Friday, January 13, 2017

James Review -- V: The New England Resistance

Recently Scott gave me a ton of V novels he had inherited and since my supply of new books that I haven't reviewed yet is currently non-existent, I decided to review my favorite book from that stockpile, so this week I am reviewing 1985's V: The New England Resistance by Tim Sullivan. 

The story begins with Willie, my personal favorite Visitor character from the original V miniseries and The Final Battle, arriving at a tavern in the small town of Cutter's Cove. He is looking for Dr. Burnk, a scientist who has developed a new anti-Visitor toxin and anti-toxin. Willie is a volunteer to serve as the test subject for the new substances but he is seized by the locals and only saved from execution by the intervention of the new sheriff, replacing one killed fighting the Visitors, The sheriff, Pythias Day, insists on investigating Willie's story. 

The two set off for Burnk's lab but when they get there they find that it has been abandoned. They are swiftly intercepted by troops led by the local Visitor commander, and Willie at first pretends to be an escaped Resistance prisoner, but reveals his true colors when he frees Pythias only to be captured himself. Pythias begins the journey back to Cutter's Cove only to watch in horror as a Resistance force coming to find him and Willy is all but destroyed, with Pythias discovering that the group's leader, John Ellis, is actually a double agent working for Roland. Ellis swiftly sets out to plant the idea that Pythias is a brainwashed Visitor agent, but  Pythias arrests Ellis, only to have him bailed out by his cousin, actually a disguised Roland, and the two overhear when Pythias is told that Burnk owns a small island off the coast leading to a race to find the correct island and the doctor and his assistant. 

Meanwhile, Willie is sentenced to the ninj-ki-ra, a Visitor ritual usually reserved for suspected traitors among the military, where he will be hunted by Roland with his death or survival determining his guilt or innocence, with the hunt taking place on Burnk's island.

I give this book 9 out of 10. It did a great job of filling in the backstory of the setting, revealing details about the Visitor's culture and how their leaders justified the conquest of Earth to their people. I also like how this book and the V novel series as a whole was willing to step away from the characters seen in the miniseries and TV series. The main issue I had with the book was that it seems inconsistent with how the Red Dust, which repelled t first invasion, works. I know climate affects the weapon which leaves large areas Visitors can occupy safely, but based on the descriptions given of the climates of such Visitor safe zones New England would not be among them. 

Also, I wish it had been more clear in the early part of the story which invasion this book took place during. I was pretty sure, correctly, that it took place during the second invasion but it wasn't until around halfway through the book that the time period was confirmed by Willie remembering an event that occurred during the last battle of V: The Final Battle. Also, like many of the books in the series I wish this one had been a little longer and it suffers from the fact that while individual characters might change, grow, or die, the big picture can't be changed much.

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