I really don't like dystopia. It creeps me out. For instance, The Giver by Lois Lowry creeped me out. (Check out my rant about it in this post) This is why I'm reluctant to read the Hunger Games. Do I really want to read about a society that's so screwed up that it kills twenty-some teenagers every year merely for entertainment?
However, I do like resistance forces, such as the Varden in the Inheritance Cycle by Christoper Paolini. They were awesome. Whilst pondering my preferences, it dawned on me that you can't really have a resistance force without a dystopian setting, or an evil king. This intrigued me. Could it really be possible that something I really don't like was necessary for one of my favorite things? Of course. So, I decided to figure out why it was that I liked the Inheritance Cycle but not the Giver. The answer was simple: a resistance force is a bunch of people fighting for what they believe in and winning their freedom. That's awesome. In the Giver, classic dystopia, Jonas is alone, no one will help him, he runs, and you're not sure whether he's alive or not at the end of the book.
If a resistance force starts out as one person and then grows, I like it. They outsmart the bad guys, the corrupt government falls, and everybody's life improves. But if the one person just runs away, it's not as fun to read. You can't cheer for someone who's running away like Jonas did. You can cheer for those who stand up for what's right and fight for what they believe in. Unless of course they're fighting for something really ridiculous. Like free elephants for everyone. Or the abolition of dihydrogen monoxide.
I currently have a rebellion plot line running through my head where there's a resistance force trying to topple a crooked government. All this thinking has helped it a bit. Bring on the combat boots and battle strategies!