I received this book via Author. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of this review.
Series: Bixby Series #1
Published by Winlock Press on 2016-02-29
Reviewing eARC from Author
Bixby was 12 years old when the world ended. A mysterious mist had blanketed the earth, turning most of the world's population into blood-sucking monsters. The remaining survivors plummeted to the bottom of the food chain.
Now, eight, brutal years later, these survivors face another challenge-a new threat is turning the tide of war between humans and the infected. This threat may very well spell doom for the last vestige of humanity.
In a race against time, Bixby and her crew battle to stop the decimation of the human race at the hands of these new mutations.
They are the last strain of resistance.
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.
Check out the first two chapters below to see if this book is right for you: