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Resistance by Jenna Black
Cover Artist: Paul Youll
Review by Bill Lawhorn
Tor Teen Trade Paperback  ISBN/ITEM#: 9780765333728
Date: 11 March 2014 List Price $9.99 Amazon US / Amazon UK

Links: Author's Website / Show Official Info /

The human mind is a very powerful tool for both good and bad. It allows logical and illogical jumps in reasoning. It can take more than the facts given and draw conclusions that are correct but not deduced directly through those facts. In Resistance, an organic mind is the key to the ultimate technology, replication. In my case, the human mind led to a dream sequence so strong, I convinced myself that I had completed this review and sent it for publication.

Resistance is the sequel to Replica. The action picks up immediately after the big confrontation with Nate's father. Nadia is sequestered away, first at home and then in a secure facility. Isolated, she fears never being free again. Permanent isolation is a common, if rare punishment.

Nate is distraught over Nadia's punishment and works to see and free her. He is willing to call upon his many resources and friends, and non-friends to free her. He is burdened by the ending of his betrothal to Nadia and the announcement of his new fiancÚ. He also needs to balance maintaining his relationship with Kurt.

The plans to free Nadia end up creating a new bond with an unexpected source. Additionally, the enemy they face is not the one they expect. By the end, they may achieve what they think they want, but not what they truly desire. They come to realize that the system is the true enemy.

Corporations rule the world and have divvied up the various states. The corporations operate in a semi-feudal fashion. There is a very wide gap between the haves and have-nots. Both Nadia and Nate are among the haves, but their adventures take them into the areas where people have very little. As the adventure moves forward, they will likely learn much more about the people on the bottom of society.

This is the second YA novel in this technodystopia series. I recommend starting with Replica, though there is enough information about the prior action that a reader should be able to follow the story without too many difficulties. Resistance is worth a read, there is plenty of action and it is well written.

The heart of the story is an adventure. But there is romance and science fiction in this dystopian universe. The relationships between the characters are very important to the overall story. Love and the potential for love in its various forms, drive the action. The two main POV characters each learn a lot about love and friendships. Not long after I finished Resistance, I got the chance to hear Jenna Black discuss the stories on a panel at a YA event. It was interesting to hear how she had to carefully avoid spoiling the coming tale, but provide just enough to keep fans wanting more. She noted that the market changes a lot and quickly. Replica was advertised as a dystopia, and Resistance is science fiction.

We had a brief discussion about the changing nature of the YA market, especially as it related to what is allowed and what needs a parental guidance note. I noted that a few years ago, I would likely have had to put a warning related to the relationships within the series, but now the material is not controversial.

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