One of my most recently created quotes is “Randomly meeting ordinary people makes for an extraordinary life.”, and B.J. Cyprian is a fine example of this. We initially engaged through social media and found some common ground. When she asked if I would read a review copy of her book I said “sure”, thinking I’d see a 400-pager and hoping for a good story.
What I received in the mail was a 665-page book and I thought geez what did I get myself into. Turns out I got myself into a free copy of a really good book. It’s not often I give a 5-star review and Shadow Resistance gets it.
B.J.’s impetus for writing the story was the outcome of the 2016 elections “…when she was compelled to search for a new perspective on complex matters in America’s cultural and political arena.” Her main character, Dominique, is an introverted wealthy black lesbian technology geek of high intelligence who has created an AI system to keep her company. As a recluse Dom has ensconced herself in a nicely fitting cocoon of her own making and never leaves the house.
This shelter is shattered when a stranger that Dom can’t trace with technology shows up at her house and makes her an offer to establish a team of experts to fight back against the racism, bigotry, & misogyny faced by minorities. Ultimately, the primary cast of characters turns out to be almost all minority. It would have been easy for B.J. to slip into a rant or tirade on perceived injustice, but this isn’t a diatribe from Al Sharpton or Ann Coulter. Rather, she rips her dialog from current headlines, presents compelling context and descriptions, then smartly wraps this into a well-written tale of conspiracy.
B.J. has created believable and likable characters, even the bad guys have the right flavor. She weaves these folks into Dom’s world while giving each their own life and supports the story with sadness and humor. I liked all the characters and the team B.J. builds around Dom seems natural. However, my favorite character is the AI system S.A.R.A. because it explores the conflicts and frailty of humans and civilization while it attempts to acquire some human traits based on its code of logic.
It will not surprise me to see this book become an award winner. B.J. has an easily understood writing style and the book moves along at a good pace – there is no down time. The story encompasses topics of sexuality, technology, medical, video games, music, race and history. It contains some interesting twists and turns. My favorite quote is “The idea of removing the emotional component of racism had never occurred to her.”
For me, this was a great read and I’ve already asked when is the next one coming out. See if you can figure out who shattered Dom’s world and who the bad actor is that keeps knocking off potential witnesses as the team seeks to close a murder case. Good luck.