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Book Review

Book Cover



Author: Samit Basu
Publisher: Titan Books
RRP: £7.99, US $14.95, Cdn $16.95
ISBN: 978 1 78116 249 1
Publication Date: 11 July 2014

In 1999, on a flight from London to Delhi, the passengers passed through an unseen anomaly which granted them super powers. Before authorities could restrict air travel many more flights had passed through other anomalies creating hundreds of thousands of advanced humans. Each to their own nature, the evolved supers became heroes, villains or retreated from the world to pursue their own esoteric agendas. Eleven years have passed and the world has changed out of all recognition and not all for the good...

Resistance (2014. 289 Pages) is the sequel to the first novel, Turbulence, by talented Indian writer Samit Basu. Now, this sort of thing is not new, after all we have spent decades reading superhero comics and the last decade enjoying the genre in the cinema. In literature Neil Gaiman gave us American Gods, Alan Moore, Watchmen, but little of this output either addresses the realities of evolved humans or the moral choices they must make.

There is little point in revealing the plot as it is labyrinthine in structure, with the roles of hero and villain often being interchangeable for the characters involved. One of the main threads involves Norio, a Japanese playboy who uses his immense wealth to fund a Mecha team, which once a year defeats a Kaiju, sent by the Kaiju King to stomp all over Tokyo, just because it can. As an unimproved human his hero persona is lauded by the people, but Norio has his own private agenda, to get revenge on the man who he blames for the death of his father.

The book does address the realities of the situation in a way that Superman does not. In Resistance, the morality of the evolved human’s actions is explored, although no actual answers are provided. When two supers fight thousands, if not hundreds of thousands, of innocent bystanders are killed by their actions. Superman was able to stop General Zod, but at the cost of a destroyed city and thousands dead and still he came out the other side a hero. Not so in this novel, where their very existence and the power that they wield means that ordinary humans are second class citizens on their own planet.

With the wealth of comics and films, it must be difficult to find novel abilities for your characters and in truth you can go through the book and think, well that is similar to Iron Man, or any other popular hero, but Basu has been able to come up with some novel and playful characters of his own. My favourite has to be That Guy, whose ability is to appear in the background of important events, yup he’s the man in your photos that you point at and ask quizzically ‘who’s that guy?’ Well now you know.

Basu has perfectly balanced the need for epic battles with creating grounded characters that you can believe in, creating a world which is full of wonders, horrors and a lot of people in spandex. It was a wonderfully compulsive read and I hope that Basu continues to produce stories in this world.


Charles Packer

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