Release Date: May 11, 2010
Review Source: Won a copy in blog contest
Synopsis: (from Goodreads)
Sixteen-year-old Damien Locke has a plan: major in messing with people at the local supervillain university and become a professional evil genius, just like his supervillain mom. But when he discovers the shameful secret she's been hiding all these years, that the one-night stand that spawned him was actually with a superhero, everything gets messed up. His father's too moral for his own good, so when he finds out Damien exists, he actually wants him to come live with him and his goody-goody superhero family. Damien gets shipped off to stay with them in their suburban hellhole, and he has only six weeks to prove he's not a hero in any way, or else he's stuck living with them for the rest of his life, or until he turns eighteen, whichever comes first.
To get out of this mess, Damien has to survive his dad's "flying lessons" that involve throwing him off the tallest building in the city--despite his nearly debilitating fear of heights--thwarting the eccentric teen scientist who insists she's his sidekick, and keeping his supervillain girlfriend from finding out the truth. But when Damien uncovers a dastardly plot to turn all the superheroes into mindless zombie slaves, a plan hatched by his own mom, he discovers he cares about his new family more than he thought. Now he has to choose: go back to his life of villainy and let his family become zombies, or stand up to his mom and become a real hero.
If I could describe this book in one word I would probably say it was funny. It almost felt like a parody sometimes, yet it was also heartwarming and earnest. Not exactly the typical descriptors one would use to describe a story about a guy stuck between being a superhero and a supervillain. Especially not one where that guy talks about sex a lot. But Chelsea Campbell has crafted a very interesting story here. First of all, it feels extremely unique and refreshing. I haven't read anything like this, probably partially because I don't typically read books with a male protagonist or books involving superheroes... but also, because I do think it's a fresh topic, especially in the way Campbell has written it. I felt like the ending came up a bit suddenly, and I wish there had been more development with the different characters, but overall it was quite enjoyable. Damien is a bit of an unreliable narrator, as he claims to think one way but acts in another way. Definitely an enjoyable read that I would recommend to YA fans who are sick of reading about the same subject over and over again, as this one is quite unique.
Find The Rise of Renegade X by Chelsea Campbell on Goodreads, Book Depository, & Amazon.ca