So pretty obviously, I’m posting this from Goodreads. That’s not something I’ve tried here before, and I don’t know how it’ll turn out. Stick with me.
Resistance by Samit Basu
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
(Disclaimer, or whatever it’s called: I begged a copy of Resistance from the publisher. I honestly can’t remember whether I got a freebie of Turbulence or whether I bought it, but let’s assume I was sent that too, so you can consider me entirely bribed, except that seriously: I get sent a LOT of books and I don’t write up many of them. Plus also, if you want to bribe me you really need to think more in terms of expensive Italian wine, glorious hotels and very, very large amounts of money. I’m sure there are books I could be bribed with - books that contain, say, the locations of very, very large amounts of unclaimed platinum or the secret to immortality or the formula for anti-gravity - but I don’t seem to get sent those. So I don’t make a claim to exceptional virtue here, I’m just saying that my integrity is a high-ticket item and in this review I’m doing my best to give it to you straight. Okay? Good.)
I really enjoyed Samit Basu’s Turbulence - because it was just a terrifically enjoyable new angle on the superhero actioner. It’s centred on Asia rather than North America, and the difference permeates everything in the story and straightforwardly makes the book(s) infinitely more interesting. Basu has a great sense of pop culture cool mediated by a nicely ironic awareness of ubiquitous human frailty and our lack of self-knowledge which informs his superheroes and their powers. Those powers are themselves derived from personality and desire, which of course makes the whole thing the more revealing.
This book picks up the story a little down the road from the end of Turbulence, and it’s every bit as zinging. Giant lobsters fight mecha warriors in the sea off Japan, the team from the first book are as torn and dangerous as they were before, and the whole world may be about to end. In other words, the scene is set for exactly the kind of heroics and unravellings you’d hope for.
Fresh, exciting heroics with a serious spine. What’s not to like?
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