I first came across Marianne with her space opera offerings, Dark Space (review) and Chaos Space (review), and really enjoyed them. Marianne very kindly (and with huge thanks!) sent me Nylon Angel, the first book in her Parrish Plessis series, earlier in the year and it’s been sitting on the shelf looking at me ever since. I finally got around to it this past week and can gladly say it was a joy to read. Why I left it so long is now beyond me and I’ll be very soon investing in the other two novels
Set in Australia of the future – and with no specifics given – it’s a refreshing change to read a society that feels at times like a post-apocalyptic setting, but can change it around to show just how the better half of society have adapted to the situation. The Tert is a place where gangs rule and people starve, where getting by day to day is a struggle in itself. The layers that we are shown of the Tert is eye opening and realistic in a way that brings some of the worlds problems today home hard. It’s vivid and hard hitting and a place that brings out a very hard and adaptive way of life. On the other hand we have Viva City, a media ruled metropolis with constant surveillance and security. Attempting to get there is a risk that will often end in death.
As for the characters, well, Parrish is just so perfect for the world Marianne has created. We get the story in the first person, through her eyes, and get to fully appreciate the character for all her issues and faults. Parrish is a real person, not a two-dimensional construct in place only for the purpose of telling a story. I thought Marianne had done an excellent job with having a strong female lead in the novel, a lead that enhances the story and has added extra that a male lead just wouldn’t have.
All the supporting characters are also interesting and many of them leave us guessing as to their motivations and background for quite a while. Loyl-me-Daak is especially interesting as one of the larger supporting roles. He’s always around just at the right time and obviously knows a lot more than he lets on, but we don’t really get the full picture until closer to the end. This helps in continuing the guessing games and keeps the intrigue up long enough to move the story along at a decent pace.
All in all Nylon Angel is a good solid story with a great lead character, the world it is set in is all too realistic and although the tone can be dark, it’s equally fun to read. I’ll certainly be going out to get hold of the next two in the series, Code Noir and Crash Deluxe, to follow Parrish’s story. Recommended!