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The Resisters

Review

The Resisters

Twelve-year-old Ethan Blackwood had just played the soccer match of his life, in a 600-pound exoskeleton no less, but his reward for winning is not exactly what he hoped for. Rather than preparing for the championship game, Ethan has to prepare to save the world. He had an inkling that his ordinary life would be changing when he saw two kids watching him during the game who looked out of place. It wasn't until they attacked him later, knocked him out, and dragged him up to a mountain cave that he knew for sure something was really out of place.

Imagine growing up in a nice quiet community where kids are striving to do their best in school, attending a prestigious high school is any kid's goal in life, and adults work together in harmony to make the world a better place. Based on these facts, you might think that aliens were running the world since stuff like this never happens. For Ethan, it's reality. Madison and Felix, the two kids watching Ethan, brought him up to a cave hidden in a mountain to explain the horrible truth of what has happened to Earth since the Ch'zar's invasion.

The Ch'zar collective came to earth over 50 years ago and put all the adults under mind control. Since then, they have begun stripping the earth of its natural resources all while preserving small communities of humans. There are just a few small problems the Ch'zar didn't plan on. First, children who have not reached puberty are not under mind control. To that end, the Ch'zar have created a system where they keep children under constant supervision and have created an education system where reaching your full potential is a life goal. Second, the Ch'zar didn't realize that a group of adults hidden underground had never succumbed to the mind control and therefore started resisting. It's taken them 50 years, but they've started engineering machines to battle against the Ch'zar --- and their prime soldiers are kids!

After this shock of reality, there was only one natural course for Ethan: denial. Of course, Ethan denied everything after he stole a highly computerized fighting machine shaped like a wasp and managed to tick off the Ch'zar in the process. Only when his family disappears and his older sister is captured by the Ch'zar to be processed into their collective does Ethan snap out of it and accept that his world is not what he thought it was. To that end, he must begrudgingly join forces with the Resisters and figure out how a 12-year-old kid is going to lead the charge against a dangerous alien force.

THE RESISTERS is an excellent start to what is sure to be a mind-boggling science fiction series. There's the great alien invasion story, the stylized fighting machines that blend in with nature, and the ongoing struggle between freedom and slavery. There are also numerous choices to be made that can tip the balance of power or mean certain death for all involved. Master science fiction writer Eric Nylund covers all this ground expertly and without a hitch. Prepare to strap in and hold tight, because this ride is a bumpy one that will keep you clamoring for more.

Reviewed by Benjamin Boche on April 26, 2011

The Resisters
by Eric Nylund

  • Publication Date: April 26, 2011
  • Hardcover: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Random House Books for Young Readers
  • ISBN-10: 0375868569
  • ISBN-13: 9780375868566