The book is action packed. The characters are realistic, and, immediately, the reader either loves them or hates them. Bixby, herself, is strong and opinionated. Her disturbing life has shaped her into a volatile character who carries some serious baggage. She fights to keep her emotions from everyone and hides—even from herself—some of her deepest, most disturbing thoughts. She lives an emotional roller-coaster in which she sometimes despairs and other times she is filled with hope—even when hope isn’t even an option anymore. Her complexity helps Bix feel like a flesh and bone character, not a cardboard cut-out, a treat for those who enjoy intricate characters who surprise you.
The plot is tense with surprises around every corner and a descriptive quality that may affect those with tender stomachs. Some scenes are grisly more than typically found in YA, and there is also a sex scene that gets pretty heated. So YA readers be warned, this is truly an NA book that I would feel more comfortable recommending to slightly older readers.
Strain of Resistance wraps up its main plot, so this first installment feels like a complete story. However, the epilogue opens things back up in a dark and creepy way that leaves the reader wishing for more pages. In all, this harrowing tale of human survival is sure to please hardcore sci-fi readers.