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In the final battle with drug-resistant bacteria, one woman's blood holds a secret weapon.

Rory and her father have survived the antibiotic crisis that has killed millions, including Rory’s mother—but ingenuity and perseverance aren’t their only advantages. When a stoic and scarred young military veteran enters their quiet life, Rory is drawn to him against her better judgment . . . until he exposes the secrets her mother and father kept from her, including the fact that her own blood may hold the cure the world needs, and she is the target of groups fighting to reach it first.

When the government, which wants to use Rory to produce a cure and sell it to the highest bidder, comes after her, she, her father, and their new protector are forced to flee. But can she find the new path of human evolution before the government finds her?

296 pages, Paperback

First published October 16, 2018

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About the author

Rachael Sparks

1 book10 followers
A note for followers: pasta recipes are welcome.

RACHAEL SPARKS was born in Waco, Texas. She graduated with a degree in microbiology from Texas A&M University.

After a career in Austin, Texas, as a transplant specialist, she joined a startup fighting healthcare-acquired infections. She recently relocated with her husband, young daughter, and mother to Asheville, North Carolina, where she finally put her first novel onto the page. In her free time she serves on the board of the Asheville Museum of Science and loves to cook, brew, garden, and spend time with friends and family.

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5 stars
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Displaying 1 - 30 of 55 reviews
Profile Image for Ashley.
487 reviews218 followers
October 29, 2018
Resistant by Rachael Sparks is one book on the list of many great reads for the BookSparks 2018 Fall Reading Challenge. I'm honored to be an ambassador for this challenge -- it has truly been one of the most fun things I've experienced within the book community. When this book came in the mail from BookSparks, I couldn't wait to dive in. It's not my typical read, though I enjoy the occasional Sci-Fi/Dystopian to change things up. This book was the genre change I needed to renew my interest in the books I tend to reach for and an exciting ride. I have to note, the author's biography helped draw me in too, being that she's a Native Texan and originally from my current neck of the woods. ;)

Dystopian societies were one of the first things to draw me to books as a child and something that expanded my imagination and thoughts about the world around me. I loved this adult take on a predominately young adult genre, with experienced characters having practical knowledge about the world they were living in. I especially loved the author's use of antibiotic resistance as the cause of the futuristic society, because it seemed like something our world could realistically face. The world building wasn't difficult to latch onto and gave an Orwellian picture with a "Big Brother is watching" feeling. The drones used to replicate animals was an interesting idea I hadn't thought of and was fun to read about.

I appreciated the action within the story and the constant guessing of what would come next. Unfortunately, I felt as though the third person perspective prevented me from being immersed in this world as much as I hoped to be. One paragraph would talk about a specific set of characters and the next would be talking about the tasks another person would be completing. The constant changing of focus was something I didn't necessarily enjoy in this book. I prefer to fully get in the minds and actions of one or two characters, with the rest of the "people" in the novel taking more of a backseat role.

In my opinion, the ending was slightly predictable, based on the blurb and the goals of the characters in the book. I would have preferred a bit more mystery after the great build-up. I also felt slightly unsatisfied after I finished reading. I didn't have enough information about the future and what was to come, making me guess there could be a follow-up to come.

I had to give this a middle-of-the-road rating with three stars. There were excellent points within this book and more than one thing that could have been improved upon. I hope to see more work by the author in the future and can't wait to see if this book becomes a series. If you're a Sci-Fi or Dystopian fan, I think this unique take on futuristic society is worth checking out. Pick up your copy below.
Profile Image for Natasha.
136 reviews21 followers
September 25, 2018
The progression of antibiotic resistance is an interesting premise, and this story has some decent science and ideas behind it.

I really didn't like the romance angle - it seemed a little trite and almost shoe-horned in. I feel the story would have been better served exploring the nefarious government angle, rather than sapping it up with relationship drama.

This was a quick read, and it gives a decent conclusion while leaving an open ending to return to this universe and explore further.

All in all, a decent enough read.

I was provided with a copy of this book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
Profile Image for Lori L (She Treads Softly) .
2,267 reviews87 followers
October 24, 2018
Resistant by Rachael Sparks is a so-so dystopian novel.

In Woods Hole, Massachusetts, Rory Stevigson and her father, Byron, are basically off-the-grid survivalists in the climate changed land of 2041. The prevalence of bacterial diseases that were sparked by climate change have all become drug-resistant after the over use of antibiotics. Rory's deceased mother was a scientist looking for a cure until she succumb to a bacterial infection. At the same time, the people her mother used to work for are still looking for a cure and using whatever unethical methods they choose.

When a young veteran, Navy, shows up and begins to work for them, Rory finds herself attracted to him. Soon it becomes apparent that he is more than just a hired hand. Rory herself may hold the cure to the health crisis, and now she and her father need to flee, with help from Navy and his friend. They are headed to the headquarters of the resistance and hope to spread a cure to the world.

The journey, that in any heroic adventure novel needs to have the protagonists facing almost insurmountable struggles to get to the desired place, went by with a few obstacles, but nothing that wasn't easily handled. Scenes that had plenty of heart-stopping potential were breezed through. Portions of the journey were just skipped over. I really stopped and went back to see if I had somehow skipped a few chapters, but no. Rory and Navy went from, let's say point B right to V, at which point I was bitterly disappointed in this mitigated action. Come on - give me a struggle, give me a quest, give me onerous striving toward the climax. The plot is interesting, but the journey, pursuit, and adventure are attenuated and simplified.

Rory is a likeable heroine. It was refreshing that she could state her own opinions and stand up to the men around her. She is smart, but, alas, she is also immature. I found it hard to believe she was a 23 year old in this situation, as she seemed too sheltered and naive about the world in which she is living. I also think the almost immediate romance angle should have been dialed back, a lot, and given more time to develop. The bad guys are bad, but come across as caricatures of bad guys.

The writing is decent but the actual novel and plot would have benefited from more descriptions, more action, more depth to the plot. This really reads like a YA novel, although it is described as a new adult novel.

Disclosure: My review copy was courtesy of SparkPress.
Profile Image for Jacqui Castle.
Author 2 books123 followers
November 11, 2018
So many apocalypse stories imagine futures that are too unlikely to grasp, but Sparks places her readers smack dab in the middle of a crisis that could certainly happen in the not too distant future if we aren't careful.

Sparks brings her expertise as a microbiologist to the table to explore a world in which antibiotic resistant bacteria is winning the battle over life and one woman holds the key to survival.

I would like to have seen a bit more character development and world building, but overall an enjoyable read by an emerging voice.
Profile Image for Jill Elizabeth.
1,593 reviews36 followers
October 1, 2018
I really enjoy scientific thrillers, and when you can combine that element with tech, futurism, and a well-crafted world and characters, you can't help but keep me hanging by my fingernails... Sparks has a great writing style, very engaging and easy to fall into. And it doesn't hurt that she created an original- and entirely plausible-feeling future that was disturbingly life-like and dark enough to haunt without being so much so that it left me grudgingly turning each page. I thoroughly enjoyed this one and will definitely keep her on my "to watch" list!

My review copy was provided by NetGalley.
Profile Image for Teresa.
Author 4 books76 followers
October 12, 2018
Thank you to NetGalley, SparkPress, and Rachael Sparks for the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an honest review.

Initially, when this popped up on my dashboard on NetGalley, I think I thought it was a young adult novel, mostly because of the cover. It has that vibe. But the listed genres are romance and sci-fi. But having thought it was YA based on the novel, I was very confused about the characters at first...until I realized oh, this is more of a new adult book. Okay, got it! That definitely changes things!

This aside, there is romance, yes. Pretty much instantly, and this actually makes the relationships and the characters feelings and actions toward each other feel very flat and unrealistic. There wasn't much build-up or development before the characters get together (there are a few relationships going on in this novel). While I love romance, this was just too unrealistic for me.

On another note, I love disease-related fiction. Some disease destroyed the population (Maze Runner, The Walking Dead, Delirium, Day 5 [Rooster Teeth TV Series]). Love that kind of dystopian/post-apocalyptic idea. BUT, 30% of the way through the novel and I still didn't quite get what exactly happened to the world. The science in the novel could be explained better as well as more interspersed.

Holistically, I think that this would be a better novel if it was further expanded. It's short enough that another 10k words definitely wouldn't hinder it. The relationship development between Rory/Navy and Army/AJ could be vastly improved, because by the end of the novel, I still felt nothing for either relationship because the development just wasn't present. I also found that the plot could be further developed as well, spending just a few more sentences on elaborating a scientific aspect, or making a scene a bit more vivid. It felt like the characters jumped from place to play, and just a bit more description from one place to another would be helpful, despite the fact that each new chapter/page break starts with a location name.

Overall I did like this book and found it easy to read. But once again, I wish there was a bit more depth to it, especially because it is for a new adult audience. New adult age can handle descriptions and science and more ante to spice up the romance!
Profile Image for Kevin.
710 reviews6 followers
October 20, 2018
Resistant is set in a not-so-distant future in which a large chunk of the world’s population has been decimated by disease, the spread of which was fueled by our long history of over-dependence on antibiotics, the dodgy business dealings of the pharmaceutical industry, and climate change. In the ensuing years, the remainder of the scientific community has been working on discovering a cure, to no avail. However, this effort is tainted...

Read more at https://www.geeksofdoom.com/2018/10/1....
Profile Image for Doon.
253 reviews7 followers
September 29, 2018
The set up is intriguing, the world was described well and I liked Rory as a character. However lots of things just happen implausibly quickly whenever Rory is around. No other character really gets anything other than perfunctory dialogue, and so I struggled to feel like the world was real.
Profile Image for Anna Ray.
65 reviews2 followers
April 21, 2019
I enjoyed every minute of this book and didn't want it to end. Highly recommended! It's smart, exciting, funny and really makes you think. This story would make a great movie. Love this writer and can't wait to see what's next
Profile Image for Kristen Love.
12 reviews1 follower
September 30, 2018
Resistant is an action-packed, romantic, sci-fi thriller that takes you right to the cusp of what our world could look like with resulting climate effect and resistant bacterial infections. Rory, a young woman who lives with her father on a farm, has spent most of her life living in a world where resources are slim and most of the population has been decimated. She becomes the center of a cure of a resistant strain of bacteria as a result of her mother's work as a microbiologist. I felt each part of this story through the author's colorful descriptions; all the way to her encounter with General Kessler. The characters were all so interesting to read! The chemistry between Rory and a Navy SEAL, Navy, was electric and absolutely one of favorite love stories to read this year! This is a must-read for any lover of sci-fi romance. And, it's sure to bring you right into a possible reality for our planet.
1 review2 followers
September 27, 2018
I absolutely loved this book! I was a bit hesitant to read it as I'm not normally into the science fiction/post apocalyptic genre, but this book proved to be more prophetic in nature. It gave a sobering look into the future of antibiotic resistance, while also being a blast to read (not an easy accomplishment in my opinion). I loved that it featured a strong female lead character, who was focused on pursuing her own destiny, and just happened to meet and fall in love with a man who isn't your typical Hollywood hunk. The love story was very genuine and complemented the plot well, while not subtracting from the importance of the mission. Overall, I really enjoyed this book and found it hard to put down!
1 review1 follower
September 27, 2018
An easy read that was hard to put down. I'm looking forward to reading more books from this author.
Profile Image for Susan.
600 reviews
May 14, 2019
The central idea of this novel is quite amazing. What happens when antibiotics simply stop working, due to overuse, and a large proportion of humans die? Think about it, then read this book!
Profile Image for Ashley.
143 reviews25 followers
March 30, 2019
4.5 stars! I listened to the audiobook and Rachael did a phenomenal job for both male and female voices! I especially liked Army's voice 👌 I will always think about this book when I see a click of geese 😏

This book would make a great movie!
Profile Image for Kyra K.
140 reviews3 followers
October 13, 2018
An interesting Romance/Sci-fi novel set in a world where antibiotics no longer work, and scientists are desperately searching for a cure to the pandemic that follows.
Rory is a young scientist who lives on a rural farm with her father, after her mother (fairly recently) succumbed to the disease ravaging their world. She's clearly brilliant within her field of study, and an interesting main character who I found to be both 'real' and likeable - strong but doubtful of her own abilities, intelligent but aware of her own limitations.
There were several surprising twists and turns in this book, but overall it felt... rushed. The romance was almost immediate and therefore felt unrealistic, and the plot often jumped through periods of time in order to expedite the timeline, However, that's not to say it wasn't an enjoyable read.
If you're looking for a short, interesting sci-fi romance with some great characters, then Resistant is the book for you.
Profile Image for Kate (kate_reads_).
1,345 reviews187 followers
February 5, 2019
This book takes place in a dystopian future where most of society has been wiped out by viruses after they became resistant to antibiotics. We are mainly along for the ride with Rory - who lives with her dad on a self sustaining farm.

This book had some very intense scenes and the story kept me compelled to know what was going to happen next. I enjoyed the fast pace of the story. The science was very detailed - maybe a little too much for me but I wasn’t surprised to learn the author is also a scientist.

The relationships fell a little flat for me - I felt like the romantic relationships came about without any buildup and I didn’t feel invested in them.

Thank you to the author Rachael Sparks for providing the audiobook for my review.
1 review
August 14, 2018
I loved this book! Couldn't put it down. Ms. Sparks depicts a scary world where antibiotics have stopped working and humans are realizing the extent of the damage they've wrought upon the environment. Despite the challenges they face, her characters are interesting, believable and the storyline is captivating. Perfect amount of romance, science, action and hope. I hope she's working on the sequel so we find out what happens with Rory!
1 review1 follower
August 28, 2018
I loved it. It's science fiction but of a sort that feels like it could be prophetic rather than just fantasy. It's a bit of science, a little romance, and dash of adventure which is the perfect recipe for a good read.
Profile Image for Geoff Clarke.
291 reviews
March 10, 2019
This book is conscious ecologically but unconscious with regards to gender. Both are actually a little annoying: the ecological stuff is a little heavy-handed, while the 50's gender roles are just tough to read.
Profile Image for Neil.
1,403 reviews8 followers
July 19, 2019
I received a free copy via Netgalley in exchange for a honest review.

This was thankfully a quick read.
The story was over simplified and the characters seemed to except any thing that occurred making them feel under developed.
It could have been so much better.
August 16, 2018
What a terrific book! Loved the mix of science, intrigue and just enough romance to make me not want to put it down! Will be buying this as gifts for friends to enjoy as well!
Profile Image for Mal Warwick.
Author 29 books403 followers
March 2, 2020
There’s no end of doomsday scenarios that threaten the survival of the human race. These days, we talk about the climate crisis. Nuclear war sometimes, too. Pandemics. And of course there are many others: a super-volcano eruption, a meteorite strike, a massive solar flare, and many others. But now we’ve got something else to worry about: the spread of antibiotic-resistant bacteria. Which is the theme that Rachel Sparks adroitly takes up in her own doomsday thriller, Resistant.

Resistant opens in 2041 on a farm near Woods Hole, Massachusetts. There, Aurora (Rory) Stevigson and her father live a nearly self-sufficient life in the face of a society that is gradually disintegrating. One-seventh of the American population has perished from untreatable infections, and all the rest live in fear of the germs that could kill them, too. And the microbiologist whose research held out the most hope for humanity has died: Rory’s mother.

A corrupt government research program in this doomsday thriller
Near Washington, DC, under the command of the US Army, other scientists are gathered together in a program known as TEAR, the Task Force for Epidemiological and Antimicrobial Research. Ostensibly, TEAR is seeking a cure on behalf of the American public. Yet that is not the case. In fact, TEAR is run by a corrupt general, in league with several US Senators, intent on selling the cure to the highest bidder. And, realizing that, Rory’s mother had left TEAR and moved to Massachusetts shortly before her death.

Sparks shifts perspective from Rory to TEAR’s commander, General Bill Keller. It soon becomes clear that Rory is in danger as the General believes she may personally be resistant to all microbial infections and thus represent the key to a cure. But help arrives unexpectedly at the Stevigson farm in the form of two ex-military men. Together with Rory and her father, they develop plans to foil TEAR and advance research toward a cure.

The science on which this story is based
“Nobody had ever thought antibiotics would just stop working,” as one of Sparks’s characters exclaims. Yet that’s exactly what is happening around the world today. The culprits are the massive use of antibiotics in animal husbandry to fatten livestock, over-prescription by healthcare professionals, and ignorance by millions of people who insist on using antibiotics to treat viral diseases against which they’re ineffective. As a result, the World Health Organization states that “A growing number of infections – such as pneumonia, tuberculosis, gonorrhoea, and salmonellosis – are becoming harder to treat as the antibiotics used to treat them become less effective.” And the upshot is, according to WHO, “Antibiotic resistance is one of the biggest threats to global health, food security, and development today.” You probably didn’t want to know that, but there it is.
Profile Image for Iona.
Author 1 book30 followers
November 7, 2018
rating: 3.5 stars

Resistant by Rachael Sparks is a post apocalyptic novel describing the events of antibiotics failing.

Let’s go ahead and talk about my favorite aspect of this book: the characters. This is going to sound weird but I am absolutely in love with the fact that the author diverged away from the basic mold of characters that most people use in survival novels like this. All the characters, Byron, Persy, Rory, Army, Navy... they all had unique and intriguing character arcs and are definitely what carried this novel. They aren’t your basic, Hollywood, all gorgeous and super deadpan... they are badass af. Especially Rory, who was the star of the novel. She was a perfect balance of fierce and kind, loyal but smart, emotional but in control of her emotions as well. She’s definitely one of the best MCs I’ve read this year.

And Navy... so this is going to sound weird but I’ve literally read nearly 100 novels, and in every single one of them the love interest is always super gorgeous. Navy is the FIRST male interest that wasn’t... that was even described as ugly. And I still loved him. In fact, it just made him & Rory’s romance seem more real for me because I knew it wasn’t all sexual attraction or “omg i just can’t resist his face!!!!”. They literally loved each other for being each other. I’m obsessed with their romance.

That aside, the writing was subpar. I think it could have had a little more oomph in it, a little bit more emotion. I usually always highlight lines that I find pretty or relatable or just deep af and I did not highlight a single quote in this book. It was a lot of action, a lot of biology talk, but not a lot of life reflection or descriptions that really stuck to me. I guess for some people they might like this kind of straight-to-the-point writing but I like to be able to relate some of the situation back into my life, or be able to know what the character is feeling through metaphors that I can also apply to my own emotions.

That said this is purely an entertaining read. The plot holds itself nicely, I don’t have much to comment on it because it was easy to follow along but it was just kind of there if you feel what I mean.

This book won’t make you sit on the beach and reflect the future of humanity or your love life or anything of the sort. But I would definitely recommend it to people who are looking for a fast, no fuss, entertaining post apocalyptic read with great character arcs.

ARC provided by publisher in exchange for honest review
Profile Image for D.C. Wright-Hammer.
Author 2 books113 followers
November 15, 2021
A believable post-apocalyptic thriller that tugs on your heartstrings on a number of levels. In the near future, when bacteria have evolved to be resistant to the battery of known anti-biotics and roughly 15% of the population has perished as a result, survivors all hope to find successful treatments.

Insert Rory, the daughter of one of the world's most renowned doctors, who received special anti-bodies as the result of an experiment and may just hold the secret to the cure everyone wants. Roadblocks in her way to discovering this include being isolated on her family farm, a lack of understanding of the experiments performed on her, and a lack of resources to research her own blood. All of this comes to a head when the military begins searching for the research conducted by Rory's mother, and ultimately, Rory herself.

Aided by a mysterious traveler who takes up work on her family farm, Rory goes on a cross-country adventure to get the things she needs to tap into her potential, and hopefully provide the world with better bacterial treatment options. In the process, she discovers much more about her family and her travel companion than she bargained for, leading to distrust and confusion. And also...love?

I was pleasantly surprised by this book in that it was much more intimate than I assumed based on the synopsis. The scientific portions of it easily reminded me of Michael Crichton (his good stuff). That said, it was less of the thriller I hoped for. Much of the story involves developing a romantic relationship that seems forced at times. The main characters seemed to choose a path, and nothing could stop them from achieving their goals, particularly near the end. When your MC is a relatively naive young woman that's always lived on a small family farm, that makes it hard to believe that she could pull off some of things she did. Regardless, the ending does wrap all the story lines up in a satisfying way.

Not sure the best way to do this, but I think the book would be rated even higher than it is if it were marketed to a crowd that appreciated love stories more than the typical scifi thriller reader. Either way, it's more than worth a read from folks interested in medicine and the future.

Profile Image for Teralyn Mitchell.
Author 23 books222 followers
October 20, 2018
***I received this book in exchange for an honest review from the publishers.***

Resistant was not something that I normally read but I do watch a lot of movies like this book. The synopsis was interesting and promising which is what made me agree to read this book and write the review but I have to say I was left wanting more. I feel like a lot of things were left unsaid or said in too much scientific jargon that I just did not understand all the time. Things weren't explained clearly in the beginning about what is going on in this world. Why is everyone dying? Why are Rory and her father important? What is going on? I felt lost for most of the book and it was a little boring too. The action, intrigue, and romance fell flat for me. I could not connect with Rory in any way. She was too immature for her age. She was clearly brilliant but seemed to lack common sense and reasoning; she couldn't seem to ever see why people did what they did. Her relationship with Navy was too fast and then screeched to a halt when she found out he wasn't who he said he was. Her reaction just seemed a bit extreme when she hadn't known him for long enough to expect him to lay out his life story to her.

Resistant just did not give me enough for what it was. It had a lot of potential and could have really delved deep into this world but only seemed to skim the surface. The characters were two dimensional and there wasn't any way for me to really connect with them. Everything moved too fast and the story resolved quickly as well. I still think the concept was nice and the descriptions were done well. It just wasn't the story for me. But I urge anyone who is interested to give it a try and form your own opinions after reading it. It just didn't go into enough detail for me to get into the book and immerse myself in the story or the characters.
Profile Image for Julissa.
59 reviews
October 19, 2018
Resistant is set in the future, in a world where antibiotics no longer work. Our main character, Rory, may just be the cure the world needs to overcome this crisis.

This was a fast read, filled with action, government conspiracies, and romance. It made me think what it would be like to live in a world where antibiotics were useless. It's definitely an interesting story line I've never read before. The writing style was unique, you got an idea of everyone's mindset in each chapter instead of only focusing on one character at a time.

There was a lot of scientific talk that I honestly didn't really understand, but that's just because I'm not a scientist. I was a bit confused with how the whole crisis happened in the beginning, I feel it could have been explained better. By the end of the book I had a better understanding of everything.

The romance felt a little rushed, but I love Rory and Navy together. Since Rory, doesn't come across a lot of people it's believable that she can be attracted instantly to a man who she just met. So with that being said, I didn't mind the rushed romance it was sweet, and I was rooting for them the whole time.

This was such a interesting read and it left an opening for a sequel; which I'm excited for. I rate this book 3.75 stars.

Disclaimer: I received this book from the publisher. All opinions are my own.
Displaying 1 - 30 of 55 reviews

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