Resist, book 2 in Tracy Lawson’s Resistance Series, builds on the strengths of Counteract. Careen and Tommy’s budding relationship continues to grow at the same time it generates conflict. And Lawson’s keen grasp on the idea of liberty and the evils of helicopter government continue to show. But Resist stumbles due to three significant flaws.
First, almost the entire book takes place in a single location, the Resistance headquarters. There is some plot movement and conflict, but trapping most of the characters in a single venue leads a lot more talk and a little less action.
Second, the OCSD is almost ludicrously incompetent. Madalyn Davies, the bungling, over-her-head bureaucrat is hardly unrealistic, but even incompetents have little trouble hurting people given the levers of government if they set their mind to it (something to remember come November). And while the government is pretty terrible at just about everything (about the best we can hope for is less terrible than the alternative), the one thing it is pretty good at is killing people. Add to that the incomprehensively massive resources of the federal government, resources seemingly invisible here. In fact, the whole thing feels implausibly small. A nationwide resistance is run with ease by one guy out of the office in his barn. The OCSD has assimilated the entire national intelligence apparatus and half the regulatory state but still seems to only have a handful of employees. A postman gets a meeting with the president.
Finally, one of the main plot threads, and the one that serves as the catalyst for the climax, is so unredeemingly stupid, so absurdly doltish, that it beggars belief and saps the story of much of its energy.
Book 3 in The Resistance Series, Ignite, is out today.
3 of 5 Stars.
Disclosure: I received a review copy of Resist from the author.