Resistance by Samit Basu (book review).

‘Resistance’ is the follow on novel to ‘Turbulence’, which introduced us to the first wave of normal humans who acquired super-powers. It starts approximately ten to eleven years after the first novel ended. While there are some new characters the main ones from ‘Turbulence’ all feature. For those new to Samit Basu’s work, some explaining will be necessary. Firstly, people sleeping on a flight acquire super-powers which reflect what they were dreaming about at the time. These are called the first wave and, unfortunately, not all of the people on the plane can be described as good or even friendly. This presents us with super-heroes at one end of the spectrum and super-villains at the other, with people spread between the two extremes.


After the initial excitement some of the first wave had become jaded with life as a super-hero. The constant battles, the hero worship and commercialisation have taken its toll and introduce yet another distraction. Which super-hero is the most popular and trending on the social media channels? Uzma Abidi the leader of the Unit, a team of super-heroes nominally reporting to the UN is probably the more jaded of the first wave supers. She has even resorted to using her power on her own team to keep them in line and obeying her orders.

Just to make things worse for Uzma, it seems somebody has started to hunt down and exterminate the supers. Suspicion falls on the huge secretive corporation Utopic, which doesn’t have the best or reputations but strives to put a good marketing message on everything they do. However, there is also the antics of the eccentric Japanese billionaire Norio, who has assembled a team of the top Japanese video gamers into Team ARMOUR. None of the team has super-powers but by wearing high-tech battlesuits, they are able to take on and defeat the kaiju monster routinely unleashed on Tokyo. If you think of Power Rangers, you’re not far wrong as ARMOUR also has the ability to form up into a single giant robotic fighting machine. One of Norio’s quirks is he is actively anti-super with even his corporations only employing ‘normal’ humans.

Also added to the mix are a number of ex-unit members who have their own agenda. With these, Utopic and ARMOUR, there are multiple story threads here which draw to a satisfactory conclusion while leaving enough loose ends for Basu to pick this up again for another volume. I did think the novel was a bit short and some of the story elements could have been further developed then they were. One other point potential readers should be aware of is ‘Resistance’ was not written to be a standalone novel. There is little to no recounting on the events of the first book which will make ‘Resistance’ confusing to new readers. You have to have read ‘Turbulence’ and have read it fairly recently to fully enjoy this book. It would be worth the effort as Basu has moved the story on nicely with this novel.

Andy Whitaker

July 2014

(pub: Titan Books. 289 page paperback. Price: £7.99 (UK).   ISBN: 978-1-78116-249-1)
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