Thursday, June 3, 2010
Nylon Angel. Marianne De Pierres. Orbit (2004)
A very engaging science fiction adventure story. Parrish Plessis lives in the Tert, a giant slum on the coast of Australia situated on the outskirts of the supercity, Vivacity. Parrish works for one of the gangsters who control the Tert, Jamon Mondo, as a bodyguard. She is trapped in the job, Jamon does not let people leave his service and she is desperate to break free. She agrees to look after two fugitives accused of murdering a media star and also takes a job from another Tert gangster which promises her freedom from Jamon. Parrish soon finds that she knows far to little about what is really going on and has no choice but to forge ahead and rely on her wits and strength to stay alive. The breakneck pace never flags, the reveals are very well staged, the action is furious and the conclusion is sharp and satisfying.
Marianne De Pierres has created a very believable and nicely detailed context, a dystopian future that has a nice plausible feel to it. Parrish Plessis is a great charachter, tough, uncompromising and really good in a fight, she is also thouroughaly confused and trying not to be stupid. She has the drive required to push the story forward and the depth of personality to be consistently engaging. The plot threads that wind about her are very well constructed and are balanced very carefully with opportunities for the cast and context to come to the fore.
The supporting cast are credible and full of life, there is a strong sense of the pulsing competing life in the Tert, it crowds the page and frames the action very well. Great fun.