cover image Resistant


Rachael Sparks. Sparkpress, $16.95 trade paper (216p) ISBN 978-1-943006-73-1

In this smart and alarmingly relevant debut, Rory Stevigson and her family must outwit their corrupt government in order to halt a bacterial apocalypse. In the near future, the world has been ravaged by an unstoppable disease spurred by climate change, antibiotics overuse, and unethical health care systems. Rory and her father, Byron, live off the grid in Woods Hole, Mass., using their background as scientists to help their neighbors whenever they can. Unbeknownst to them, however, Rory has attracted the attention of the U.S. task force dedicated to finding and privatizing the cure. A stranger calling himself Navy appears and helps Rory and Byron escape to resistance headquarters in Nova Scotia. Together, Rory and Navy race to save the world, and fall in love along the way. Rory is a smart, competent heroine who takes no nonsense from the men around her while maintaining empathy and emotional vulnerability. Sparks uses Rory’s characterization to lamp-shade some of the sexist tropes of postapocalyptic stories while keeping her believably human. This is a chilling examination of a possible future, filled with lovable characters, excellent pacing, and sharp sociopolitical criticism. (Oct.)