Regina Shen: Resistance, is a YA science fiction novel set in a dystopian future populated only by females, where Regina - a 15 year old girl - and her family and the community they live in struggle to survive in the swamps on the seaward side of the wall of the World Federation. Regina and the other individuals in her community are "marginals", those who live outside the wall and survive without the help of the authoritarian government. They survive by scavenging, trading, raising food, and hunting/fishing. Young "marginals" are regularly rounded up to serve as slaves inside the walled cities.
The World Federation (the ruling government) is run by the GODS (Grand Old Dames), ancient women over 300 years old. But trouble is brewing. With no men, reproduction has been through a process called Egg Fusion, where the DNA of a female is morphed to allow it to fertilize another women's egg. However, the DNA has started to experience degeneration, threatening the future survival of the species. As a result, government agents have ventured into the swamps to test "marginal" girls and have found two with viable DNA: Regina and her younger sister Colleen.
The Department of Antiquities Chief Inspector DeMarco is hunting the girls, seeing them them as an opportunity to improve her own status. Regina, in the meantime, and under the threat of an approaching hurricane, is searching for her missing mother and sister. Despite the advanced technology DeMarco has, Regina is able to stay a step ahead of her and evade capture due to her familiarity with the swamps.
Like the main characters in most YA novels, Regina is female and young; headstrong and impulsive, she tends to make bad decisions, resulting in avoidable situation she now has to find a way out of. But she is also intelligent, resourceful and likable. DeMarco makes a decent antagonist, a character driven by her own selfish motivations to better her already enviable position in the ruling class.
This book is primarily written first person from the point of view of Regina, although it occasionally goes third person to tell the story from DeMarco's side.
Although the story contains many of the trope elements present in so much YA fiction, it manages to avoid the cliche traps so many of these books fall into. Regina is well realized enough to break the mold of the special only-she-can-do-it girl, and there's a refreshing lack of a love interest. Nevertheless, I think adolescents will enjoy the read more than most adults.