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The Network #0.5

Mildred's Resistance

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Absolute Power Corrupts Even the Best of Friends.

Mildred Graeme is a witch that knows what it’s like to fail. She loathes small talk, struggles with magic, and grew up wretchedly poor. What’s easy for her best friend Evelyn, a wealthy, powerful socialite, is difficult for Mildred.

The two lifelong friends reunite at Chatham Castle where they fight together for the dream of a better world. Mildred wants to save the Network from political elitism, while Evelyn encourages it. When Evelyn gains power and threatens to obliterate the Network, Mildred realizes that she must overcome her fear of failure to save the lives of those she loves, even if it means betraying her best friend.

Mildred’s Resistance is the prequel to The Network Series and a gripping tale of intrigue, betrayal, and unexpected romance that defies all odds to rise above the ghosts of failure.

380 pages, Paperback

First published July 15, 2015

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About the author

Katie Cross

75 books681 followers
My world revolves around my husband (who is a major hottie), my precious kids, my Vizsla’s who act like children, and the mountains.

I wear hiking boots instead of heels when I need to feel powerful, and on a bad day, I love a weightlifting workout. Actually, I love it on a good day.

I don’t eat bread because my thyroid doesn’t like it, although there are days I miss it. Especially ciabatta. Sweet potatoes are kind of my thing. Cookies too.

I write because I never stopped.

Author of The Network Series, The Dragonmaster Trilogy, and The Health and Happiness Society.

Email me at kcrosswriting@gmail.com

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5 stars
220 (49%)
4 stars
153 (34%)
3 stars
60 (13%)
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13 (2%)
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2 (<1%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 57 reviews
Profile Image for Jennifer.
7 reviews
July 13, 2015
I loved this book and couldn't put it down!!!! Prequels are usually a fun read that fill in some details from the series but I honesty loved this book even more than the series! Not only were all my background type questions answered but I adored the characters and was soooo sad when I finished reading and it was over. It was well-written and addicting.
Profile Image for Kelsey Keating.
Author 7 books79 followers
February 24, 2022
Mildred's Resistance is a prequel to The Network Series, following Mildred--everyone's favorite no-nonsense witch.

I. Love. Mildred. Seriously. The contrast between her and Evelyn is so drastic it's a wonder their friendship lasts as long as it does. I don't want to spoil anything just in case you haven't read the other books in The Network Series (Miss Mabel's School for Girls and Antebellum Awakening).

Just know that if you like magic that's in a well-rounded world and not overpowering...and if you like deep, well structured characters...and if you like amazing writing...and social structures that are so real you feel like you're there....

Just read this book. Okay? Trust me.
Why 4 stars? Because you trust 4 stars more than 5. It's actually a 4.9.
31 reviews1 follower
August 29, 2022
Damn it, Katie, why you gotta do me like this?
You really make me want to donk some witches on the head, and also want me to hug some. This is such a splendid, well written, must-have story for any struggling witch out there!
Not all power comes from extroverts.
You won’t regret reading this!
Profile Image for ☕️Kimberly  (Caffeinated Reviewer).
3,032 reviews646 followers
August 18, 2015
Mildred’s Resistance is the third book published in the Networking Series but events in the story actually take place before Miss Mabel’s School for Girls. Katie Cross gave us a full-length novel sharing the rise of Mildred to High Priestess. If you read Antebellum Awakening, you will be curious to note this book was given to Bianca to read by Councilor Stella. I loved getting the history and a more indepth understanding of some of the powerful players in this world. Brilliant and engaging, Mildred’s Resistance is a must read for fans of the series.

The tale focuses on three friends whose names you will quickly recognize. Stella, Evelyn and Mildred. The story begins when they are six and moves quickly forward as it highlights childhood events before settling in as the girls, now young women, reunite at Chatham Castle where they begin working for the Network.

Evelyn and Mildred become the key players in this novel and Cross quickly submerges us into this fascinating world from her vivid descriptions to her fully developed characters. We go inside the inner chambers of the council and those of the High Priest and Priestess. I loved all the different aspects as we begin to see cracks in the friendship formed so long ago.

Evelyn is a bit of a fruitcake with a strong conviction on how to improve the Network. Her character is easily influenced and her emotions are often childlike as she works to move up the ranks within the council. Her plans set in motion an elitist society. Evelyn is the perfect politician as she greases elbows, manipulates those around her and seeks approval. Cross does, a wonderful job of allowing us to understand where the cracks began that she so desperately tries to fill.

Stella is the stable friend who sees both sides and is always practical and patient. While her role is not as significant, she added depth and perspective. I loved Stella. She is strong, confident and knows what she wants.

Mildred was my favorite character. The weakest of the bunch she slowly transforms throughout the novel. Strong convictions, strength and compassion make her a character to admire. We watch first had as Mildred advances her career through hard work. She eventually accepts a job as the Network Librarian.This is a job she swore she would never take, but ever-practical Mildred does exactly that. It is here that we slowly witness growth in Mildred. She finds her purpose and I found the journey exciting.

Katie Cross is an exceptional storyteller. Her world is fully developed and she brings it vividly to life from the vineyards to the musty basement that are Mildred’s offices. Her characters have depth and love them or hate them you will come to understand them. Some parts of the story are slower, but I loved all the details as Mildred and Evelyn’s careers advanced. Some of the story is told in letters between key characters, family and May the teacher who influences Evelyn. We even see a little romance with the characters. They were small threads that further fleshed out the character’s lives. Cross delivers some suspense, humor and some intense action scenes particularly in the last one-third of the book.

Copy provided by author. This review was originally posted on Caffeinated Book Reviewer
Profile Image for Cindy ✩☽♔.
997 reviews780 followers
August 21, 2017
To start off, I HUGE thanks to Goodread First to Read Program and Katie Cross for sending me this book!

My true rating would probably be 4.5 stars because I don't believe any book can be truly perfect (but hey 4.5 is pretty darn close lol). Anyways, I received this book through a giveaway a little over a month ago. I was reading other books at the time so I didn't start this book right away. But once I got into it I absolutely loved it! It's well written and I quickly grew to love the characters more and more as the book went on (well except for Evelyn and May but that's to be expected). I liked the inclusion of characters letters in the story because it gave them more of a voice in their own tale. The underlying theme of this book was also a truly wonderful one because it rings true in all societies, the constant struggle between the haves and the have nots. Mildred truly was a brilliant character because she was so truly human. She was not born with natural talent, nor was she blessed with wealth. She had times of doubt, but always stood by her convictions. A strong-hearted character who put the needs of her people above herself.

The one regret I had toward the end of this book was realizing that poor Milly and Marten were not going to end up together. I mean yes they're forever together as friends and will love each other forever, but they'll never truly be together. It is sad that neither is willing to break the tradition, all for the sake of their Network. Nonetheless, I understand their decision and am glad they'll always have each other even if they can have truly be a couple.

Oddly, enough I originally thought this book was the third book in a series, so originally started off trying to read Miss Mabel's school for girls. But I did not really get that into it. Then I realized this was a prequel and decided to just read this book first. Honestly this one was such a pleasant read, thus I finished it pretty quickly. So I think I'll go back and give the series another go.

Thanks again Katie!
Profile Image for E.D.E. Bell.
Author 30 books192 followers
July 14, 2015
I love The Network Series and love Ms. Cross’ charming storytelling. This stand-alone volume, Mildred’s Resistance, charges into new territory for the series, including a more direct ethical stance on the treatment of societal classes as well as equal access to education.

Mildred’s Resistance is the story of two women from similar backgrounds who travel down two very different paths. Intense in parts and humorous in others, the passage of time is palpable in this book. I really enjoyed being along on their journey -- through all the ups, downs, and individual choices that shape a person’s destiny. The characters are all wonderfully alive, and I found myself drawn to their struggles. Like all of Ms. Cross’ work, it has an exciting ending.

I strongly recommend this book, and the rest of The Network Series, for young adult readers, or for adult readers who adore a truly charming tale.
Profile Image for Tara.
399 reviews
June 30, 2015
Best novel yet in the Network series, hands down. It is a prequel, but it serves like prequels should- giving you the story you need about characters that are going to be pivotal in the coming novels. It's made me want to go back and read the other two books in this series to refresh my memory. This book had an excellent climax and witty dialogue. It was a well thought out plot and worth reading!
Profile Image for Evan Morgan.
149 reviews19 followers
July 8, 2015
limited power can corrupt even the best of friends.

Warning: This review contains spoilers for both Miss Mabel’s School for Girls and Antebellum Awakening by Katie Cross. If you haven’t read them, please skip to the section that I have marked as safe from spoilers.

After the tragic events of Antebellum Awakening, I was more than delighted to know that we had not seen the end of High Priestess Mildred Graeme. Mildred is my favorite character in the books, and her death at the hands of Miss Mabel left a huge Mildred-sized hole in my heart. The woman was full of wisdom and a reserved ferocity that one cannot help but love. I don’t think I need to tell you how excited to learn that Katie Cross was going to give Mildred a book of her own, detailing the events that were alluded to in the previous two installments in the series.

End Spoilers.

Mildred’s Resistance covers about thirty years. At the beginning of the novel, we find a young and poor Mildred protecting her younger from their abusive father. The remainder of the novel follows her and her friends, Evelyn and Stella, as they discover their roles in the Central Network. This, of course, is Mildred’s book, so we get to spend more time with her than any other character, which I was just fine with. I highly enjoyed following Mildred in her transformation from an unsure witch who doesn’t know what she wants to a witch that learns to take charge and stand up for what is right even if it means losing those she holds most dear.

Unlike the first two installments of the Network Series that feature a first person point of view (from an entirely different character), Mildred’s Resistance is written in the third person point of view. As a writer myself, I know that it can be extremely difficult to master one or the other, but the author does great job with the new style. We get the same amount of depth in this book with Mildred as we do in Miss Mabel’s School for Girls and Antebellum Awakening with Bianca Monroe. I am constantly impressed at how Katie Cross brings a depth to her characters and her stories that not too many fantasy novels have.

Since Mildred’s Resistance is a prequel to the Network Series, you can read it two ways: after MMSfG and AA, or after. For the first option, it serves as a great setup for the other two books. For the second option, it serves as a great way to understand the world of Antebellum better than ever before and serves as a hint of what we may be able to expect from the next book in the Network Series, The High Priest’s Daughter, which will be out September 15, 2015!
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for [ J o ].
1,938 reviews428 followers
August 28, 2019
I wasn't convinced at all by the young protagonists being only six years old, what with their miraculously good vocabulary and epistolary skills, nor was I particularly interested in the political background or plot.

Also not impressed with the author's impression of England, fictional or not.

Perhaps only for those that have read the books that, chronologically, come after this one.
Profile Image for Dramapuppy.
387 reviews44 followers
April 3, 2021
I feel like this book couldn't decide whether to be a history book or a typical, character-driven novel. It exists in the world of the main series as a historical text, and it covers a very wide period of time, but it's still written like a normal novel. I feel like fake nonfiction or straight-up novel both would have been viable approaches here, but the combination fell flat for me.

It didn't work as a typical novel because it had too much ground to cover. You can't get through the entire lives of three different people in one book while still developing them all as characters. I felt rushed from scene to scene as entire years got summed up in a paragraph.

At the same time, there were too many character moments and full descriptions to fly along like a nonfiction text. I want to know the next political move this woman makes, not what kind of cake she's having with her tea!

The end result was a book that somehow felt meandering and slow in addition to choppy and rushed. So disappointing after such a consistent series.
99 reviews
May 22, 2021
Loved it! I read this after finishing the 4 books of the Network Series, but you could read it at any point in the series. It was nice to catch a glimpse of the state of the Central Network before Bianca's time, but my favorite part was seeing how important characters came to be. We begin with 6-year old besties Stella, Mildred, and Evelyn. Over time we see what shaped their goals and beliefs, and what ultimately destroyed their friendship forever. Time passes in jumps, but a good reference point the author used to help us keep track is the girls' shared birthday they would always gather together for and dated letters passed between characters. I thought it was funny that the actual Resistance doesn't begin until 80% through the book. With a normal book that pacing would be too slow, but for a prequel it was actually just right. Also, there are several people that you may recognize from the Network Series by the end. 😉

Common sense: Elitism becomes a huge theme, which is basically suppressing the poor and keeping classes divided. There are riots, attacks, curses, alcoholism, and subterfuge. Violence and loss, but otherwise nothing I wouldn't let a young teen read.
Profile Image for Megan Blanchard.
45 reviews
May 21, 2021
I just finished reading “Mildred’s Resistance” the sequel to The Network Series. It was a quick and easy read, but I didn’t enjoy it as much as the first 4 books. It was a bit slower than the other books. It told the backstory of how Mildred became the High Priestess. For me, it was just ok.
38 reviews
June 3, 2022
This prequel to The Network Series is a must read, it sheds light on Bianca’s family history. There’s background of Mildred’s growing up years and her family. This tells of a love story that will tug at your heartstrings. Also of a friendship that lasts until power and greed take over. It was such a treat to revisit this story.
Profile Image for G.S. Jennsen.
Author 49 books476 followers
July 15, 2015
Mildred Is My Hero

Mildred’s Resistance is a prequel to the other books in Cross’s Network Series, and in many ways it is a very different book. Mildred Graeme could not be more different than the heroine of those novels, Bianca. And as fantastic a character as Bianca is, Mildred now holds a special place in my heart. Quiet, studious, logical and from the most humble of origins, Mildred nonetheless steps up to become the leader and heroine her world needs when it needs her most.

Cross brings a wide variety of other characters to life in this book as well, most notably Mildred’s childhood friend-turned-adversary, Evelyn. The divergent paths these two women’s lives take demonstrate in a deeply compelling way the importance of the choices we make, of the difference between rising above one’s past and being consumed by it.

Mildred is a worthy heroine, far more so than most. Nothing is handed to her; she must fight, claw and scrape for every inch of success she achieves. By continuing to fight against increasing odds while displaying a level of grit, determination and certainty of purpose few possess, she inspires others to her side, though she never meant to do so. The sacrifices she makes for others—for everyone—were honestly heartbreaking to me. I’ve rarely felt this much empathy for a character, which is a testament to Cross’ ability to breathe life into her characters and her world.

Surrounding Mildred’s personal story is a rich, complex and exciting tale of a society on the brink, of conspiracies, magic, power struggles, resistance and, ultimately, revolution. Themes of the value of hard work, personal and educational freedom, self-worth and perseverance mean it is also an uplifting, inspirational story.
Profile Image for Rose Swift.
79 reviews
May 31, 2016
This book is my first visit to the Central Network and I found myself totally absorbed. (I got no work done for a couple of days :-/ )

Mildreds quite strength is inspirational and the story itself although it spans 3 decades is fantastically well told.

I will definately be visiting with the next installments.
Profile Image for Liz.
45 reviews
May 10, 2022
tldr: This probably could have been a very good short story instead of a very average full length book that only works if you've already read other books in the series.

The author's website has a suggested reading order and it lists this book first, even though it was published in the middle of The Network Series. I read books 1-4 first, then returned a year later to read this and the short stories of the The Network Series before moving on The Network Saga. This is my assessment:

DO NOT READ THIS BOOK FIRST. It is a prequel (book 0.5) to the rest of the series, but it does not make sense to read it first. It does not include the world building necessary to make you understand or even care about this world. The only way it makes enough sense for the reader to be invested is if you have already read at least the first 2 books of the series.

Also, the first several chapters could have been a couple of paragraphs of exposition. Instead what we got is boring, and not necessary to the main point of the story being told in this book. I seriously think you can just skip ahead until the story catches your attention.
Profile Image for Mary.
90 reviews
November 20, 2021
Ms. Cross did it again with "Mildred's Resistance"! I was enthralled with learning about how Mildred became the High Priestess, and the relationships between the 3 friends kept me with my nose inside my tablet! Her relationship with Marten made me a little sad, knowing that they love each other, but also knowing they could never be together as man & wife because of their love of the Network.
"Mildred's Resistance" had a little bit of everything: romance (but not graphic at all!), the friendship and how it changed as the girls were growing up, and a nasty thing called "war". We also saw prejudices (that unfortunately are human nature), and how greed can destroy a person.
I continue to be amazed at Katie Cross' imagination, and her ability to describe every small detail so that I could actually see a picture of the happenings in my mind. Looking forward to September for the new book!
Profile Image for Victoria.
121 reviews
April 30, 2022
You’re going to need tissues. I didn’t think I would need them, being a prequel and all and I know what comes later, but dang nabit! Not only did I shed tears, but the floor dropped out from under me at another point in the story!

This is a great beginning book for new Katie Cross readers. It explains so much that comes later in the Network series, and yet if you don’t continue on with them, this can be a great stopping point.

But let’s face the truth here: WHO’s REALLY GOING TO NOT READ MORE AFTER THIS ONE?!?!?!!

And if you’re wondering why is Isadora so important to the end here? Then after Mildred’s Resistance, read Flame. Then Flight. Then Freedom. Because, let’s be honest here, you can’t just stop at the first of a trilogy. Unless it’s to grab a tub of chocolate ice cream and box of tissues. You’ll thank me for that when you get there.
Profile Image for Susan.
343 reviews3 followers
February 1, 2021
The only thing I wish is that I read this book first instead of last. Stella, Evie and Millie have been bst friends and pledged at 6 yrs old to always be friends. As they grew they all wanted jobs in the castle but life changes and Stella was the first to leave—marriage and a baby to keep her happy.Evie was adopted by the High Priestess which changed her so much. Milly staid as she was. This story does tell us how it all started and how Millie, Mildred, became high priestess. A Great story and if my eyes didnt get blurry I would not have put it down until I finished it. I highly recommend this book.
Profile Image for Ruth Ann.
493 reviews5 followers
November 10, 2021
Katie Cross does another good job of having well-developed characters, environment descriptions, and pacing for this backstory. Cross stays on focus for her plot producing an enjoyable read for me.

Mildred's Resistance came with The Network Series eBook I purchased. Rather than reviewing the series in one post, I choose to review each book separately. This prequel was written after the first two books, but I feel you will enjoy the series more if you read this book last. Indeed, it was placed last in The Network Series eBook.
Profile Image for Becca Hicks.
80 reviews
July 8, 2017
This was my first encounter with a Network series book, and it did not disappoint. The characters are very well developed, I felt as if I really knew Mildred and Evelyn and all of the other witches. The writing is beautiful and clever and carefully crafted to leave you feeling enchanted and ready to learn more about the story. I started with this prequel, and now am so excited to see where the Network takes me next.
1,559 reviews2 followers
August 14, 2021
I read Miss Mabel’s School first. It was pretty good. I liked it a bit more than this one, which seemed rather cliched to me.
Three best friends make a vow to be friends forever. They all come from a financially challenged background. Evelyn is pretty much adopted by a powerful witch, who tends to spoil her. Mildred is busy much trying to improve the world for all classes. Unfortunately, Evelyn ends up craving power, and trusts an older witch that has her own agenda.
Profile Image for Willow Moon.
33 reviews
July 23, 2018
This was definitely a worth while read. I read it after Miss Mabel's School for Girls, so it cleared up a whole of questions with the history of Antebellum. To be honest, this was probably the best read in the series so far! I was so sad when it ended, because it was only a one off prequel, but enjoyed my time with it either way :)
Profile Image for Joanna Bennett.
36 reviews4 followers
January 27, 2019
I enjoyed many things about this book. One of the main ones is the character development. The motivations of each character seemed to make a lot of sense based on their histories and development (even if the things they did were not moral or ethical...) the story was engaging and overall I just really enjoyed it!
41 reviews8 followers
June 18, 2017
I discovered this book after having read books 1 and 2. The prequel provides great background information about Mildred, her struggles, perseverance and quiet leadership that earned her the respect of her Network.
Profile Image for Bethany Ruth.
1 review1 follower
March 23, 2022
Mildred's Resistance is the prequel to Katie Cross' Network Series. I loved the series and read Mildred's Resistance after reading the other books in the series first. I have to say that it is hands down my favorite book of the series. I loved it and absolutely devoured it.
Profile Image for Linzi Moon.
80 reviews
June 14, 2018
Inspired by the first book I read this next and thoroughly enjoyed following the events leading up to the situation in book one.
I know I am going to really enjoy the rest of the series.
Profile Image for Patricia.
269 reviews
April 8, 2019
I actually read Miss Mabel's School for Girls first. After reading this, I had to re-read Miss Mabel's School for Girls and Antebellum Awakening. It gives a back story to the series.
264 reviews
July 18, 2020
This book is not for me. Too much drama for the three young girls. All three girls are witch's. One good, one bad and one trying to keep all three together.
Displaying 1 - 30 of 57 reviews

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