While I was a bit disappointed with the second novel in this trilogy, I wanted to see how it would end, so I picked up Supernova, the final book. Overall, it was an improvement over Archenemies, and there was more positive than negative, though I still think there were a few missed opportunities.
At the end of the last novel, Nova had set things into motion that would blow her cover and put the Anarchists back into a position of power. While Nova successfully stole back the helmet that amplifies her uncle’s power, during her heist, the Renegades found her uncle and took him back into custody. Now, as Supernova begins, Nova has to go back to her Renegade persona so she can she save Uncle Ace.
Given how newsworthy his capture is, the Renegade Council of course plans to make a big event of Ace’s trial and execution. Adding Nightmare to the mix would certainly add to the publicity, showing the strength of a slightly weakened council. Additionally, they plan to use their superpower-removing serum on all the former anarchists and criminals already incarcerated, getting rid of all the villains and opposition in one swoop.
Fortunately for Nova, there is a third growing group of powered people who simply want to be able to live without interference – they don’t want to be Anarchists, they don’t want to report to the Renegades, they simply want to be, and forming a strained alliance with them creates enough doubt about Nightmare’s identity to save Nova’s cover.
Now, there was at least one twist I didn’t see coming, one twist I have been predicting basically since the first book, and then other twists I thought might occur that never happened. Throughout the series, Meyer has been setting up to show how there is good and bad on both sides, but in this one, when push finally comes to shove, the good guys are basically good. They had a few bad ideas along the way, flirted with grey areas here and there, but when it comes to big final show downs, the people that have been labeled good act so, and the ones that have been labeled bad are mostly out for revenge and act like actual villains.
I guess I thought the series was setting up for more of a “power can corrupt and good intentions and ends justify the means mentality can lead to ethically grey areas” and while that was there, it felt very diluted by the end of this novel as the good guys were always the good guys. I didn’t want them to turn evil but have more of a reckoning with how some of their decisions and laws led to the chaos later – by creating a “with us or against us” kind of mentality, it limited the options of other powered humans, basically forcing them to act illegally simply because they didn’t want to join. I mean, the first two novels had Renegades that were deliberately cruel against others, and no where does this novel seem to really confront the idea of how Renegades plan to “watch the watchmen” or how these people would have been reigned in if Nightmare hadn’t taken their powers in the previous novel.
In other words, while it was an engaging story, it also felt like it could have been so much more at one point in the trilogy, and in the end, it goes a bit too much down the usual beaten path. The idea of a third way was constantly alluded to throughout the novels but the end felt too much like a show down between two of them rather than a reconciliation by using that third way. Obviously, there are always going to be die-hards that won’t accept a different route but it felt like too many fell victim to this in this novel.