Review Blog

Nov 25 2008

The resistance by Gemma Malley

cover image

Allen and Unwin, 2008.
At the end of The declaration, the stunning thriller set in a dystopian future world where people take longevity pills and live forever, casting aside the need for children, Anna and Peter, two Surplusses, have escaped and joined the underground movement. But they are discovered, and Peter, the grandson of the company CEO which develops the pills, is taken in by him to join the company, Pincent Pharma Corporation. But Peter and Anna cannot forget their pasts, and so their new lives are entwined with the underground movement and the detractors of the new order.
The sequel, The resistance details their lives as they try to resolve what their next moves will be and work out who they can trust. Peter, working for his grandfather must sign the Declaration to prove his loyalty to the company. Anna on the other hand, at home caring for her baby brother, is befriended by a woman with photos of children, some of whom she knows. But where can they turn for help? Into this mix comes Jude, a computer nerd with attitude, intent on using his skills for the underground, but again, his plausibility wears thin, and even the underground movement does not trust him.
A creepily real world, the links to our world are everywhere; disenchanted children, poverty of the underclass, age denial, women cracking the glass ceiling because they do not have to take time out for child bearing and rearing, disapproval shown to people with children taking up more resources, energy crisis, disapproval of refugees and so on. Molloy has cleverly tapped into the 21st century spectres, and used them to weave a tale wholly credible and convincing, one that is hard to put down.
The climax sees all strands of this startling story come together, as Peter has been blackmailed by his grandfather to sign the Declaration in front of an audience, but the underground is in the building, causing havoc, with Jude hacking into the system to close it down, and Peter and Pip searching for the girls imprisoned upstairs for their stem cells. With all the adrenalin pumping bravado of a fast paced film, this is a story not to be missed.
There is an amazing rash of books around this theme at the moment. Readers will love the ideas and notions presented in these books, questioning medical experimentation and the use of stem cells and body parts. Books such as Unwind by Neil Shusterman, the prequel to this one, The declaration by Gemma Molloy, as well as The other side of the island by Allegra Goodman all expose a misuse of medical science.
Fran Knight

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