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By Rachael Sparks
Release date: October 16, 2018
Resistant is set in a not-so-distant future in which a large chunk of the world’s population has been decimated by disease, the spread of which was fueled by our long history of over-dependence on antibiotics, the dodgy business dealings of the pharmaceutical industry, and climate change. In the ensuing years, the remainder of the scientific community has been working on discovering a cure, to no avail. However, this effort is tainted. While a government-driven initiative, employing some of the world’s top scientists working against their will, will go to any length to find a cure so it can be privatized and sold to the highest bidder, a counteractive resistance is doing the same but with the aim of saving all of humanity.
In Woods Hole, Massachusetts, Rory Stevigson and her father Byron live in a farming community hidden away from technology and, hopefully, all that which has ruined modern society. What Rory doesn’t realize is that her body contains the cure for this plague. Her mother, dead now for several years, worked for a research company that has allied itself with the government. What they didn’t know is that she had been doing some of her own experiments… on her daughter. The government has somehow finally become aware that this might have happened and they are out to find Rory using all means at their disposal. At this same time, two former soldiers named, appropriately, Navy, and not-so-appropriately, Army, arrive at the Stevigson farm with an offer of assistance.
Thematically, this is a very timely book. Over-dependence on antibiotics? Check. An untrustworthy pharmaceutical industry? Do you watch 60 Minutes? A fear-mongering government? Cough-hack-cough. These facts alone are what made me interested in reading the book in the first place.
Despite this initial interest, though, I couldn’t help but be bothered by some of the characterization. I found I often had trouble remembering what age Rory is as she is equal parts petulant teenager, over-wise adult, fool in the early stages of love, and, unfortunately, somewhat of a Mary Sue. Byron starts off as a decent character, but, by the end, you want to smack him for decisions he has made regarding the protection of his daughter. And the budding romance between Rory and Navy? I just wasn’t feeling it because it was a little rushed and unbelievable given the circumstances.
In many ways, the book read like one of the Twilight novels (yes, I admit I have read three out of four of the Twilight books — I make no apologies). It’s fast-paced, has a well-defined plot, and a main-character romantic subplot. If that’s your thing, this book will likely be your jam. Sadly, though, it wasn’t mine.
In the final battle with drug-resistant bacteria, one woman’s blood holds a secret weapon.
Rory and her father have survived the antibiotic crisis that has killed millions, including Rory’s mother―but ingenuity and perseverance aren’t their only advantages. When a stoic and scarred young military veteran enters their quiet life, Rory is drawn to him against her better judgment . . . until he exposes the secrets her mother and father kept from her, including the fact that her own blood may hold the cure the world needs, and she is the target of groups fighting to reach it first.
When the government comes after Rory, aiming to use her for a cure it can sell to the highest bidder, she’s forced to flee with her father and their new protector. But can she find the new path of human evolution before the government finds her?