stored.

The Council gathers all Renegades together in a conference to show them a top secret project. They have developed a new serum coined Agent N that can erase a prodigies abilities. They've been testing it on imprisoned prodigies and have now perfected it. This makes both Adrian and Nova uncomfortable. 

The Council then brings the Puppeteer (Winston Pratt) on stage to do a live demonstration. The serum works as they see his puppet-like features change before their eyes. Winston sees Nova before he’s escorted back to the medical wing for observation though he doesn’t reveal who she is.

Nova asks whether the effects are reversible, to which she learns they are not. Adrian and Nova feel like this is a violation of human rights. They also know the scientists have been using the Bandit's blood to make this substance.

Adrian asks his Dad if he can question the Puppeteer to try to get clues about his mother's murder. Even though he’s not thrilled with the idea, Captain Chromium allows it. Winston promises to give Adrian information if he brings back his puppet, Hettie.

Nova visits Ace Anarchy. She tells him about Agent N and the demonstration the Renegades did on the Puppeteer. She tells her uncle how she plans to use her new position at the artifact warehouse to search for his real helmet. He tells her to exploit her friendship with Adrian due to his powerful family.

Nova works her first night in the artifact warehouse. Magpie brings in an artifact she found in the subway tunnels: Nightmare’s mask. Nova keeps it without logging it. Callum, the non-prodigy and Snapshot’s assistant, arrives and gives Nova a tour of the Vault. 

Adrian goes to the subway tunnel to try to find the puppet Winston had requested. He thinks maybe the Renegades may have missed it in their search. His visit is cut short because he promised to go watch Ruby's brothers participate in a field day-type event. Nova is there, too, and discusses the helmet with him. 

Adrian & Nova let Oscar & Ruby go off on their own. They end up talking about dreams and nightmares they had as children. 

Nova takes another shift in the artifact warehouse as Adrian comes to look for Winston’s puppet. There’s so much debris, he doesn’t think it’s possible to sort through it all. Nova spots a couple of her things and pockets them. Adrian wants to talk about that day at the park though Nova thinks he wants to ask why she dodged his kiss and ran off. He actually wants to talk about the guts it took for her to kill the Detonator. However, he finally spots Hettie, the puppet. 

Adrian takes Hettie to Winston. Adrian reminds Winston he owes him information about his mother in exchange for the doll. Winston says that, instead, he has other information Adrian will want - Nightmare is still alive. 

Adrian rushes to his dads with this news, but they brush it off. They think he believes it because he wants it to distract them. Adrian knows this is a logical explanation, but still wonders. He begins absently sketching to try to clear his head and soon realizes he’s drawing the dream Nova described to him in the park. He decides to try to paint a mural of it in his room downstairs as his dads give him permission. 

Before their first Agent N training session, Adrian tells Nova what Winston shared with him. Nova asks what controls the Council will put on Agent N usage to make sure no one abuses it. This question isn’t well-received, but the Council agrees to put out a memo and mention guidelines in later training.

The group is then turned loose to practice learning to shoot Agent N darts. Nova is great, but Adrian is terrible. She tries to help him learn, flirting all the while. She ends up exasperated that he hasn’t improved. She’s even more disappointed that her charms don’t seem to have any effect on him. Nova then steals a vial of Agent N when no one is looking.

She goes to visit Leroy & Honey. Nova gives the vial of Agent N to Leroy so he can begin studying it. He thinks it will be hard to replicate it from just a small sample and without the Bandit to study, but says he’ll get started on it immediately. Nova asks Honey to teach her how to use her female wiles since Adrian doesn’t seem to be interested in her anymore.

Adrian works with the Vitality Charm, the other piece he took from the artifact warehouse, hoping the ancient medallion will help him interact with the Bandit more closely.

He goes to Max’s partitioned room and is disappointed to see their dad there. Captain Chromium soon leaves, so Adrian gets to demonstrate the power of his new medallion to Max. It works like Adrian hoped and they can be in Max’s room together.

Nova arrives and sees Adrian in Max’s cell. Her first thought is how this could help Anarchists. She also wants to know why they didn’t try Agent N on Max. He said they already had at his request, but it didn’t work.

Nova comes up with a plan to try to retrieve Ace’s helmet. When working at the artifact warehouse alone, she slowly makes her way through the vault with a cart and clipboard. To anyone observing the security camera feed, it looks like she’s perusing the items and making notes when necessary. When she gets to the helmet, she puts the metal casing in a contraption she made with her scientific knowledge to try to dissolve the chromium.

Taking a few steps back after, an explosion goes off. The chromium obviously isn’t in its typical form and or has some extra protections on it. Nova’s frustrated that getting the helmet wouldn't be as simple as she’d hoped.

Adrian heard his dads calling for him while he’s downstairs working on his mural. They saw the footage of him going into Max’s room and want an explanation. They are fascinated by the medallion, but still think it too big a risk to take. 

Frostbite comes to the artifact warehouse while Nova's working to check out something to help her patrol team. They’ve been assigned the task of tracking down Hawthorn and capturing her. She rubs this in Nova’s face. 

Callum soon arrives to work. He gets a little philosophical about what they do in the warehouse and says he has something to show Nova. He takes her to the top floor of Headquarters to show her some of the coolest artifacts that they keep displayed outside of the council offices. He then has her look outside and see a huge tree planted. He begins to discuss how much foresight and patience the person who planted the tree must’ve had. She realizes he does have a prodigy power after all: He’s Wonder Boy. He can help people tap into their true feelings; Callum admits it’s true.

Adrian helps surprise Max by showing him he can be around his other dad, the Dread Warden, when he wears the medallion, too. They embrace for the first time. Captain Chromium pulls Adrian aside to let him know how sorry he is that they didn’t have this long ago to be able to change Max’s life. They want to investigate all of the artifacts closely to see what else they missed. Adrian thinks Nova would be able to help. 

Adrian secretly follows Frostbite’s patrol group just to make sure they don’t need help apprehending Hawthorn. He’s a little disappointed to see how efficiently they are capturing her and how smoothly it goes. They then threaten to torture her as Adrian’s afraid they might use Agent N on her. He approaches them as the Sentinel and a fight ensues. Frostbite’s crew ends up killing Hawthorn. 

Nova heads to the Mayor’s Mansion to try to spend time with Adrian in hopes of winning his affection. He answers the door and takes her downstairs to his bedroom. She’s amazed at the mural he drew of her dream. She doesn’t remember mentioning much detail, but he captured the possible future world - which looks more like a step back in time and into the jungle.

Alone in this paradise, Adrian and Nova tell each other the true story of their parents’ deaths. They hold hands to comfort one other while they talk. Nova admits to herself that she likes Adrian. They then curl up together and Nova falls asleep after Adrian gives her some noise canceling headphones. 

When she awakes, Nova is shocked to learn she slept for 24 hours. They hear Captain Chromium call from upstairs that dinner is ready as they head upstairs to eat with Adrian’s family.

They watch a movie and eventually kiss. Nova puts him to sleep during the kiss and goes to search the house. She searches his office looking for any information regarding the helmet. She finds nothing until she comes across a collection of drawings of a monster with empty, haunting eyes and Adrian’s Rebel Z comic books. 

She knows she needs to search his dads’ rooms, too, so she stops to listen. One of them heads downstairs, so she tries to make her way back to the basement. She attempts to sneak into the dining room when she hears whistling nearby. She peeks into a closet and finds the Vitality Charm hanging from a hanger of some dry cleaning. She swipes it and sneaks into the kitchen. When the Dread Warden comes in, she acts like Adrian fell asleep downstairs and she got hungry for a snack. 

Adrian wakes up and is confused about what happened as well as the gaps in his memory. Surely, he didn’t fall asleep mid-kiss. Nova assures him that everything is fine.

Nova goes to the catacombs to share everything she learned at Adrian’s house. A butterfly is there and they trap it before it can get word back to Danna.

Adrian watches closely for Nova at the gala. When she arrives, they peruse the gift shop. Nova dances with Adrian & Oscar, leaving early because of her uncle’s fake illness. She believes she’s saying goodbye to her new friends for the last time. 

Nova goes to the artifact warehouse and is ambushed by Stingray. She puts him to sleep as soon as he touches her. Callum surprises Nova when he jumps out to try and stop her. She throws one of the Captain’s chromium pikes (which she also obtained at Adrian’s house) at him, knocking him out. She retrieves the pike and throws it at the chromium box next. She’s amazed when the box shatters like she’d hoped as she retrieves Ace’s helmet. 

Adrian is bored with the gala now that Nova’s gone. He leaves as soon as he can without appearing rude. He sees a butterfly and follows it, wondering if it’s Danna and, if so, why she’s not coalescing in front of him. He realizes it is her and that one of the other butterflies must be trapped as she’s leading him to it. 

Adrian ends up at the Anarchists old lair. He disables Phobia after seeing his greatest fear: his mother’s death that he was powerless to prevent. Adrian changes into the Sentinel in front of one of Danna’s butterflies to defeat him as becomes aware of his secret. 

Oscar & Ruby show up to fight the Sentinel until Danna’s a group of butterflies swoop in and swarm him, showing he’s a friend. He takes off his helmet and reveals his identity to his friends. They are shocked, but accepting and want further explanation later. The swarm leads the way further into the old lair. 

Nova fights Frostbite & Gargoyle. She uses Leroy’s untested Agent N gas bulbs on them. Gargoyle is close enough that it works, but Frostbite is too far away to feel its effects and hits Nova with ice. Nova drops another Agent N bomb, forcing Frostbite to run. Aftershock hits Headquarters with an earthquake as the ground begins to split and the quarantine around Max falls.

Adrian, Ruby & Oscar follow the butterflies to a staircase and are shocked to find someone down there: an old, weakened Ace. He fights back and a sarcophagus open up around them. A dead being pulls Oscar & Ruby in as the tomb shuts. Ace tires easily during the fight as Adrian is able to capture him and rescue Oscar & Ruby. They get an alert from Max that Nightmare is at Headquarters and he’s going to fight her.

At Headquarters, Max approaches Nightmare. As she fights him, Max is hit with an ice weapon that Frostbite throws and Nova dodges. Nova forgets all about the fight and falls to her knees by Max. His proximity starts sucking Frostbite’s powers and Frostbite wants to kill him to retain them though Nova can tell his new ice powers are helping him fight the injury. Max is only semi-conscious, but she can tell he knows she’s helping him. She wonders whether she sees recognition on his face, too.  

The Sentinel arrives and wants to fight Nightmare, but she grabs Ace’s helmet and runs. He doesn’t follow upon seeing Max injured and assumes Nightmare did it. He rushes Max to the nearest hospital, calling for a non-prodigy doctor when the first one who approached crumples as Max begins to inadvertently drain his abilities. 

Nova goes home to tell Leroy & Honey about Ace’s capture. After they’ve retired to their rooms, she hears a knock at the front door - Adrian. She stashes Ace’s helmet in the hall closet and lets him in. He looks horrible and says he needs someone to talk to. They embrace as he goes over everything the Renegades have been through since she left the gala. Nova’s relieved when he says Max is still alive and is being treated at a local hospital. He vows to find Nightmare and asks Nova to help, to which she agrees.

Covers

Media[2]

Archenemies_by_Marissa_Meyer

Archenemies by Marissa Meyer

Trivia

  • There is a Barnes & Noble Exclusive Edition featuring a deleted scene featuring the Renegades, Nova & Adrian experimenting with virtual reality alongside Max, the youngest and most powerful Renegade, who is kept in quarantine.

References

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