Warning: sort of spoilers to be had if you haven’t read The Declaration.
I had the sequel to Gemma Malley’s The Declaration on standby and was intrigued enough by that first book to carry on with the second soon after I’d put it down. The Resistance switches its focus to Peter, Anna’s Surplus friend (now boyfriend) from The Declaration. They’ve set up house together with Anna’s baby brother Ben and are slowly trying to work with the Underground to get to the heart of Pincent Pharma, the company responsible for Longevity.
The events of the last book are recapped succintly, and it’s on with the action fairly quickly as Peter finds himself working at Pincent Pharma, under his grandfather, Richard. Richard has plans for Peter and Anna; as Peter attempts covert operations at the company, Richard is busy working in details to snare our heroes. There’s also some focus placed on Jude, Peter’s half brother, and Sheila, Anna’s acquaintance from Grange Hall. At first this appeared to detract from the story, but as it progresses and Malley begins to pull her knots tighter, having these different perspectives becomes a strength.
In saying that, it takes awhile to learn what happened to Mrs. Pincent, something I thought would be quite major – however, the information is given in a couple of throwaway lines. An interesting choice, but perhaps the right one, given that what happens near the end of the book is a clustertruck of awful. I don’t mean awful as in unreadable, but awful as in ‘ohmygoodnessohmygoodnessthat’sHORRIFYING’. The Resistance’s big bang shock is a good one, and I admit I gasped when I read it. It seems dark for a book like this, which reads like it’s geared to the younger set; but really, The Resistance is altogether more grown up than The Declaration. The characters have been through a lot and, if the ending is anything to go by, have a lot more left to do. The dialogue is much less stilted here; the characters more fully fleshed out, and despite some implausibility regarding an escape, it’s fun to switch off and see what happens. I think I’ll be picking up the next book (The Legacy) but it’s not a rush-out-and-read-er.