Nylon Angel by Marianne de Pierres

(2005-06-03)

Nylon Angel is the first in a trilogy of books following the life of Parrish Plessis. Set in the not too distant future in an Australia ruled by the media, it is a furiously fast paced tale of one woman’s attempt to make a life for herself. A life free of her abusive family, the attentions of multiple evil gang lords and the general squalor of life in the area known as the "Tert".

Along the way Parrish is framed for murder, set up to be murdered herself, and thoroughly used and abused in almost every way imaginable. The frantic pace of the action drags you kicking and screaming past the inconsistencies in dePierres’ world before you have chance to focus on them. None of the characters with the exception of Plessis herself are so well rounded that you would miss them if they failed to appear in the sequel. They seem almost only to exist to save her when she cannot save herself, but we just don’t care. She is a woman of contradictions, violent and strong, whilst at the same time emotional and loving. She takes out her enemies without a moments thought but is willing to risk herself to save an orphaned cripple and she carries this book almost single-handedly. The story ends not so much because the story has ended but more that the book has run out of pages. The second book takes off at the exact moment the first finishes but that‘s a whole other review - watch this space.

In a style that seems almost reminiscent of Michael Marshall-Smith, Marianne de Pierres sets the scene for the next two books in the Plessis saga admirably well. If you like the sort of Sci-fi where the emphasis is on the details of the Science then you might do well to avoid this, but if you like adrenaline charged, first person perspective, character based cyberpunk then you shouldn’t miss it. On a personal level that’s exactly what I look for in a book and I loved this one. In a world where every Editor’s maxim seems to be "Cut cut cut!" it seems odd to say that this book could have benefited from a few hundred more pages but some added depth to both the characters and the environment in which they live wouldn’t have gone amiss. One way or another though, both Marianne de Pierres and Parrish Plessis are here to stay.

Reviewed by Jacquin

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