Book Review: Resistance by Samit Basu

Resistance coverIt’s 2020, eleven years after the passengers of flight BA142 from London to Delhi developed extraordinary abilities corresponding to their innermost desires. The result is a world overrun with supers. Some use their powers for good, others for evil, and some just want to pulverize iconic monuments and star in their own reality show.

See giant kaiju monsters threaten Tokyo! Thrill to mecha warriors a-la-Transformers engage in pitch battles with said monsters, especially for the edification of sensation-hungry TV viewers! Gasp at super heroes running riot across the globe! Experience the terror of watching evil villains drain humanity’s last hope of their super powers!

Resistance by Samit Basu (Titan) throws all this and a whole lot more, including the kitchen sink, into the mix. Wildly over-the-top action, wickedly funny dialogue, and smart, brilliant writing make for a rollicking, rollercoaster of a story.

Resistance will appeal to readers of science fiction, gamers, lovers of exciting action and, perhaps most importantly, even the most jaded superhero fans.

On the surface, we’ve seen it all before. Japan’s kaiju and giant mechas; superheroes and those who oppose them; global conspiracies and a future earth on the verge of dystopian collapse. Except for the fact that the author brings them all together so brilliantly in a single novel. Plus, anyone who can additionally fold in sly references to France Kafka’s Metamorphosis and Monty Python’s Flying Circus, while riding roughshod over the Caucasian-centric mould of most tales of the ilk, assuredly gets my vote.

It’s not exclusively fun and games, however. There are some dark, politically-pertinent passages, involving more human abuse, such as rape gangs. These parts were emotionally powerful and, though I half expected them to take me out of the story, they somehow did not. Instead, that part of the book reminds us that even superheroes cannot right every wrong in the world.

Government warning for those of a faint disposition about to read this book: fasten your seatbelts (and read the small print that absolves the author and the publisher of any injury, physical or psychological, that may be inflicted along the way).

 

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