Wednesday, October 24, 2018


Resistant by Rachael Sparks
SparkPress: 10/16/18
eBook review copy; 216 pages
ISBN-13: 9781943006731

Resistant by Rachael Sparks is a so-so dystopian novel.

In Woods Hole, Massachusetts, Rory Stevigson and her father, Byron, are basically off-the-grid survivalists in the climate changed land of 2041. The prevalence of bacterial diseases that were sparked by climate change have all become drug-resistant after the over use of antibiotics. Rory's deceased mother was a scientist looking for a cure until she succumb to a bacterial infection. At the same time, the people her mother used to work for are still looking for a cure and using whatever unethical methods they choose.

When a young veteran, Navy, shows up and begins to work for them, Rory finds herself attracted to him. Soon it becomes apparent that he is more than just a hired hand. Rory herself may hold the cure to the health crisis, and now she and her father need to flee, with help from Navy and his friend. They are headed to the headquarters of the resistance and hope to spread a cure to the world.

The journey, that in any heroic adventure novel needs to have the protagonists facing almost insurmountable struggles to get to the desired place, went by with a few obstacles, but nothing that wasn't easily handled. Scenes that had plenty of heart-stopping potential were breezed through. Portions of the journey were just skipped over. I really stopped and went back to see if I had somehow skipped a few chapters, but no. Rory and Navy went from, let's say point B right to V, at which point I was bitterly disappointed in this mitigated action. Come on - give me a struggle, give me a quest, give me onerous striving toward the climax. The plot is interesting, but the journey, pursuit, and adventure are attenuated and simplified. 

Rory is a likeable heroine. It was refreshing that she could state her own opinions and stand up to the men around her. She is smart, but, alas, she is also immature. I found it hard to believe she was a 23 year old in this situation, as she seemed too sheltered and naive about the world in which she is living. I also think the almost immediate romance angle should have been dialed back, a lot, and given more time to develop. The bad guys are bad, but come across as caricatures of bad guys.

The writing is decent but the actual novel and plot would have benefited from more descriptions, more action, more depth to the plot.  This really reads like a YA novel, although it is described as a new adult novel.

Disclosure: My review copy was courtesy of SparkPress.

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