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Strain of Resistance (Bixby Series Book 1) Kindle Edition
For eight years I’ve survived this hellhole of a planet, while most of the population mutated into blood-thirsty freaks. The few of us left spend our days waiting to see who will become tomorrow’s lunch special.
Enough food? Never. Water? Only on our good days.
Leaving the safety of our walls? If we’re feeling lucky.
If it wasn’t for Luke, I would have given up long ago.
Luke. My friend. My leader. My rock when I lost the man I loved.
Now Luke wants more from me, but these walls I’ve built up are the only thing keeping me together.
Because if I lose one more person, I’ll break,
and in our world, no one is safe.
They’ve already stolen too much from me. It’s time for things to change.
My name is Bixby. I’m the resistance and this war is just beginning.
Mature themes and explicit language. 17+ Rating.
★★★★★ " What a protagonist! Bixby is strong, resilient, and something out of this world, but still extremely relatable. The characters are gritty and raw, as they should be, and this just makes them that much more believable. The environment was ideal for the world she created. The novel was thrilling, satisfying, and made me beg for the sequel! Simply amazing."- Rabia Tanveer for Readers' Favorite
About the Author
Michelle Bryan lives in Nova Scotia with her three favorite guys: her husband, her son, and her crazy fur baby. Besides her family, her other passions in life consist of chocolate, coffee, and writing. When not busy managing a chocolate store or spending the day at her computer, she can be found with her nose stuck in any sort of apocalypse book.
Marnye Young is a Yale MFA graduate; SAG-AFTRA voice, stage, and screen actor; and a member of the APA. She volunteers with TIC and CRIS, two nonprofits for the blind or visually impaired. A proud mom of identical twins, she is a fisherman, she grows some of her own food, listens to opera when she writes, and is an avid NASCAR fan.--This text refers to the audioCD edition.
- ASIN : B01CF981FE
- Publisher : Harris Publishing (February 29, 2016)
- Publication date : February 29, 2016
- Language : English
- File size : 1033 KB
- Simultaneous device usage : Unlimited
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Screen Reader : Supported
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Not Enabled
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Sticky notes : On Kindle Scribe
- Print length : 210 pages
- Best Sellers Rank: #13,656 Free in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
About the author
Top reviews from the United States
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“I was twelve years old when the world ended.
Not by any nuclear weapon, or asteroid strike, or series of natural disasters like so many doomsday soothsayers had prophesied. No, nothing so dramatic. In fact, it didn’t end with a bang at all. It ended with a whimper. A deceivingly harmless, crystalized mist had covered our world in a day, leaving total devastation in its wake. Maybe if we had known then what the mist had concealed, we would have taken more precaution. Maybe if we had any kind of advanced warning, more of us would have survived. Maybe.”
It’s hard to stand out from the heaps of apocalyptic sci-fi fare out there these days. I don’t know what that says about us as a people that such literature has become run of the mill. I can’t imagine anything good. Suffice to say you have to work extra hard to tease me to read one more of these things. If the author applied any effort to this end, she made it seem seamless by how easily I got lost in the story. Craft of writing was the least of it; craft alone will not sustain interest. The characters were painted so vividly, I either instantly loved them or hated them, but either way, they were suddenly a part of my life, as real as anyone actually living with me or whom I’ve known for years. The explosive tension in every scene was milked to the max, every emotional drop squeezed out. Most authors have cliff hangers at the end of their chapters; I felt like every line was a cliff-hanger for the next one. I may actually have to start reading more in this genre, or at least more by this author.
Sci-fi? Thriller? Horror? Each genre has very specific demands that have to be met, so to meet them all flawlessly is just about impossible, and yet the author did. In some ways, it was damn irritating reading this book. I ignored my exercise regimen, I ended up foregoing eating, I could feel my feet swelling because I was refusing to shift body position, consider perhaps sitting a while instead of standing at my computer (I was reading the book on the cloud). It’s not unfair to say I experienced some great discomfort reading this book having nothing to do with the story itself for inability to pull myself away; that’s something, for all the hyperbole, I can say about very few of even my favorite books. Maybe some of it wasn’t the author; it was just the amazement to find this genre could rise to this level.
More good news: The rest of the book lived up to the opening chapter. Often, writers, knowing full well that readers will decide whether or not to buy a book based on the free sample, will spend more time on their first few chapters than they will spend on anything else. And once you’ve dropped your dime, surprise, the rest of the book weighs in at 3 or 4 stars, not 5. I’ve been stung more than once that way. So I was delighted to find that for however long the author took to craft this book, she gave the same attention to detail to each part of the story.
Some of the more refreshing elements of this author’s take on the genre were the fact that in this world there is also compassion, love, and tenderness. The kind of things that give one the strength to push on but that are so often omitted from apocalyptic fare. When the captain pulls our heroine out of the clutches of seeing her family massacred before her, he’s the Ben Casey whose arms we all want to walk into after a tragedy, to store up their strength as if using them as a battery. The author has either truly suffered great tragedy herself or has researched the hell out of it. Because seeing what her heroine undergoes with abuse at home from the father, and the effects it has on her, how she endures the PTSD recovery symptoms after being subject to an alien attack—or perhaps the beast is just the result of some sick genetic cocktail cooked up in a human lab—you still don’t know at this point… you can’t fake this stuff. It was the emotional roller coaster our heroine goes through that lent horror and terror to the story but also authenticity to the writer’s voice.
The author’s deft handling of sexual material should make this book a hit with the new adult/college crowd and above. It’s not easy being both explicit and tasteful; I adore her style when it comes to handling this difficult subject matter. The group dynamics between the heroine and her fellow hunters who guard their compound against the beasts outside are punchy, vividly drawn, and a great source of additional conflict to the story beyond battling the alien creatures on the other side of the wall. We can’t always choose our friends, and so it turns out, we can’t always choose who we’re stuck in life and death survival games with. The group dynamics help to squeeze other surprising emotions out of this post-apocalyptic world, in both the characters and the reader, that lead to romance, dark humor, playfulness, even brief moments of true joy. The character arc between our heroine and her love interest starts off with no shortage of tension as he is able to express his love for her openly, but she’s too damaged emotionally to receive that love. It gives us something to look forward to in the rest of the story: will she or won’t she be able to mend herself enough to experience the full range of human emotions, or will this dead land continue to echo its lifelessness in the depths of her soul?
The world-building proceeds hand in hand with fast-paced action. We’re no sooner getting our bearings of the post-apocalyptic world our heroine and her cohorts have inherited than we find out one of the two surviving compounds within the city, the one at the St. Joseph hospital, is under attack. As if surviving day to day wasn’t rough enough, something is going on that’s managing to scare the most seasoned veteran, and the one with ice in his veins, which sends chills up our heroine’s back. And so it goes throughout the story, the author having a sixth sense for what should go where.
Even if you’re not a huge reader of this genre, you owe it to yourself to give this one a try.
This was a seriously awesome read!!!! Strain of Resistance by Michelle Bryan is the first in her new adult, sci-fi dystopian series and it is a MUST READ for fans of those genres. The author does a fantastic job of combining the elements and making a unique, snarky adventure that had me on the edge of my seat the entire time. I skipped meals and sleep because I just couldn’t sit it down!!! The book begins and ends on the same note of dread and suspense, leaving me begging for more! The story begins with a 12 year old Bixby, witnessing the beginning of the end. I love this line:
It didn’t end with a bang at all. It ended with a whimper.
Haunting, right?! It sets the tone for the entire book as a 12 year old Bixby witnesses the beginning of the end. A mysterious fog with crystals appears. The crystals are breathed in and infects a majority of the population with a parasite. This zombie-like being takes over the body and erupts through the mouth. Honestly, it’s horrific and I’m doing a poor job of describing it! These parasites feed on the ones not infected and the story of survival and fighting begins.
Bixby is one screwed-up chick. The first half of her life sucked. She had an abusive father and knew what monsters were before these worms took over. Now at 18, she’s with a group of survivors at the Grand Hotel, going out on hunts, looking for supplies, other survivors, and killing the infected. She’s got a hard shell, few emotions, and the mouth of a sailor. She makes no apologies for herself, she’s just surviving. But it’s quick to see that she’s grieving. The boy she loved didn’t come back and now she refuses to feel those emotions again. Why would she? Everyone leaves eventually.
In addition to Bixby, there’s the guys she runs with. Luke is their “unofficial” leader. He’s kind, just a year older than Bixby, and her lover. According to her, he’s a “gentle giant” and after reading the book, the description is perfect. He makes me swoon! Dom is the dick of the group (to put it nicely). He doesn’t like Bixby or her antics and doesn’t care who knows it. Gordon is the youngest and my favorite. He’s brave and brings a levity to the group, reminding them what it was like to be that age.
Surviving the Fight
In addition to Bixby being a kick-ass character, the story itself is amazing. Told entirely from Bixby’s POV, the story focuses on what it takes to survive. I love the world-building. It’s ominous and horrific! These alien beings that have taken over host bodies and are feeding on the survivors are something straight out of your worst nightmare. Then there’s the other survivors that they are fighting, the cannibals. *shudders* When a group goes missing, Bixby’s crew is sent to find them and what they find changes everything they thought they knew about this new world they live in.
But it isn’t all fighting and surviving. There’s a little time for some steamy romance as well. Luke loves Bixby, no question about it. Bixby runs at the mention of love though. Her heart just isn’t ready for it after her guy disappeared without so much as a trace. I like their relationship. The author does a great job of conveying not only the feelings Bixby has but Luke’s as well. Needless to say I rooted for him from his first entrance into the book.
Overall (if you haven’t guessed from my gushing), I loved this book! Bixby has just the right amount of snark to balance her kindness. And Luke *swoon* But really it’s the horrific world created by Michelle Bryan that sells this book. The worm things, the fight for survival, and the little band of survivors really got me. If you’re looking for a fast-paced read, look no further! I highly recommend it for anyone that enjoys new adult dystopians.
***PSST….the author has a prequel novella out as well which is AMAZING and gives you a little insight into Bixby’s Sam. It can be read before or after the book without spoiling anything.***
Top reviews from other countries
I love the main character Bixby. Witnessing the events that changed the world, changed her forever. From out of the ruins rises a fiercely independent, sassy, potty mouthed hero. who loves her friends and those she calls family to death. Literally.
The book is a dark romp through a world where humans are no longer at the top of the food chain, where only the fastest and the meanest survive. Michelle Bryan captures the hopelessness, the fear and pain. The loss the need and desire of a world so changed it could be from the deepest of anyones nightmares. Its elegant and mesmerizing tone leaves you absolutely LONGING for more.
Well recommended. Loved it.
I would love to learn more about Sam. Perhaps that will be revealed in the sequel?
I don't want to give away any spoilers, but oh my, what an ending. If you read this book, you'll love it and you'll want to read the next book asap.