Marianne Mancusi takes an end of the world apocalypse scenario crossed with flesh eating zombies in Razor Girl, her latest from Dorchester Publishing. Razor Girl takes place during two different times period with flashbacks to a futuristic Earth in 2030 and then six years later where humanity is barely surviving.
The Year 2030
In 2030, the AIDS virus has been cured, VR simulation games are the norm and the decade of the 1980’s are considered to be the ultimate era in music and movie classics. Fifteen year old Molly Anderson is a typical teenager of this time who pals around with her best fiend Erin and lives in middle class suburbia with a mother who still bakes cookies and a father, a scientist who is a bit “out there.” Mr. Anderson feels the end of days is upon them and wants Molly to be ready. He will train her in self defense along with placing robotic implants in her body.
Chris Griffin has a bad crush on Molly much like Ducky had for Andie in the 1986 movie, Pretty in Pink. Molly can’t stand Chris because she thinks he is a dork and a straight out nerd. When Molly notices her elderly neighbor is very sick, and Chris comes to help out, they are in for a shock. Being the good neighbors that they are, they call 911. Out of the blue, two men in uniforms with respirators covering their faces grab the sick old lady and push her into a van. Chris and Molly are able to get away before they are also taken away. From that point on they become friends and begin to investigate why everyone is getting sick.
People are deteriorating and fast. Suddenly the dead are rising, becoming bloodthirsty zombies. Chris and Molly have no choice but to save themselves. Chris and Molly will go up to the mountains with Chris’s brother Trey till things die down. Unfortunately Molly’s dad has other plans for her that don’t involve Chris.
The year 2036
After six years, Molly and her mother now can leave the fall out shelter they were placed in by her father that was filled with supplies and a timer that would unlock the shelter after six years. Molly never met Chris at the meeting point and allowed her father to go through the procedure to make her into Razor Girl, a true superhero. Now after six years, Molly must make the dangerous journey to
Chase is no longer the dorky yet lovable geek Molly once knew. Chase is not too happy with the way Molly left him but lets bygone be bygones and soon Chase brings her into the fold where his older brother, some friends and outcast children are. Molly is ready to move on but Chase doesn’t want to her to go, since he only just found her again. But Molly is on a mission and it is a dangerous one. Chase has to decide if he is willing to put the lives of the innocent children in his protection to venture into a vast wasteland where humanity has been erased and there may be no hope for the future.
Marianne Mancusi has written a riveting story with Razor Girl. Her vision of the world in 2030 seems very believable especially with the technology that is used. I especially liked how Mancusi showed a future where there are still loving families and homes that have teens who deal with everyday problems just like the teens of our present. But then things get really interesting with an out of this world end of days scenario from a super flu that ends up killing off the majority of the human race, and in turn, some of these unlucky souls become undead zombies looking for their next victims.
Razor Girl has a comic book feel along with a lot of pop culture references. There are about five movies alone I can reference as I was reading from Dawn of the Dead to Mad Max. And even though this should be a dark depressing book, it wasn’t. What happens is truly a horrendous thing, but I like how Marianne shows how young people under the age of twenty-one can survive. They are not inane or too childish or afraid to take action to protect themselves. When a horrible situation arises, it is time to grow up and that is what she does with Chase and Molly.
Even though Razor Girl is considered a romance, I felt that was very secondary to everything that was happening. And if Marianne had decided to leave out one such scene where Chase and Molly express their love for each other, this would have been a great young adult novel, which Marianne is also known for writing.
I think most readers will enjoy the action and overall plot found in Razor Girl. I know Ana had some issues with the overall dialogue and how a six year period is too short of a time period for the breakdown of society. I actually didn’t mind because that is one scary thought to think that it could take less than a decade for the majority of humanity to become rabid amoral creatures.
**Blossum has decided to give away a copy of Razor Girl. In order to have your chance to win, all you have to do is leave a comment here by Wednesday**