Good dystopian fiction is hard to find, so it was with some relief I read Sarah Crossan's Breathe earlier this year, and its sequel Resist, recently released, didn't disappoint either.
In a world where all the greenery has been cut down, people live in the Pod, their oxygen determined by how rich and important they are, or not. Led to believe that no one can survive long in the Outlands, in Breathe rebel Alina led rich kid Quinn and poor girl Bea out into the world to try and find the Resistance.
Now, in Resist, the trio have been separated - Alina is with her cousin and other Resistance members heading to Sequoia, the only remaining rebel base. Quinn leaves Bea with the injured child Jazz while he searches for help, and tries to make his own way to Sequoia. And in the Pod, Quinn and Bea's peer Ronan realises the government he has trusted all his life, and that included his father, are instigating a massive cover up. As events come to a head, who will survive?
I loved Breathe because it was a dystopian novel that really focused on its characters, and Crossan keeps that focus in Resist.
We see Alina, Bea and Quinn develop in this book. Quinn goes from privileged rich kid to fighter, Bea shows she is a survivor, and Alina's arrogance disappears some.
And then we have Ronan. Breathe (my review here) didn't feature him much (if at all, I barely remember him), but through his chapters in Resist we learn he played a pivotal role in the final events of the first novel, a role that has woken him up and made him realise things he doesn't like about the world he lives in.
As Crossan opens more of the world to her characters, she does the same to us. I liked learning alongside the characters - it built up the tension and meant my judgements about what to do happened at exactly the same time as Alina, Quinn, Bea and Ronan's.
Resist added a new host of secondary characters to the world Crossan created in Breathe, some good, some not so good. There were few truly evil characters (a couple on each side) but the beauty of most of Crossan's characters is that they're shades of grey, which made them believable.
I said when I reviewed Breathe that comparisons to The Hunger Games would be inevitable, so here's one from me - the ending of Resist felt much more satisfying than the ending of The Hunger Games. But really, the two sets of novels are very different.
If you're looking to try some dystopian fiction, and want something character driven, go get Breathe and Resist.
How I got this book: Gift from a friend