Optor is a post apocalyptic city where the people are separated into elemental classes based on their strengths. Anaiya is a fire elemental, meaning that she works as a Peacekeeper. She is good at her job and doesn’t hesitate to take down people not abiding to the Orthodoxy. When a pocket of resistance is believed to be located amongst the Air Elementals, Anaiya is chosen to be reprogrammed to go undercover into the Air sector to find the miscreants. Having her brain reprogrammed brings a lot more with it than she expected. Suddenly she experiences emotions, music makes sense and she starts to find joy in everyday experiences in a way she hadn’t previously. Despite this, Anaiya is determined not to let these new aspects of her personality sabotage her mission. If she fails in her mission, or can’t be converted back to a fire alignment, her life is at stake.
Resistance is a stunning debut. The world building is very unique and goes right down to the language used. The book starts with an execution, so we know what is at stake for Anaiya when we learn that the man whose execution we witnessed was her mentor, and that she was under suspicion of having been influenced by him.
Anaiya is a great character, ready to take risks and generally kick arse. Moving from the Peacekeepers to the Air Element allows her to get a different view of how other sectors experience the Fire Elementals, and you can feel her beginning to doubt the world view she has held up until this point. Anaiya is not entirely sure what she should do about this or if there is anything she can do.
There is a romance element, but Anaiya doesn’t completely lose herself to that relationship and still focuses on her mission, although her feelings – something she isn’t used to – do end up clouding her judgement in a realistic way.
Intense, imaginative and gripping, if you like dystopian fiction, you will want to read this book. I’m looking forward to the next in the series.
5 out of 5.