Review – The Resistance by Gemma Malley

This is Book Two of a Young Adult trilogy by Gemma Malley, the first being The Declaration  with the final instalment, The Legacy, due for publication in Autumn this year.  It’s another futuristic, dystopian thriller set in 2140. 

We are reacquainted with Anna and Peter who are now Legals living on the Outside but life is not exactly carefree for them given that young people are viewed with distust and suspicion and having Ben, Anna’s baby brother, living with them makes them even more conspicuous.  Peter, working as an agent for the Underground takes on the task of infiltrating Pincent Pharma Corporation which manufactures the longevity drugs crucial for maintaining a society intent on the  pursuit of immortality.  This mission is both enhanced and hampered by Peter’s turbulent relationship with Richard Pincent, his grandfather, who is determined to make Peter and Anna sign the Declaration (agreeing to take Longevity) using any means necessary.

If you haven’t read The Declaration you will be totally confused as the author assumes prior knowledge of previous events and characters - it can become a tad distracting at times even for those of us who have read the first book!  Again, there are a lot of serious questions raised about good versus evil and the morality of scientific progress – would we really want to live forever?  How can we reconcile one tribe, those who have signed the Declaration, having eternal life whilst the dissenters, the Surpluses, are rendered extinct?  Of course, we would be blind if we didn’t see the similarities we share with this future world – apartheid, segregation and xenophobia are hardly new phenomena. 

Some scenes might be considered unsuitable for sensitive young teenagers due to the graphic descriptions of some experiments at Pincent Pharma but overall, I think this is an excellent book for teenagers as it raises a lot of important social and political questions.  The most frightening aspect is that this story, set in the distant future, doesn’t seem that far-fetched.  It is refreshing  to find a YA novel suitable for both male and female, this second volume concentrates on Peter’s story whilst the first volume focused more on Anna.  I’m looking forward to seeing how the author concludes this series with The Legacy – I’m not expecting a neat and tidy ending!  If you enjoyed The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Attwood and/or perhaps Under the Skin by Michael Faber and you don’t have an aversion to Young Adult reads, I think you’ll really enjoy this very readable series.

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  1. Nymeth says:

    Oooh – you had me at dystopia :P And definitely NO aversion to YA here. Some of the cleverest books I’ve ever read were YA.

  2. admin says:

    You just HAVE to read this trilogy, Nymeth. There is such wonderful YA fiction available these days, it just didn’t exist as a genre when I was a teen – I am catching up for lost time!

  3. Laura says:

    Oooh I have added the first book in this series to my wishlist on BookMooch :)

  4. admin says:

    Laura, I do believe I’m actually jealous that you’re just starting the series! I found it very hard to get hold of The Declaration via RiSi or Bookmooch so I reserved from the library. I’m continually astounded at how many great YA titles are sitting in the library and I (an adult of sorts…) am the only one borrowing them – I guess I should feel guilty now… ;-)

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