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The Resisters (Resisters Series #1)

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Overview

Million-copy bestselling Halo author and game developer Eric Nylund brings action-packed science fiction to a young audience with this riveting children's debut. Twelve-year-old Ethan Blackwood has always known exactly what he wanted—to win the state soccer championship, get into the best high school, and become an astronaut. Then he meets Madison and Felix, who tell him something . . . insane. They claim that 50 years ago, aliens took over the earth, and everyone past puberty is under their mind control. Ethan ...

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The Resisters (Resisters Series #1)

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Overview

Million-copy bestselling Halo author and game developer Eric Nylund brings action-packed science fiction to a young audience with this riveting children's debut. Twelve-year-old Ethan Blackwood has always known exactly what he wanted—to win the state soccer championship, get into the best high school, and become an astronaut. Then he meets Madison and Felix, who tell him something . . . insane. They claim that 50 years ago, aliens took over the earth, and everyone past puberty is under their mind control. Ethan doesn't believe it. But then he sees for himself the aliens' monster bug robots and the incredible way that Madison and Felix have learned to fight them. So Ethan Blackwood has a choice: he can go back to his normal, suburban, protected lie of a life—or he can become a Resister. This science fiction on the lines of Scott Westerfield and Cory Doctorow for middle graders is now available in paperback.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
When the aliens come, they'll take over our minds and absorb us into a collective, according to Nylund (author of several novels based on the Halo video games) in this series launch, set well into the future. Twelve-year-old Ethan is a star soccer player (a sport now played in mechanical suits). After a party, he is kidnapped by a pair of kids named Felix and Madison, who give Ethan a Matrix-style awakening: aliens took over the planet 50 years ago, and adults are under their control. Kids are free because their brains aren't fully developed, but join the collective when they mature. Ethan also hears the story from the other side—that aliens offered humanity unfettered communication and empathy, leading to the end of war. Nylund does a solid job of keeping Ethan off-balance, and readers who are looking for a quick SF adventure will enjoy the mind-control story and the protagonists' insectoid battle suits. The plot holes, exposition dumps, and predictability (Ethan disobeys orders and saves the day on multiple occasions), however, prevent the book from being especially memorable. Ages 10–14. (Apr.)
School Library Journal
Gr 5–7—Ethan Blackwood is enjoying seventh grade in secure, comfortable Santa Blanca. Like his friends, he is looking forward to the big test that will determine his high school placement. His older sister has already been accepted at Vassar and Ethan hopes for M.I.T. However, there are subtle hints that life in the "neighborhoods" isn't quite what it seems. There are picture-perfect Victorian houses and backyard barbeques, but middle-school soccer games are played using massive nuclear-powered suits. Furthermore, any place outside the community is off-limits, except on carefully supervised field trips. Ethan learns the truth when he meets two young outsiders, Felix and Madison. Fifty years earlier, they tell him, Earth was overrun by the telepathic Ch'zar. Using mind control, the aliens absorbed all human adults into the Collective where they became slave laborers for the invaders. Children were immune to the Ch'zar influence, but only until they reached puberty. So, the "neighborhoods" were established to provide artificial families where kids could be kept safely under control until they were ready for absorption. The two want to recruit Ethan into the Resistance movement against the Ch'zar—but can he really trust them? Ethan, Felix, and Madison are multidimensional characters with authentic emotions and realistic attitudes and motives. This book mixes considerable background exposition with fast-moving action. While the immediate plot issues are resolved, there are plenty of threads left dangling. Middle school boys will enjoy the high-tech battle action and will look forward to the next installment.—Elaine E. Knight, Lincoln Elementary Schools, IL
Kirkus Reviews
For Ethan Blackwood, life is perfect. He's a star athlete and an excellent student; he has lots of friends and a warm and loving family. His future is bright; most immediately, he's looking forward to the soccer championship. Until he's kidnapped and finds out that everything he knows is a lie. The Ch'zar—sinister, unseen aliens—have been in control for decades and are slowly but surely stripping the planet of all viable resources.Humans live in isolated neighborhoods that only simulate normal life, with everything manipulated by alien mind control.But mind control doesn't work on children, only on adults. So it's up to the few teens who know the truth to fight back and save their friends and siblings, who are growing older by the day. These are The Resisters...and they, too, are growing older every day. The author of many installments in the Halo series, Nylund is also head writer for Microsoft Game Studios. He sure knows how to set the scene and get the action rolling, placing more-or-less believable characters in an unbelievable landscape, complete with a Ch'zar-altered history. This is clearly the first installment and is engaging enough to leave readers wanting more. (Science fiction. 10 & 14)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780375968563
  • Publisher: Random House Children's Books
  • Publication date: 4/26/2011
  • Series: Resisters Series , #1
  • Format: Library Binding
  • Pages: 224
  • Age range: 9 - 12 Years
  • Lexile: 720L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 5.70 (w) x 8.10 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

ERIC NYLUND is a New York Times bestselling and World Fantasy Award­nominated author. He has written science fiction and fantasy novels and comic books, and he is head writer for Microsoft Game Studios, where he helps create blockbuster video games. Eric has bachelor's and master's degrees in chemistry. He graduated from the prestigious Clarion West Writers Workshop in 1994. He lives in the Pacific Northwest with his family. You can learn more about Eric and contact him at EricNylund.net

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Read an Excerpt

° ° ° 1 ° ° ° 

The Last Time For Ordinary 

Ethan Blackwood prepared for battle. 

In the months to come, Ethan would look back and marvel that there could be a fight in which someone didn’t get hurt . . . or his life or the entire human race wasn’t constantly at risk. 

At the time, though, he did think of it as a battle. No one ever thought of it as a game—not when you strapped on six hundred pounds of nuclear-powered exoskeleton athletic suit. 

Inside his suit, he crouched on the sidelines of the Northside Elementary athletic field. Ethan and his teammates huddled around Coach, listening to his plan. Each of them wore an external frame that was stainless steel and hydraulics and orange gecko-grip-soled feet . . . except, of course, Coach. He wasn’t in a suit. For now, he was half their size, a dwarf among giants. 

It was all “defensive action” this and “special team maneuver” that. 

Really, all the fancy terms came down to setting up one last play. 

This was a special repair time-out before the last seven seconds of the state semifinal soccer championship: the Grizzlies vs. the Westside Warriors. The score was tied. 

Twelve-year-old Ethan was captain of the Grizzlies. It was a crushing responsibility for a seventh grader surrounded by the eighth graders on his team. 

But Ethan thrived under pressure. The tougher the midterm, the more he crammed. The tighter the spot in a match, the more Ethan moved like a cat in his suit—?twisting around defenders—even making those near-half-field five-hundred-foot kicks! 

Inside the formfitting cockpit, sweat dripped off the end of Ethan’s nose. 

There were a few moments in Ethan Blackwood’s life that had burned themselves into his memory: a splinter that’d gone through his hand when he was four (his mom had pulled it out); winning two blue ribbons at school science fairs—one for the biology of the nerve, another for a robotic arm; last week at the Sadie Hawkins dance, when he’d fumbled for Mary Vincent’s hand (although technically she had taken his hand)—and this moment. 

Like when he’d had that splinter, won the science fairs, and held Mary’s hand—Ethan felt burning, churning flutters deep in his stomach. 

But this was different. It wasn’t just about Ethan. His whole team had a stake in this, and that made it vital that Ethan get it right. “Blackwood!” Coach Norman said. “Your head in this match?” 

Ethan Blackwood looked at his teammates. The snarling-bear emblems on their chest plates stared back at him; the pressure circuits in their arms and legs twitched and hissed as if the suits were somehow nervous too. 

Ethan met the dark gray eyes of Coach. “Yes, sir.” 

Coach went on then . . . something about the importance of focus . . . as Ethan’s gaze drifted past him, along the sidelines of the field and the bleachers. 

The cheers were completely distracting. 

Ethan adjusted the filters on his targeting camera to shade the huge lights overhead that turned night into day on the field. He spotted his mom in the stands, with her golden Filipino features smiling, and Dad, with his strong Cherokee jaw clenched (Ethan had inherited the same quick smile, and the same quick-to-frown jawline). They’d be proud of him win or lose. Even his brother and sisters had come tonight: little Dana and Danny, still in diapers, and his older sister, Emma, who gave Ethan a thumbs-up. 

Something was out of place, though. 

Sitting a row up from his family were two strangers. 

Ethan knew everyone at school and most of the opposing Westside Warrior fans, but these two students, a guy and a girl, he’d never seen before. 

They weren’t in Northside’s red and brown colors or Westside’s green. Even though it was prohibited by the school’s dress code, they wore jeans and black T-shirts. The dark colors set off their superpale skin. 

The boy took up space for two people in the stands— not “fat” big, but more like a weightlifter. His T-shirt looked two sizes too small and about to rip. His head was shaved, showing only a faint shadow of stubble. 

The girl was thin, and she seemed to drown in her oversized T-shirt. Her blond hair stuck up in a spiky ponytail. 

Something else set them apart. The look in their eyes was the strangest thing. Pure tension—like this was a life-or-death situation. 

Well, how could anyone not be fascinated by soccer? Especially this match! But these two scrutinized everyone on the field . . . as if they weren’t interested in the game, exactly, but were looking for someone. 

Coach Norman finished his final instructions (which Ethan realized he had completely blanked on) and shouted, “Break!” 

Ethan instantly forgot the two strangers and snapped his head back into the match. 

His teammates placed their hands in the center of the huddle with machine-like precision, raised them in salute, and shouted, “Grrrrrrrrizzlies!!” 

Ethan and his team then turned to face the Westside Warriors. 

Ethan should have asked about Coach’s instructions, but his parents had always told him to go with his gut when in doubt. 

That was what he’d do now. 

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
( 15 )
Rating Distribution

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(13)

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Sort by: Showing all of 15 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 13, 2012

    This is asome

    This is sparta

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted May 22, 2011

    Great Way to Get Kids Reading

    This was a very fun book! The Resisters is the story of Ethan Blackwood. A sports and science standout at his school, Ethan's future is looking very bright. Then he meets two strangers who tell him that his world is not as it seems. His life is quickly turned upside down, and he begins a new adventure.

    The action goes at a quick pace. It's exciting, but still age appropriate. It reads a bit like a video game, with lots of action punctuated by some story thrown in there. I think it's a great summer read for kids, especially ones who enjoy video games. It should keep their interest, but also brings up good points about thinking for yourself. The book goes by very quickly, and it leaves you wanting more.

    I think this is a great kid's book. It will get them involved in the story quickly, and the characters are easy to relate too. I think it can serve as a gateway book for kids to show them that they can be just as exciting and fun as other forms of entertainment. Any book that can get kids reading is awesome to me.

    Won in online contest

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted April 30, 2011

    Great'!!!

    This book is absolutely wonderful. I would recomend this to auy adventurous kid. This book would be great for teens and young kids.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted April 30, 2011

    Wow

    This book is great! especially from the begining :-)

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 26, 2011

    cool

    anonymous

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 26, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    FIRST COMMENT

    WOOOOOT!!!!!!!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 6, 2014

    Lost the paperback. Er

    This book is awesome. And tacos. And buritos. And doritos. Annd jello. And foritos. And cheetos. Did any one notice that every food has o at the end.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 17, 2014

    Leedle

    IMA LEET HAAXEN YOUUUUUU!!!!!!!"

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 24, 2014

    Jamal

    Great book loved it!!!!!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 14, 2013

    This book is sooooo Epic!

    You have got to read this book! It is so awesome! So much imagenation! So many cliff hangers! Sooo exciting! Such a good book to read for fun! You have got to get this book!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 17, 2013

    Amzing need to get.

    I love this book. And tacos

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 19, 2014

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted December 10, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted December 15, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted November 6, 2014

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