Monday, February 8, 2010

Book Review: The Resistance by Gemma Malley

THE DECLARATION and its sequel THE RESISTANCE are set in a world where a longevity drug has been developed that essentially lets people live forever. Sounds great at first - until you realize that if no one dies and people keep having children, population growth explodes and there just aren’t enough resources to go around. That’s why everyone who takes longevity drugs must sign a declaration saying that they will not have children.

THE DECLARATION followed the story of a 15 year old girl, Anna, who was born illegally to parents who signed the declaration, was caught and then sent to a surplus hall to work off her debt to society. It was a fascinating introduction to this dystopian world, and even though plotwise it didn't completely satisfy, it was thought provoking and introduced a couple of really well-rounded characters. (Read my full review of THE DECLARATION).

THE RESISTANCE seems to exist solely to make the dangers of immortality at a societal level excruciatingly clear. While a drug like Longevity is of course an amazing breakthrough for the individual, it is poised to be the ultimate destroyer of mankind, as society needs a continuous cycle of youth for its renewal. Without that renewal – a culture grows stagnant, the people brittle and egocentric.

These are certainly interesting ideas to explore, but the execution seems a little one sided. Every adult not in the resistance (with one notable exception) is portrayed as irredeemably selfish and heartless. The resistance claims that mankind’s only hope is in the few teens, like Anna and her friend Peter, who haven’t been seduced by Longevity – but the plot does these teens a great disservice by demanding that they do stupid things. Fortunately for them, the adults do stupid things too, and in the end it’s just luck and coincidence that determines everyone’s fate.

A third book in the series THE REVELATION is set for an October 2010 release.  The teaser summary is enticing: "It appears Longevity isn't working and the drugs promising eternal youth are failing to live up to their promises. A virus is sweeping the country, killing in its wake, and Longevity is powerless to fight it." Maybe death is just the thing to bring new life to this concept.

Both THE DECLARATION and THE RESISTANCE are out now in paperback. Find out more about them at the publisher's website.

My Rating for THE RESISTANCE: 1 Zombie Chicken - For Dystopian Completists Only (I'd give THE DECLARATION 3 Zombie Chickens though, so if you really liked that one, you may be more inclined to like its sequel than I was.)

See index of all dystopian reviews on Presenting Lenore

15 comments:

Marie said...

I think if I were you, I'd read the third book but probably borrow instead of buy. Sounds like an interesting concept imperfectly carried out. I'd want to know the end though! :-)

Bookalicious Ramblings said...

Oh, I've read so many glowing reviews for both books that I'm quite surprised to see you weren't really blown away by either. Thanks for the honest review though! I have both books sitting on my shelf so we'll see what I think of them if I ever get round to them. ;)

sharonlovescats said...

no,no,no this book was awesome and you suck. ;)

All joking aside, I actually loved this book. I never wrote a review for it though because I had a hard time explaining why I liked it so much. I just did. I'm tempted to ask you to cross post this on the dystopian blog. It is nice to have a different opinion. :D

P.S. gonna send Birthmarked. I got so bored that I couldn't finish the ending, so the deal is you have to tell me what happens. ok? lol

Lenore said...

Sharon - It was an easy read and flowed well; I'll give it that. It's just a pet peeve of mine when the plot hinges on people doing stupid things.

Andi said...

It sounds like a great premise, but execution-wise...meh! Sorry this one didn't pan out.

bermudaonion said...

The concept of the books sounds good - too bad it's not executed well.

caite said...

wow, just one zombie chicken...think I will skip this one. I like dystopian fiction, but this one does not sound up to par.

Priya said...

How did I miss this whole zombie chicken rating until now??? Well, anyways, I love it. :)

The premise for this book sounds pretty interesting, though... it reminds me of those movie trailers which end up being wayyy better than the movie itself.

Jenny said...

Aww, the one zombie chicken looks so sad all by itself! It's hanging its little head down so low and it doesn't have any friends. I never thought I'd feel sorry for a little zombie chicken.

Bitsy said...

I've been hearing a lot of good things about these books recently, it's nice to get this perspective though. I too hate when the entire plot hinges on people doing stupid things, so this series might not be my thing. Great reviews, love the zombie chickens!

Zibilee said...

Sounds like a great idea, but poor execution. I hate it when a plot overdoes the coincidence angle. I will be interested in hearing what you think of the third book, but I don't think I will be itching to add these to my collection. Maybe I will just grab them from the library. Great and thoughtful review Lenore.

Liviania said...

This actually kind of sounds like my thing. I'm really fascinated by explorations of culture and society. But I'll probably try to find them from the library because I do hate characters doing stupid things.

Ladytink_534 said...

Sounds like an interesting premise but I can see why you had problems. Now the third book sounds like it would be good though.

Bibliovore said...

I looooooooved The Declaration, was underwhelmed by The Resistance (did Anna really have to get all OMG babies on us?), but I'm kind of curious about The Revelation. I think it came out in England under The Revealers, as I have that on my list already.

Anonymous said...

I have just read The Declaration and loved it. I just couldn't put it down. It is a real dystopian book and I really recommend it to anyone who wants a good read. I am just about to read The Resistence and I hope it is as good as The Declaration :)