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This article contains details from the recent Renegades books.

You know what they say . . . one cannot be brave who has no fear.

Nova Jean Artino, known as Nova McLain, Nightmare or Insomnia, is an Anarchist who has the power to put others to sleep though she never sleeps herself.

She as well as Adrian Everhart, is the main protagonist in the Renegades trilogy by Marissa Meyer.

Recent Events


Nova is collecting syringes from the alleyway behind her apartment, which she uses to invent a functioning hydraulic elevator. She had almost finished testing it when she hears her sister, Evie Artino, cry from the next room though she returns to her hydraulic system. However, Evie continues to cry, which prompts Nova to put her to sleep to quiet her.

Nova then watches her father, David Artino, create metalwork with his ability to pull threads of energy from the air. She asks what he is making, to which he cryptically answers that he hopes the object will right some of the wrongs he has caused the world. This prompts Nova to think about how unsafe she had heard the city was at such times like this and she asks her father if their family will be okay. He responds, "Of course, we'll be fine." He tells her about the Renegades, which comforts her and she soon falls asleep.

Nova wakes up to the sound of a door slamming. She hears low voices in the hallway, which she identifies as her father and mother, Tala Artino. She peers into the hall and sees a man holding a gun while her parents plead with him. Nova watches fearfully as her father tells her mother to escape with Nova & Evie, only for the stranger to fire the gun, killing her. Her father sees her and tells her to run before the stranger shoots her as well.

Nova flees to hide in her closet, only to realize that she left Evie behind. She considers running back, only to stop when she hears the door of the closet creak. She hides and pleads for the Renegades to come, but to no avail. Evie starts to cry and the stranger shoots her as well though she survives as Magpie, with Nova unaware. 

The man finds Nova in the closet and presses the gun to her forehead, but before he can fire, she grabs his wrist, which puts him to sleep. She stands over him and tells herself to pull the trigger, but she is unable to. 

Uncle Alec finds her standing over the stranger and comforts her over the death of her parents, promising to protect her. He then aims the gun at the sleeping man and fires, killing him. She goes back into her father's room and her uncle takes the bracelet that her father was working on.  

A decade later, Nova is planning to assassinate Captain Chromium.  


Nova goes to the annual Renegade Parade in an attempt to assassinate Captain Chromium as she works alongside Ingrid Thompson & Phobia. While waiting, a young girl steals Nova's bracelet, but Adrian stops her, (in actuality, Magpie) and gives Nova back the bracelet. Adrian also draws on a new clasp for Nova. Nova then leaves to begin her assassination, suiting up as Nightmare. She aims at Captain Chromium's eye, but is unable to pull the trigger in time. Meanwhile, Monarch, Smokescreen & Red Assassin arrive to confront her. The Sentinel interrupts and burns Monarch while attempting to hurt Nightmare. Nova then escapes on the Puppeteer's hot air balloon after telling the Sentinel "One cannot be brave who has no fear," which gives Adrian, really the Sentinel, an interest in Nightmare - as she may have answers to his mother's death years before (the body was found with a note: One cannot be brave who has no fear).  

Nova asks Ingrid for assistance, but she decline to help. Captain Chromium throws the pike at the hot air balloon, which hits the heater. The hot air balloon's descent skyward slows and Nova realizes that the hot air balloon will soon crash. She then throws the Puppeteer out to lose weight and the hot air balloon continues to drift skyward. The Puppeteer is captured and imprisoned by the Renegades, much to the guilt of Nova.  

Nova then goes back to the tunnels and the Anarchists: Honey Harper (Queen Bee), Leroy Flinn (Cyanide), Ingrid Thompson(the Detonator) & Phobia. Leroy tells Nova she should consider trying out to be a Renegade, since they don't know what she looks like or who she is. He tells her she would be a promising spy as Nova says she'll think about it.  

Leroy then drives Nova to the marina where they meet Millie. She gives her a fake identity and wishes her luck at the trials.  

At the trials, she announces that she doesn't ever sleep. Genissa Clark scoffs and after Adrian accepts her into his team, Frostbite challenges her. She chooses to fight Gargoyle, much to the shock of the crowd, and in the end wins by blindfolding him and forcing his hand out of the ring, then starting a rivalry between Genissa & Nova. Nova's team has begun doing surveillance on Gene Cronin's Library. Nova then finds about the origin stories of her fellow renegades, who seem thrilled at a new teammate. They later spot the Detonator entering the library despite the fact that they were ordered specifically not to enter, though they did. They feared that she would leave before backup was called, or that she would hurt civilians.  


Nova joins the Weapons & Artifacts Department. Adrian creates a jungle mural room for Nova, complete with live plants, a statue of a man holding his hands upwards, and noise-canceling headphones, with which Nova sleeps for a full day. While at Adrian's house, Nova successfully snatches the Vitality Charm and escapes with Adrian and his fathers unsuspecting. Under the persona of Nightmare, she infiltrates Renegade Headquarters and manages to steal Ace Anarchy's helmet. However, the helmet is encased in an unbreakable chromium cube, further frustrating Nova and causing her to search for a weapon that can free the helmet, and ultimately Ace. However, the star on her bracelet, taken from Adrian's house, reacted to the helmet and the chromium cube shattered. Nova grabs the helmet and runs, though Frostbite and her team tries to stop her. The entire team was later neutralized, except for Stingray, who was put to sleep by Nova. She barely escapes, leaving behind a wounded Max and a murderous sentinel, who had just arrived.


Nova is in Renegades Headquarters, mulling over past events as she looks at Max's broken quarantine, where Captain Chromium is surveying the damage. Sketch's patrol unit is called for a meeting as Adrian discusses the possibility of a mole in the group. Danna's butterflies all come to circle and land on Nova. Nova successfully played it off as her job in the Department of Weapons & Artifacts and all the clues she could gain from looking through records. Nova knows that her time is running out before the Renegades inevitably figure out that she is the mole.

While Nova is at the safe house with other Anarchists, she receives a threat from Narcissa demanding the helmet in return for not telling the Renegades who Nova really is and where they're hiding. During the ensuing fight between Nova and Narcissa, Narcissa breaks the glass jar holding Danna's butterfly. Danna's imprisoned butterfly quickly escapes to tell the other Renegades the truth, but is killed by Honey's bees. Danna reforms as a human, shaky and pale, at Ruby's house and confesses that Nova was indeed Nightmare. The Anarchists know that Danna will bring reinforcements and quickly flee, destroying the hideout with one of Cyanide's special explosive concoctions.

Nova tries to go back to the hideout where she frantically searches for the Vitality Charm, which she believes she left behind. As she searches, Nova runs into Adrian and the Renegades, screaming at them to leave before the entire building detonates. However, everyone on the team is aware of Nova being Nightmare as they apprehend her. Nova is then imprisoned at Gatlon City's Island Prison with Ace. Genissa Clark demands that not only should Agent N be revealed, but that there should be a public execution of Ace & Nova. Genissa wanted to be the one who killed Nova, as Nightmare used Max to take away her powers as a prodigy. Adrian, heartbroken and betrayed, is devastated when the Council, including his two fathers, agree. Adrian visits Nova in prison and asks her to confess to avoid execution. Nova doesn't confess and Adrian is unable to convince his dads to free her. Narcissa later appears, masquerading as Nightmare. Adrian and the team, except for Danna, are fooled as they believed Nova was innocent. Reluctantly, the Council agrees to free Nova and apologizes for imprisoning her. Now free, Nova works with the Anarchists and prodigy rebels to return Ace to power and end the Renegades once and for all.


Physical Attributes

Nova has blue eyes and wavy black hair that cuts just above her shoulders. She has a sharp nose, chin, and cheekbones. Nova is half-Italian and half-Filipino. Her fingerprints were mutilated to conceal her identity so that she could join the Renegades

Nova wears a dark hood and a metal face mask over the lower half of her face to conceal her identity. She also wears a bracelet that was created by her father, which holds a star in the empty prongs, drawn by Adrian Everhart. After the star lost it's power in Supernova, it was completed changed, and became a piece of onyx.


Nova is cunning, sly, and sneaky. She's not the best liar as she finds trouble coming up with excuses for her long absences from the Renegades. She's incredibly smart and quick-witted as she frequently invents low-tech gadgets for combat and everyday uses. She is loyal to her beliefs, though that wavers in Supernova. She's excellent at combat & weaponry and has an advanced vocabulary. She's quick on her feet and movements. She's a "Strong opponent," as Nova took out her own team twice, beat Gargoyle at the trials, and neutralized Frostbite's team by herself. She has also shown to be sarcastic in the midst of battle.

Description via Marissa Meyer

"Ever since the day her family was murdered, Nova has been unable to sleep. But she doesn’t miss it. In fact, her insomnia is part of her superpower: She never sleeps, and can put others to sleep just by touching them. After her family was taken from her, Nova was raised by the Anarchists, a group of villains who live hidden beneath the city, lying in wait to take down the Renegades and reclaim Gatlon for themselves. But now Nova is old enough to participate in the Renegade trials and potentially infiltrate their ranks. If she makes it through the trials, the Anarchists may come out of hiding . . ." [1]

Abilities & Skills 



  • Tranquilize: Nova possesses the ability to put others to sleep. This power can function only through skin-to-skin contact. 
  • Insomnia: Nova never sleeps, yet still remains mentally fit and does not suffer from lack of sleep.


  • Master Engineer: Nova is a very skilled engineer who can design and create her own weapons, as well as other equipment, such as a miniature, functioning hydraulic elevator.  
  • Master Accuracy: She has dead-eye accuracy as she was almost able to hit Captain Chromium in the eye with a dart during the Renegade Parade, where she was on top of a nearby building.
  • Juggling: Nova became skilled at juggling in order to improve her hand-eye coordination.



Nova carries weapons and other useful objects which she invents herself. Nova clips many of them to her weaponry belt or keeps them in her duffel bag.

  • Heat-Seeking Throwing Stars: Nova used two heat-seeking throwing stars against Red Assassin, Smokescreen & Monarch in the skirmish during the Renegade Parade as she had worked all summer to perfect them. During her and Adrian's search of the Anarchists abandoned subway system, Adrian finds the throwing stars in Nightmare's train car. 
  • Bazooka Netting Gun: Nova used a netting gun that she engineered from a toy bazooka when she was eleven against the Sentinel and Thunderbird in their skirmish during the Renegade Parade. The gun shoots out a net of nylon ropes whose eight points spread out like an octopus around the victim. 
  • Pen: Nova took a pen with a secret compartment behind the ink refills, loaded with poisonous darts, to Renegade Headquarters when she was masquerading as a Renegade. She considers using the pen against Captain Chromium and Tsunami on her first day as a Renegade. 
  • Shock-Wave Gun: Nova took a gun that could stun an opponent up to thirty feet away to Renegade Headquarters when she was masquerading as a Renegade. 
  • Exothermic Micro-Flares: Nova took a set of exothermic micro-flares to Renegade Headquarters when she was masquerading as a Renegade. When snapped, they glow a luminescent yellow. 
  • Gaseous Form of Agent N: Nova used a gaseous form of Agent N stored in a prodigy object to help with her infiltration of the Renegade Headquarters to steal Ace Anarchy's helmet. 
  • Suction Gloves: Nova used gloves that help her stick to any surface and allowed her to climb. 

Other Equipment

  • Duffel Bag: Nova stores most of her inventions and some of her weapons in her duffel bag.
  • Nightmare's Uniform: Nova's uniform that she wore as Nightmare consisted of a weaponry belt with special pockets and hooks for her inventions as well as a lightweight, waterproof black hooded jacket with a flame-retardant coating and a hard metal shell that hides the lower half of her face. 
  • Renegade Uniform: Nova's uniform that she wore as Insomnia, masquerading as a Renegade, consisted of the standard charcoal-gray bodysuit with red detailing and a red R, and boots with ankle braces and slip-resistant soles.  
  • Bracelet: Nova's bracelet is her dad's last creation; therefore she never takes it off. It's coppery-gold with delicate filigree surrounding an empty set of prongs, and a clasp fixed by Adrian in Renegades (after Magpie broke it). The star from Nova's dream, revealed to be stored in her amygdala, secures itself to the bracelet. In the epilogue of Supernova, the star is replaced with a black stone. 
  • Renegade Communicator: Nova received a Renegade communicator on her first day masquerading as a Renegade. The communicator is a thin strip of plastic that will light up on one end, sound an alarm during an emergency, and display the city map. Pressing the other end of the communicator and speaking another person's name will allow the wearer to communicate while holding it in front of the face will record a video message. 
  • Binoculars: Nova created a pair of binoculars which had face recognition, combining the face of a prodigy as seen through the lenses to the face of a prodigy in the database. It can record real-time action.  
  • Window Breaker: When Nova breaks into Renegade Headquarters as Nightmare, she uses her window breaker to break into the security room to undo the cameras. The breaker is a cylindrical tool with a spring loaded spike used to shatter the glass of a window. The spike can also be used to scrape away the sharp edges of glass that remains on the sill. 


"Oh, I'm sorry. I was busy daydreaming about your funerals." - Nova in Renegadespg. 39

"You think I'm afraid of a pompous neophyte in a toy suit?" - Nova in Renegadespg. 39

Once we have total power, what's to keep us from becoming villains ourselves?” - Nova in Archenemies

"Everyone has a nightmare." - Nova in Supernova

"Stab me with an eggbeater." - Nova in Renegades (?)

"Is it terrible that it might take the fall of humanity to make me this relaxed?" - Nova in Archenemies

"Before you get carried away, just know that I will not be reeled in." - Nova in Archenemies


  • Nova has taken up a lot of hobbies over the years, such as knitting, bird-watching, juggling, embroidery, astronomy, etc.
  • In Supernova, Callum states that victims of Nightmare's ability have woken up with a terrible headache.
  • In Nova's Renegade application, she uses her real birthday, May 27th. This makes Nova a Gemini.
  • According to Millie, Nova takes after her mother.
  • Nova's name is a pun on the word "nova", which is a star showing a sudden large increase in brightness and then slowly returning to its original state over a few months. Stars are associated with night, which fits her powers of putting people to sleep.