Lady Renegades by Rachel Hawkins
Published by: G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers
And so, we’ve reached the end of the line with Harper, the epitome of silk hiding steel. How did the conclusion to the series measure up to the rest? Let’s see…
As the title of this review suggests, there will be spoilers. If you have not read Rebel Belle, or Miss Mayhem then this review will spoil some of the content of those books.
Okay, warning over with. So, if you can’t remember what happened at the end of Miss Mayhem, I’ll get you up to speed. David decided, for the good of everyone, to leave town so he didn’t create any more Paladins and cause the end of the world, or whatever. Bee and Ryan, who are now a couple, helped him to escape without telling Harper, who found out anyway and got angry. End Book Two.
Lady Renegades opens with Bee and Harper being lifeguards at the pool, and it’s almost like their freaky supernatural powers don’t exist. The start felt like Rebel Belle, but it eventually turned to chaos.
Blythe, the evil girl from the beginning of the trilogy, comes and says they should try and find David. Despite being one of the villains, Ryan, Bee and Harper decide it’s a good idea that she come along with them on a road trip. BUT, and here’s where I think the logic is flawed, Ryan doesn’t come too. It’s decided, because Blythe is a mage, that Ryan isn’t needed. Yet, Harper and Bee are both Paladins and they BOTH get to go. So, two paladins = fine. Two mages = a sign of the apocalypse. Still, I appreciated all the girl power.
The road trip is fine to begin with, and then it gets so repetitive. From what I can gather, because if I’m honest, I wasn’t paying much attention to what was going on after the same thing got recycled twice, the three girls were looking for a spell. They look for it in Saylor’s house, a cowboy bar, a flea market and Saylor’s house…in a different state. The same formula is used: sneak in, trouble is caused, fail to gain spell, sneak out. Until they actually get what they need which turns out to be a sword.
Should have guessed it. It’s on the cover, after all.
Harper goes around calling David her ex-boyfriend and this annoyed me because I swear they didn’t really break up. They both still had feelings for one another, and they’d still be together if David hadn’t gone rogue. When they fixed David, they were going to get back together, obviously, so to call him an ex just seemed to create unnecessary drama.
The final showdown as a little bit pathetic. Harper and David come face to face, a battle goes down and then Blythe does…something to ‘redeem’ herself. Was I looking for a villain redemption arc? Could it ever come close to that of Peridot’s on Steven Universe and is therefore not worth doing? The answer to both is: No.
I don’t really know what I was expected by the end of this series, but it certainly wasn’t for everyone’s powers to suddenly…not exist? be dormant? not discussed? I have literally no idea whether David is still an oracle or if Harper is still a Paladin. Are they normal again? What’s happening? It didn’t give me much closer on the paranormal side of things, but I was satisfied by the conclusion of character relationships. Overall, I’d give Lady Renegades 3 stars. It’s certainly better than it’s predecessor, and at under 300 pages, why not read it to complete the series? It only took me a couple of hours tops. Rebel Belle is definitely a must-read, but the series loses some of it’s Southern charm is it progresses. If you’re aware of the series’ trajectory, though, you won’t be disappointed!