I have an inherent dislike for books that try too hard to pretend to be movies.
I also dislike books that do it with too much winking recognition of the tropes they’re employing, without actually changing them or reinterpreting them in an interesting way. I also dislike sequels that fail to address many of the more critical aspects of the previous book. In short, the second book in the Dave vs. the Monsters series didn’t exactly grab me.
I will give credit where credit is due: the majority of the plot at least follows a different route than the previous title. Lighter on the action, Resistance mostly deals with Dave adjusting to his new fame in the world as a monster slayer. However, as even reading the back blurb will inform you, it’s not long before dragons and zombies and various other mishmashes of human mythology creep out of the woodwork for another high-speed explosive chase. The link with low-budget action movies is clear. The subtitle of the book is even an incredibly generic blockbuster “Re-something” style of name.
Perhaps I’m being a bit too harsh. However, what grates me so much about this series is how it gets filtered through the viewpoint of Dave. In and of itself, it’s a fairly innocuous concept of modern action mixed with the monster genre that doesn’t do too badly at portraying that mix. But I get the feeling that the book really wants me to like Dave a lot more than he actually deserves. His same personality defects that render him into the category of expletive, rather than loveable anti-hero as was intended are the ones that keep me from being engaged in his story. This book seeks to develop his consciousness within the larger framework of the world, setting him up as a true hero figure by book 3 I’m sure; however, his self-centeredness and general attitude make this very unbelievable and unsuccessful.
The author probably set out to make their own version of John McClane/Jason Statham etc. etc, but the problem is that characters like that work better on camera than when we’re following them around so closely as one does in a novel. In many ways, those heroes are not nice people in any traditional sense of the term. But we enjoy watching them because of the visual detachment a film can create in that way.
A book doesn’t offer the same escape, and we get to see far too much of Dave far too constantly. And that’s a problem when he’s the main character of your series.