Review Detail

Young Adult Indie 1587
A dystopian nightmare with a strong heroine!
Overall rating
 
4.7
Writing Style
 
5.0
Plot/Story
 
5.0
Illustrations (if applicable)
 
N/A
Characters (if applicable)
 
N/A
Editing/Design Quality
 
4.0
Strain of Resistance by Michelle Bryan is a new adult, dystopia that lovers of this genre will surely enjoy. It starts as Bixby, the protagonist, is twelve years old and a mysterious fog descends over the world to infect almost the entire population. Few escape the horrible fate the mist brings. From then on, the survivors have to hide from the Zombie-like creatures most unlucky humans have become. Fast-forward to the present . . . Bixby is older, the world is savaged and pillaged by the few humans who have banded together, but it’s getting increasingly harder to find supplies to stay alive. As if life wasn’t hard enough already, the threat they thought they knew is changing and the already bleak future seems worse than ever. The nightmare was already horrible, now it is simply grotesque.

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.
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