Book Review: Resistance by Jaye L. Knight
Happy Thursday, readers. Those of you who didn’t see the title will look at each other, cock you heads to the side and say, “What is she doing writing a
blog post on a Thursday? I’ve never seen a blog post on Thursday here!”
To those that said that, please look up at the title. Since most of you probably didn’t, well, don’t bother, because undoubtedly you read the title first.
Today I have the pleasure of reviewing Resistance, by Jaye L. Knight.
From the back cover:
“Don’t you know? Animals like you have no soul.”
Could God ever love a half-blood all of society looks upon with such fear and disdain? Jace once believed so, but when a tragic loss shatters the only peace he’s ever known, his faith crumbles as the nagging doubts he’s tried to put behind him descend on his grieving heart. With them come the haunting memories of the bloodstained past he longs to forget, but can never escape.
Taken from home at a young age and raised to serve the emperor, Kyrin Altair lives every day under a dangerous pretense of loyalty. After her unique observation skills and perfect memory place her into direct service to the emperor, Kyrin finds herself in further jeopardy as it becomes increasingly difficult to hide her belief in Elôm, the one true God.
Following the emperor’s declaration to enforce the worship of false gods under the penalty of death, many lives are endangered. But there are those willing to risk everything to take a stand and offer aid to the persecuted. With their lives traveling paths they never could have imagined, Jace and Kyrin must fight to overcome their own fears and conflicts with society as they become part of the resistance.
Note: I received this book in return for an honest review. And, really, I got the far better part of the deal.
A couple of months ago, I first saw the Blog Tour for the release of Resistance. It came up a couple of times in my blog reader, and I looked at the back and reviews. It sounded good, but I didn’t have a chance to get it until a little while ago, when I devoured it in day and thirty minutes. (It would have been a day, but when I started, it was 11:30 at night.)
I enjoyed the book immensely. People had been telling me that it was a good book, that I ought to get it, that I would love it, and they were right.
Characters – The characters were very well developed. They were excellent. Before starting the book, I expected to like Jace, judging by the back of the book and what I had seen of him online.
And I did like him. He, though slightly different than I had expected, lived up to every expectation. A hero who’s trying to make sense of the present while still struggling with his past and massive doubts? Yes, let’s get him through this. I’m not putting the book down.
I wasn’t, however, expecting to like Kyrin at all. Before we start talking about how pessimistic I am when it comes to new books, just let me note that it has been a long time since I’ve really liked both the male protagonist and the female protagonist. Thus, Kyrin completely ruined my expectations.
“How could you, Kyrin? You were supposed to be the un-relatable, slightly irritating female character! Who gave you permission to turn into an incredibly relatable, realistic character?”
Really, though, Kyrin completely took me off guard when she showed up. She was, surprisingly, a lot like me at some points. I could see myself doing and saying the same things, and she made an excellent female protagonist. She and Jace worked together as main characters very well.
The secondary characters and side characters were also awesome. Some of them stayed in the background, but some of them really stood out to me. I could tell that the author took time for each of them and cared for each of them, and because of this, I cared too. And, for those who have read it—can we just stop for a moment to appreciate how awesome Trask was? Truly, I immensely enjoyed his whole existence.
“Hi, Trask! I’m your biggest fan! I think you’re awesome. And do just go marry the girl.”
As for the villain, I felt oddly sorry for him at some points. At times, he was the perfect traditional villain; he was cold and cruel and very good at hiding it, but at times, he was someone struggling through emotional trauma of his own, within his own family. I wish that Jaye L. Knight would have focused on this piece of the story a little bit more, but I expect that she will in the following books, so I am content to wait.
Plot – The plot stayed thoroughly engaging throughout the entire book. The inciting incident happened at just the right time for each of the characters: when we knew them well enough to be concerned, but before we grew tired of seeing their normal life. The way the chapters switched between two characters was slightly erratic; there would be five chapters in Kyrin’s point of view before another chapter in Jace’s. This wasn’t too bad, but at times it came across as odd me, when I have been used to the pattern of switching every other chapter.
The impression that I got was that the author knew what she was doing with her timing. The way the events were timed made a book that turned out to be 524 pages long seem quick and gripping to the very last page, and I wouldn’t have complained if it was longer. I noticed no plot holes, and the story led up to a climax with the tension noticeably growing as the list of endangered characters expanded to hold most of the cast. The danger increased to a more noticeable, definite level, and I didn’t put the book down even for a second from the beginning of the climax to the end of the book.
Setting – It was clear that Jaye L. Knight knew her world very well. The country seemed very well developed, with steady explanations of history and non-human races and no contradictions as far as I could tell. She told us very little unimportant information about her world, but in the way it was presented, it certainly felt like she knew exactly what she was talking about. It made the world feel more realistic than many Fantasy worlds I’ve read about, and I could tell that she worked to present her world in a realistic light. The result was as though it could be there, waiting, just outside our doorstep. Though, as far as I know, there has been no recorded travel between our world and theirs.
The world, country, and style was definitely based off of the Roman Empire during the gladiatorial days and the persecution of the Early Church. I very much like the stories of missionaries and people who did not turn away from the Truth at gun-point, sword-point, or whatever other point is possible, so I enjoyed that this was a major theme in the book, and the connection to our history provided an easy place to step into their world.
Writing – The writing style was very unnoticeable. Literally, I don’t believe there was one point while reading the book where I actually noticed the writing style at all. She used her words to tell the story, neither adding more or less than was needed. While I know that this would have bothered some people, it helped readers to keep their focus on the characters and the story instead of getting distracted with, “My, what a pretty sentence!” I was glad of that.
In summary – I definitely enjoyed this book. I would recommend it to anyone who enjoys Young Adult Fantasy, especially Christian Fantasy. In spite of the fact that there are some battles, executions, and beatings employed by the villain in an attempt to get information, there was virtually no troublesome images, in that field or any other. It was lovely and clean, yet the tension was thorough and the story was riveting.
Well done, Jaye L. Knight. I’ll be looking out for the sequel.