Reviews for Resisters


Booklist Reviews 2011 March #2
Life's good for 12-year-old Ethan. He has supportive parents; a 13-year-old sister, Emma, who doesn't annoy him; and he's a star athlete. Then he meets Felix and Madison, two kids his age, who reveal that his world is a lie that has been carefully constructed by the Ch'zar, aliens that have conquered Earth by controlling people's postpubescent minds. Felix and Madison are part of an underground group battling the Ch'zar's supersized, technologically enhanced mutant insects with insect-robot fighters of their own, and Ethan reluctantly joins them when Emma becomes endangered and their parents go missing. Incorporating both familiar and futuristic elements with some classic sci-fi conventions and themes (the importance of individuality; group-think; giant bugs), this fast-paced, entertaining read also includes resonant, universal growing-up issues such as loyalty, loss, and believing in oneself. Ethan is a dynamic, multidimensional protagonist who discovers that his oddities may be his greatest assets. New fans will hope for further adventures from the intrepid young crew. Copyright 2011 Booklist Reviews.

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Horn Book Guide Reviews 2011 Fall
In this video-game-esque sci-fi adventure, aliens conquered Earth decades ago; children live in ignorant bliss until their minds mature (then they're brainwashed). Recruited by rebels, pre-teen Ethan Blackwood must use his innate athletic skills to save the world. Characterization and plotting are secondary to the series opener's numerous high-tech battles. Copyright 2011 Horn Book Guide Reviews.

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Kirkus Reviews 2011 March #2
For Ethan Blackwood, life is perfect. He's a star athlete and an excellent student; he has lots of friends and a warm and loving family. His future is bright; most immediately, he's looking forward to the soccer championship. Until he's kidnapped and finds out that everything he knows is a lie. The Ch'zar—sinister, unseen aliens—have been in control for decades and are slowly but surely stripping the planet of all viable resources. Humans live in isolated neighborhoods that only simulate normal life, with everything manipulated by alien mind control. But mind control doesn't work on children, only on adults. So it's up to the few teens who know the truth to fight back and save their friends and siblings, who are growing older by the day. These are The Resisters...and they, too, are growing older every day. The author of many installments in the Halo series, Nylund is also head writer for Microsoft Game Studios. He sure knows how to set the scene and get the action rolling, placing more-or-less believable characters in an unbelievable landscape, complete with a Ch'zar-altered history. This is clearly the first installment and is engaging enough to leave readers wanting more. (Science fiction. 10 & 14) Copyright Kirkus 2011 Kirkus/BPI Communications.All rights reserved.

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Publishers Weekly Reviews 2011 February #2

When the aliens come, they'll take over our minds and absorb us into a collective, according to Nylund (author of several novels based on the Halo video games) in this series launch, set well into the future. Twelve-year-old Ethan is a star soccer player (a sport now played in mechanical suits). After a party, he is kidnapped by a pair of kids named Felix and Madison, who give Ethan a Matrix-style awakening: aliens took over the planet 50 years ago, and adults are under their control. Kids are free because their brains aren't fully developed, but join the collective when they mature. Ethan also hears the story from the other side--that aliens offered humanity unfettered communication and empathy, leading to the end of war. Nylund does a solid job of keeping Ethan off-balance, and readers who are looking for a quick SF adventure will enjoy the mind-control story and the protagonists' insectoid battle suits. The plot holes, exposition dumps, and predictability (Ethan disobeys orders and saves the day on multiple occasions), however, prevent the book from being especially memorable. Ages 10-14. (Apr.)

[Page ]. Copyright 2010 PWxyz LLC

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School Library Journal Reviews 2011 July

Gr 5-7--Ethan Blackwood is enjoying seventh grade in secure, comfortable Santa Blanca. Like his friends, he is looking forward to the big test that will determine his high school placement. His older sister has already been accepted at Vassar and Ethan hopes for M.I.T. However, there are subtle hints that life in the "neighborhoods" isn't quite what it seems. There are picture-perfect Victorian houses and backyard barbeques, but middle-school soccer games are played using massive nuclear-powered suits. Furthermore, any place outside the community is off-limits, except on carefully supervised field trips. Ethan learns the truth when he meets two young outsiders, Felix and Madison. Fifty years earlier, they tell him, Earth was overrun by the telepathic Ch'zar. Using mind control, the aliens absorbed all human adults into the Collective where they became slave laborers for the invaders. Children were immune to the Ch'zar influence, but only until they reached puberty. So, the "neighborhoods" were established to provide artificial families where kids could be kept safely under control until they were ready for absorption. The two want to recruit Ethan into the Resistance movement against the Ch'zar--but can he really trust them? Ethan, Felix, and Madison are multidimensional characters with authentic emotions and realistic attitudes and motives. This book mixes considerable background exposition with fast-moving action. While the immediate plot issues are resolved, there are plenty of threads left dangling. Middle school boys will enjoy the high-tech battle action and will look forward to the next installment.--Elaine E. Knight, Lincoln Elementary Schools, IL

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