Thursday, May 19, 2011

The Resisters

Nylund, Eric. The Resisters.
Ethan is a bright and athletic student. After a robotic-assisted soccer game, he is shanghaied by Madison and Felix and told that his entire life has been a lie-- he's been raised in a suburban "test tube" because the Ch'zar invaded Earth years ago and absorbed the minds of all of the adults into "the Collective" but realized that children need traditional upbringings to be productive workers. He runs away (after fighting animatronic bugs) from the two children only to be arrested and sent to Sterling Reform School because Felix and Madison are "resisters" who don't believe that the Ch'zar saved humanity from itself. Ethan escapes, finds Felix and Madison again, fights more giant bugs, and ends up in a hospital fun by scientists who were working in an underground seed bank bunker when the aliens took over everyone's minds and now form the core of the resistance. Ethan runs away again, this time to try to save his family, who are gone when he returns. He ends up in another fight, but returns to the seed bank, where he agrees to be trained as a fighter. Sequel probably in the offing.

Strengths: Lots of action, fairly engaging main character, who is described as being part Filipino and part Cherokee. The cover image supports that description.
Weaknesses: Nothing really new, and the book was rather confusing. Any time I have to take notes, I worry that my students who are drawn to fast-paced action will give up on a book because they can't follow it. I did not realize until this morning that Mr. Nylund is a game writer/developer who also pens novels based on an X-Box game, as well as other science fiction titles for TOR. I am not a fan of video games of any type, so I admit to a knee jerk reaction against the Halo books, but am all for anything that gets reluctant readers to pick up a book. I'm just not entirely convinced that The Resisters will be successful at that.

This just came out, so there are not many reviews yet, but reviewers who liked the book more than I did include:
Back Room Kids Book Club
The Artolater
Anderson Public Library Teen Scene Blog

My apologies for the dearth of reviews lately; with three children at this time of year, there is a meet, banquet, lesson or honors assembly every night of the week!

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