Shadow Resistance

A Political & Suspense Thriller



B.J. Cyprian

Divergent Expressions Publishing

674 Pages

September 13, 2018




In this intriguing, page-turning, and slyly humorous tale, readers will find themselves pulling for three unforgettable women confronted with an unusual opportunity to address age-old social, political, racial, and economic hot-button topics. Dominique “Dom” Samuels is a wealthy, reclusive computer genius living a life full of anxiety evoked by tragedy. Her acute awareness of the injustices suffered by minority communities make a logic-based artificial intelligence program of her own creation preferable to people. Until, that is, a man appears on her doorstep with an ingenius idea that turns her isolated existence upside down. 

Rose Jenkins is a tough but compassionate urban school counselor with a mission to protect at-risk youth from the heartbreak of drugs and violence that took away two of her brothers. When another brother, Robert, is released from prison, healthy and free from his addiction, he opens her eyes to a mysterious group with an entirely new take on social justice.

Layla Green is a police crime scene technician who finds herself at the scene of a grisly murder with no physical evidence and an unidentifiable victim. Then Layla’s eidetic memory zeroes in on one solitary clue — a video game console. When a stranger helps Layla and her partner, Rachel Vasquez, access the console’s protected files, things take a twist none of them could have predicted.

Shadow Resistance leads its readers on an innovative, thought-provoking journey — and to a new take on timely social topics. Even as this book serves up its compelling story, it delivers an invitation to step into the shoes of those who may be different by remembering the humanity of others.

Book Reviews

"Shadow Resistance is a solid combination of murder mystery and political intrigue with a healthy dose of hilarity and some romance. The plot is well structured, complex, and has appropriate pacing to give the immersive quality that allows readers to relate more to the scenes and the characters. The narrative is descriptive and a number of important issues are incorporated into the storyline; prejudice, equality, justice, juvenile crimes, regressive youth justice, and education policies, LGBTQ-just to name a few. There are several plot twists that readers will love. I instantly rooted for Dom but also gravitated towards SARA, Dom’s A.I. assistant. B.J. Cyprian evokes the African-American history of civil rights movements dating back from the '60s until today, reminding people of color to embrace their individuality and fight any kind of injustice while moving forward to a better future. Overall, a substantial and commendable read..

"Soundly executed, smart and fast-paced, she takes a plausible central scenario, and delivers a power packed narrative, but whilst an increasing number of thrillers centre on protagonists who are overly masochistic, Cyprian genuinely breaks the mould with the enigmatic “Dom” Samuels. Caught up in the deadly web of the collective she finds herself making unexpected alliances with Layla, Rachel, Rose and her brothers with each bringing their unique set of skills to the fight. And then there’s SARA! Quite simply one of the best A.I. characters you will come across in contemporary fiction. But dig a little deeper and it’s also a poignant reflection of the times we live in. Evoking a strong sense of place, moral choices, immoral certainties and human nature as Cyprian holds us in her grip to not only entertain but leaves us with thought-provoking social commentary on which to reflect.

"B.J. Cyprian, author of Shadow Resistance, has created a world effortlessly blends fantasy and realistic fiction. With the elements of advanced artificial intelligence looming large in Dom’s storyline, readers are treated to science fiction laced with humor and heavily layered with relevant current events. While I’m not a fan of most historical fiction novels, I more than appreciate the references Cyprian includes in her characters’ story lines. Especially effective is the way in which the author works in the black and white doll experiment into Rose’s subplot. Cyprian knows how to hit readers where it matters. This is just one of the aspects of her writing that helps make her book so worthy of praise."

Shadow Resistance has become one of my top favorite books we've read to date in our Book Club. It's a great fiction with the perfect combination of genres. It is full of well developed characters that are weaved into an intriguing story that includes murder mystery, science fiction, social justice, suspense thriller, humor, and a bit of romance. B. J. Cyprian blends all this with a unique writing style that will have you devouring her pages. I guarantee you will thoroughly enjoy this read; and afterwards, you'll most certainly be hungry for the next one. What a Masterpiece!
Image displays a digital mockup of the technological crime thriller titled Shadow Resistance by B.J. Cyprian. The cover is red and depicts six figures hidden in shadow.

I was engrossed from the outset. The author grabs you with her words and keeps you by introducing current affairs and values (plus some killer action scenes). Don't miss this one!

Meredith Schwartz March 10, 2022

Shadow Resistance has become one of my top favorite books we've read to date in our Book Club. It's a great fiction with the perfect combination of genres. It is full of well developed characters that are weaved into an intriguing story that includes murder mystery, science fiction, social justice, suspense thriller, humor, and a bit of romance. B. J. Cyprian blends all this with a unique writing style that will have you devouring her pages. I guarantee you will thoroughly enjoy this read; and afterwards, you'll most certainly be hungry for the next one. What a Masterpiece!

COLEMAN July 10, 2020

Crisp dialog, suspenseful story that pulls the reader forward, well-drawn characters (both human and digital) that make me want do more to make the world a better place. Such a joy to read. Can't wait to read the next in the series! I think it would make a great film/TV series. Very satisfying.

Therese Adamiec July 10, 2020

The book is interesting, Full of intense Drama and current. Oh to have a “SARA”!! Should be a movie or a sequel or both. Great read. 5 stars!

Michael July 4, 2020

*****I received a free copy of this book for an honest review.**** It may be the user but the formatting of this book was so tiny and scrunched together, it was tortuous reading for me. Once I was able to figure out how to pinch and expand it as much as possible to keep within the borders of my Kindle App, I just suffered and got through it. It is a relevant story in that it depicts current events in a prolific story-telling manner. Great read but set the format so you can enlarge without running off the page.

Shadow Resistance by B.J. Cyprian was a beautiful read. I really appreciated the author’s note sharing what made her write this book and the struggles she faced and the lessons learned through them. The topic of social injustice really resonated in me even though the book is fiction. I really liked how ideas were explained to the reader through the conversations between the characters in a way that is informative and light. I was able to connect with all the characters, especially Dom and SARA, her own AI creation, and how their relationship together progresses. The references made to worlds and ideas of music, video games, comics and history were so delightful as I am a fan of all. The plot twists were really good! Reading the book felt like the first time I read Deception Point by Dan Brown when I was 13, except the difference was much more. It was so much more connected and rounded and rich! I would definitely recommend this book to a friend <3

Nada May 18, 2020

Shadow Resistance is a page turning novel about social injustice that flawlessly guides you through every emotion and has you cheering for the good guys to right societies wrongs. Dom, an unlikely heroine and true minority in every sense of the word, is approached by a mystery man who “gifts” her the opportunity to form a team and fight against the prejudice that is happening across America. Cyprian does a fabulous job of developing her characters, making you feel as though you too are part of this team. You are immersed in the intricate background of each character leaving you feeling like you are connected, wanting to give Dom a needed hug or SARA’s avatar a high five for her many smart ass comments. My take away from this novel is this: even if you don’t have the tech genius like Dom, the no fear attitude like Vasquez, the made gun skills like Ryan, the unique profiling ability like Rose or you have all of the above; EVERYONE has the ability to show compassion, love, acceptance, understanding and respect to ALL fellow humans. Yes I recommend this book. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ (5 Stars)

Amazon Customer November 19, 2019

This is a fantastic techno-thriller! It is an exciting, action-packed mystery based on interesting technology, Artificial Intelligence, current events, and current and past cultural issues. The mystery and investigation were very well planned out. The characters were clearly defined, interesting, likeable (except for the bad guys!) and realistic. I really enjoy reading books about strong, intelligent and independent women. The door was left open for future books and I am looking forward to continuing the journey with such interesting characters!

Snowflake July 24, 2019

As Political & Suspense thriller Shadow Resistance fires on all cylinders with author BJ Cyprian raising intrigue to the level of moral provocation. Highly readable but unsettling at times she creates a sense of injustice that burgeons from page to page and gets you thinking about racism on another level.

Andy June 20, 2019

This story had me intrigued from the start. The build up is wholesome and fulfilling, the climax was very exciting! But that cliff hanger, though!!!

Mr & Mrs Green May 22, 2019

Shadow Resistance tells the story of a group of unlikely heroes working together to uncover a heinous plot against some of our country’s most vulnerable communities. This thriller is THICK but the pacing is excellent and the author tells the story in such a compelling way. The author brought to life characters that are so vividly described, I felt emotional invested in their wellbeing and their success. These are characters with integrity and goodness that you can’t help but want to keep exploring their lives and minds. I finished the book feeling a renewed sense of hope in this book’s message: it only takes a small group of big-hearted, strong people to take on the ills of this world (and maybe an A.I. super computer too). Perfect book for a vacation read or to enjoy during a lazy weekend with a big glass of wine.

All_Smiles April 24, 2019

Whilst there is plenty of action and suspense, these are not the primary drivers for Shadow Resistance with its energy comes from its vividly realized characters, how they relate to and ultimately perceive one another and poignant issues of racism. This was a hugely enjoyable read for me. The calibre of the writing is top notch with an exemplary plot which made it a hard book to put down. I also loved the AI who is an integral part of the story and very human! There is a cliffhanger ending but not before all the plot threads have been tied up. Hopefully an equally exciting sequel is on the way!

Joanna E Johnson April 8, 2019

I love novels that not only combine great characters but are underpinned by a well researched and intelligent plot and Shadow Resistance ticks both boxes! As a thriller it works really well with faultless narrative and great pacing, the characters all stand on their own and are all memorable with something special to add to the story. There are no fillers here with some really moving backstories as well and authentic dialogue really brings each one to life. BUT what makes Shadow Resistance an easy five star read is its depth of social commentary. Well done B J Cyprian. Simply excellent!

D Brent March 29, 2019

As an avid reader, I have never been able to connect with multiple characters like I have with this book. The author really delves into the characters and give them a backstory that is relatable, I found myself seeing different characteristics in each and every one of them. I could not put the book down. I am looking forward to the second.

Vanessa March 5, 2019

Debut novel or not...Shadow Resistance is just a terrific book. Each of the characters is clearly established but more nuances are revealed as the story develops - exactly what I most enjoy about good writing. While the context clearly has its roots in the US social turmoil of 2016, the themes of injustice, personal growth through adversity, and "a family of friends" reach much more broadly. Definitely worth a read.

SMH February 26, 2019

Where do I begin? This is a reader's book. If you like to read-read you're going to eat up the pages and the story like nobody's business! The characters (Rose is my fave, but everyone else is a close 2nd), the lessons (you think you know, but you have no idea), the victories & the defeats, the "hell yeahs" & "hell nos" ... this book covers it all in such a way that a reader doesn't even consider the length; the story grips you. You find yourself identifying with one or more of the main characters, you root for them aloud, you experience their joys & sorrows. To find a "stopping point", even at 2am, is a task. It's THAT good! There's a little bit of something for everyone: technology, strategy, intimacy, hilarity, mystery, history, present day ...and it's blended so well, like exceptional gumbo. Pick this one up, you'll be shocked that it's BJ's freshman novel. It's screenplay ready in my most humble opinion.

D. Sutherland February 15, 2019

I was so impressed with the way the writer captures the essence of each character making you feel their pain and their need to make this world a better place to live in. You find yourself rooting for these people who have been mistreated and who are in need of each other to make a difference. I just love it.

Angela December 12, 2018

I LOVED THIS BOOK! The characters, the message, the voice, the topics that are woven through the storyline that highlight and deal with real life issues going on presently (and that have been going on for so long). There is a seriousness in some of the topics, which I loved, but also a mystery and suspense of who did what, how will they figure things out, how will this romance progress, oh that was an interesting plot twist, gosh I love the way she (main character Dom) talks and interacts with her Artificial Intelligence “SARA” kinda book. I found myself breezing through multiple chapters at a time, smiling, giggling, hurting, holding my breath, empathizing, and tearing up... this book made me think about so many situations that arise for minorities in this country each and every day. I kept eagerly looking forward to what was going to happen and develop with the plot. I really could feel the heart and soul of so many characters, and even though I’m not a person to have many favorites, I have decided that my favorite is Vasquez. She brings humor and some romance into the story and I found myself looking forward to her next interactions and loving how she responded to people. I love that this story seems to not have any limitations for what can be done as a group. For what can be done when you have support from those around you who are passionate and care about the world around them. There are many different experience and viewpoints that come together, and each character develops and comes to life by the end. I also especially like what happens with young Willie Price. It brought me hope and faith for the future, and had me in tears. I’m really looking forward to book two, and believe that whomever reads this book, if you are a reader who enjoys stories with humor, discussion of social and racial justice and bettering the community, you will be looking forward to book two along with me once you are done.

Neciachick November 23, 2018

At the risk of sounding much younger than I am-OMG!!! I absolutely loved reading Shadow Resistance!!! In her debut novel BJ Cyprian weaves a tale that not only has you cheering for the good guys...out 2 to your sleeping partner (ssssshhhh go back to sleep babe)...but then crying in the next minute because of a poignant moment between characters. Overall, it’s a book that had me questioning my ready acceptance of the status quo. Written in an easy to read style, the pages seem to turn themselves, Shadow Resistance digs deep into societal issues without being preachy nor pretentious and definitely not halting the story. Looking forward to reading the next book!!!!

N.N.T. October 24, 2018

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.

mark slauter October 16, 2018

Overall, I was left with a very positive impression. Shadow Resistance is clearly superior to your average novel out there and the fact that it is a debut novel only makes me feel even more optimistic about the author’s potential. Indeed, there is a certain “peculiarity” in B.J. Cyprian’s writing, and I mean that in a good way. Though it’s virtually impossible to speak of a personal style when there is only one novel to examine, I dare to speculate that the author displays a (probably still only subconscious) ownership of authorial voice; in other words, of developing a way of writing that is quite unique. Perhaps it’s the dedication to offering a holistic perspective on the chosen topic, that makes Shadow Resistance come off almost as a cross between fiction and narrative nonfiction. Or maybe it’s the sense of humor pervading the story – though slightly stereotypical, it also reveals crucial components of the human experience, as the dialogues between Dom and SARA indicate. The language deployed is top-class, the descriptions are detailed and patient yet not overwhelming, and the topic is dealt with head-on, without any attempt at amelioration. Indeed, I often see writers attempting to take on a topic, only to end up filtering out unwanted details. In this context, “unwanted” implies unwanted by their audiences. Attempting to please others is an awful way to write a book. Not B.J. Cyprian. The novel is relentlessly critical of social injustice, of all forms. Furthermore, there is a crucial detail in this. Not only is the narrative critical of injustice, but it also portrays a remarkable maturity about causes, factors, distractions, and hypocrisy. An author should not be afraid to disturb, and B.J. Cyprian isn’t. Characteristic is the scene where Ryan, the retired soldier, speaks of US foreign policy. “The US is making it seem like we are needed [in the Middle East] to keep the peace when us being there is making the situation worse”. Self-obvious this though it may be outside the US, it’s not a part of the official narrative inside them. Ryan makes it explicit, in fact, affirming that “[p]eople stateside generally get the press package”. Ultimately, I enjoyed reading Shadow Resistance. Despite its extensive length, I finished it in only two days. This is a testament to its overall readability as well as its suspenseful plot. There are a few rough edges here and there, but for a debut novel you really can’t ask much more than this.

Philosopher's stoned October 5, 2018

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