Supernova (Renegades, #3)

He smiled at her. A knowing, lopsided grin.

Feeling self-conscious and worried that maybe he’d witnessed the theft and was about to raise an alarm—which was extra risky now that everyone saw themselves as part vigilante—she pivoted and hurried off in the other direction.

She waited until she was half a block away before she opened her hand and inspected the brooch. Definitely cheap costume jewelry, but it would fetch a few bucks at the pawnshop, at least.

She held the pin up against her own shirt, right over her heart, and used her mind to slip the sharp point through the fabric and twist the clasp back into place.

Popping her finger into her mouth to suck off the drop of blood, she dug her other hand into her pocket to pull out the rest of the day’s treasures. A wallet, two watches, and a gold wedding band. She felt a little guilty over that last one, but without knowing what was to become of the Renegades, she figured she had to go into survival mode.

If she was good at anything, it was surviving.

She tucked away her findings, but kept out the last item she’d dug from her pocket, the good luck charm that was always with her, hidden away for safekeeping—a small silver bullet. The one that should have killed her. When she was just a baby, she’d been shot by a burglar breaking into her family’s apartment. That night, her parents had been murdered. That night, her older sister had disappeared, either run away or kidnapped, and never heard from again.

That night, her own dormant powers had been awoken.

Of course, she didn’t remember any of this for herself, only what the staff at the children’s home had told her. They said she’d been found by the landlord, drenched in her own blood and screaming her head off, the bullet clutched in her pudgy fist. They told her that was less than an hour after Captain Chromium himself had stopped by to investigate the crime and declared her and her parents dead.

And the Renegades wondered why everyone thought they were inept.

For years, she had dreamed of her sister coming to claim her. Of … anyone, really, coming to claim her. But eventually she had realized that no one was coming. No one cared about one more orphaned, unwanted prodigy.

She could only rely on herself.

Which was fine. She didn’t need anyone else. She was a survivor. The bullet was proof enough of that.

Squeezing her fist, she shoved the bullet back into her pocket and started making her way to the pawnshop to sell her goods before she got caught with them.

She knew she wasn’t a Renegade anymore. A lot of people were saying they didn’t even need Renegades now, just as they no longer needed to fear villains. There were no longer prodigies vying for power or non-prodigies being caught in the middle. They could reclaim control of their own city, their own society, their own lives.

But it was only a matter of time. The greed would come back. The power struggles. The conflicts. This phase would pass, and the problems would still be there. Only now, each side would have a bigger army, with stronger weapons.

When it happened, they would see that not everyone was willing to protect the innocent, defend the weak, fight for justice. They would realize that some prodigies are stronger for a reason. Braver for a reason. Some people were always meant to be heroes.

Just like some people were always meant to be villains.





ACKNOWLEDGMENTS





ANOTHER BOOK SERIES completed (celebrate!), and I don’t know that it would have happened without the incredible support of so many people. Mostly I want to say thank you to my agent, Jill, who helped me see the true heart of Nova and Adrian’s story, and my editor, Liz, who helped guide me down its path, even when it became far longer and more winding than I think either of us expected. I might have given up on these books without the wisdom from both of you, and I am so grateful for your constant encouragement.

I also want to say thank you to everyone at Jill Grinberg Literary Management—Denise, Katelyn, Sam, Sophia, and Cheryl (I miss you!), as well as Matthew Snyder at CAA—you guys are unequivocally the best.

To my entire team at Macmillan Children’s—Jean, Jon, Mary, Jo, Morgan, Rich, Mariel, Allison, Caithin, Jordin, Katie H., Katie Q., and so many others—who are true heroes in the world of children’s literature. Thank you for helping me craft my stories into the best books they can be.

I am eternally grateful for my longtime beta reader, Tamara Moss, who not only helps me see the weaknesses in my writing, but also gives me the confidence and motivation to make them better.

Many, many thanks to my extraordinary copy editor, Anne Heausler, for bringing such thoughtful comments and suggestions to the text. It is always such a comfort to have your eye on it!

I offer immense gratitude to Laurel Harnish, whose entry in my “Create Your Own Superhero” contest resulted in the creation of Callum Treadwell. Callum has become, in my mind, one of the greatest heroes in this saga, and it was a privilege to write him.

Thank you to my wonderful group of local writers: Gennifer Albin, Kendare Blake, Jennifer Chushcoff, Kimberly Derting, Corry Lee, Lish McBride, Lily Meade, Sajni Patel (we miss you!), Rori Shay, Breeana Shields, and Emily Varnell—for the many afternoons of productivity and camaraderie, the thoughtful advice, and the friendship.

Last but never least, I am grateful for my family and friends, who have been such incredible advocates and cheerleaders for me since the beginning: Mom and Dad, Grandma, Jeff and Wendy, Bob and Clarita, Connie, Chelsea, Pat and Carolyn, Leilani, Calli, Sarah, Steph, Matt and Melissa, Ash and Christina, Eddy and Melissa, and I’m sure I’m forgetting someone (gah, I hate that feeling!). And of course, thank you to my lovely daughters, Delaney and Sloane, for the unspeakable warmth and joy you bring into my life, and to Jesse, my husband, my best friend, my favorite travel buddy, and all around my favorite human being on this planet. In the words of Sandol Stoddard Warburg: I would go on choosing you and you would go on choosing me over and over again.





About Marissa Meyer


Marissa Meyer is the New York Times bestselling author of Renegades, Archenemies and The Lunar Chronicles series. Her first standalone novel, Heartless, was also a #1 New York Times bestseller. She lives in Tacoma, Washington, with her husband and their two daughters