[REVIEW] Razor Girl – Marianne Mancusi

Marianne Mancusi
Razor Girl
Dorchester SHOMI (US: 26th August 2008)
Buy (US) Buy (UK) Buy (CA) Buy (Worldwide)

As a teenager, Molly Anderson entered an underground fallout shelter. Six years later her mother is dead, the doors have opened, and Molly starts trekking to Florida to meet up with her father. Her nano-enhancements are faulting, so time is of the essence, but Molly soon gains travel companions in the form of children…and her former boyfriend. But their relationship issues are nothing compared to the big picture: the Others are hungry.

I love Dorchester’s now-defunct SHOMI imprint. This book has my favourite cover art of all-time. And the premise is fabulous. William Gibson’s Neuromancer couldn’t hold my attention, but Razor Girl (an homage to the cyberpunk classic) should’ve had a much better chance. The narrative certainly grabbed me, as well as the world-building – this is fascinating stuff. But a romance novel can’t work if the characters piss off readers, and Molly and…the Griffin guy are bloody annoying.

Chase is not his real name. In high school, he was…Chris Griffin. Family Guy is one of my favourite programmes, so I can’t take any Chris Griffin seriously as a romantic hero. Sooner or later TV’s Chris Griffin will pop into your head, saying profound things like “we’ll be his period” and “now I don’t know math”. This Family Guy parody of One Tree Hill doesn’t feature Chris, but it rather sums up the teen relationships in this novel.

But Chris Griffin’s name isn’t the most irritating thing here. SPOILERS:

-Chris should be keeping an eye on his sister, but instead he’s focused on Molly. The little girl is killed.
-Chase is addicted to Vicodin and Oxycontin, and sneaks away to search for more. This leads him into unnecessary danger.
-Molly’s mother was a pill-popper, so the razor girl is effing steamed to learn that Chase endangered himself, and the group, in his selfish quest for drugs. But not long (less than a day) after the death match, they’re “lovemaking”.
-Chase later pushes Molly away for a reason he should’ve just been honest about. For feck’s sake…
-The “one year later” chapter is so twee.

Molly’s implants, the gladiator sport/entertainment, and the Hive’s history are riveting stuff, as is the all-too-brief glimpse of Disney World. I just feel let down because this novel has so many awesome ideas, but the characters totally spoil the read.

4 responses to “[REVIEW] Razor Girl – Marianne Mancusi

  1. I had to go look up what I thought of this one. It has been a while. I think their relationship as adults bothered me too (was cuter when they were kids). When they were adults, I thought that Chase/Chris really put Molly on a pedestal. I don’t really remember how I felt about the things he did for the addiction.

  2. Excellent review, Tez. I hadn’t heard RG compared to Gibson’s Neuromancer before. Now I’m even more intrigued because I love the cyberbunk subgenre.

    Thanks for the heads up about the relationship.

    • Actually, the story itself references NEUROMANCER, so it’s not just my comparison ๐Ÿ˜‰

      RAZOR GIRL was part of the now-defunct SHOMI imprint that Dorchester used to have. So many great novels, and you could certainly call them SFR ๐Ÿ˜‰ Michelle Maddox’s COUNTDOWN, Michele Lang’s NETHERWOOD (I think – have forgotten the title), Eve Kenin’s HIDDEN, Colby Hodge’s TWIST… You should definitely add them to your SFR wishlist if you haven’t done so already! ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. Ah ha. I gotcha. I’m glad you mentioned it in your review though.

    I’m so sad that SHOMI has closed. It looks like they had such a nice SFR/Action selection there which is a breath of fresh air. I’ll definitely check out the books you listed.

    Thanks!

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