Thursday, August 25, 2011

Defiance (Resistance: Book 2)

This second book of Resistance depicts an area of France occupied by the Axis forces and collaborating with Germany during World War II. Life in Vichy France was not peaceful, as factions supporting France and ones supporting the Nazis were at odds with each other. Following the events of book 1, we see the Tessier children all becoming active in the resistance in various ways while trying to stay under the radar. 14-year-old Paul draws anti-Nazi posters and ends up running away to join the maquis in the countryside. The slightly older Sylvie gathers information from dating German soldiers, and the younger Marie tries her best to eavesdrop and keep up the family farm. Life becomes further complicated with the arrival of their aunt, who leans more towards the beliefs of the Nazi occupation force.

This sequel is the product of Carla Jablonski, an accomplished YA author, and Leland Purvis, an illustrator who makes webcomics and other graphic novels, such as Pubo and Vox. This interview with Purvis sheds more light on his life and career. This interview with Jablonski touches on this book and also where the series is heading.

Reviews on this second volume have been largely positive. Michael May wrote that "there are plenty of thrills and suspense in Defiance, but it’s the family drama that sticks with me longest after closing the book." Paste Magazine's reviewers applauded the book's refusal to turn historical subject matter into simple black and white issues. The reviewer at Publishers Weekly offered a contrary opinion that the story was slow and overly didactic. I found the book very compelling, and I was hard pressed to see what would happen to the Tessier children.

A preview and more is available here from the book's publisher First Second.

Thank you to Gina for the review copy!

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