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Razor Girl
Marianne Mancusi
Shomi/Dorchester Publications, 336 pages

Razor Girl
Marianne Mancusi
A multiple Emmy award winning television producer, she sold 11 novels to three publishers (Dorchester, Berkley, Dutton Children's) in less than three years. While best known for her time travel romantic comedies, Marianne also writes a vampire romance series and other books for teens and will have her first speculative fiction romance (Moongazer) out in August 2008. Marianne has worked in television stations around the country, including Orlando, San Diego, and Boston. A graduate of Boston University's College of Communications, she currently produces for a nationally syndicated lifestyle show. She lives in Manhattan's Upper West Side with her very sweet dog, Molly. She also enjoys snowboarding, clubbing, shopping, 80s music, and her favorite guilty pleasure--video games.

Author's websites: 1, 2,
SF Site Review: Razor Girl
Publisher websites: 1, 2

Author discussing Razor Girl on video: here

REVIEWS of Razor Girl: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9

Past Feature Reviews
A review by Michael M Jones

In 2030, as the world was descending into chaos thanks to a flu-like plague that killed many and mutated others into ravening monsters, Molly Anderson and her mother hid away in a specially-prepared bunker, courtesy of her father, a brilliant scientist and conspiracy theorist who always knew this day would come. Six years later, the bunker's locks release, and Molly is released into a world devastated and transformed, a post-Apocalyptic society where decaying corpses litter empty houses, and vicious zombies prowl the streets. Armed with nanotech-granted speed and strength, retractable razor claws, and advanced ocular implants, again courtesy of her father, Molly is ready to take on the world and fulfill her father's last request: meet him in Florida to help rebuild civilization. She's capable of handling anything.

Well, anything save for running into her former love, Chase Griffin, who's all grown-up and helping to lead a ragtag band of survivors. Though the two have plenty of unresolved feelings for one another, partially stemming from the way they parted as the world ended, they're soon forced to work together to protect a group of children as they all head for Florida and safety. Even as Molly and Chase confront their rekindled love, they have to fight zombies, battle treacherous survivors, and make their way through a world where no one can be trusted. All it takes is one bite from the so-called Others, and you're a goner. Will they give in to their desire and trust one another, and find everything they're looking for in the Magic Kingdom -- that's right, Disney World -- or will they become zombie chow?

Razor Girl may honestly be the first post-Apocalyptic, zombie-fighting, cyberpunk-inspired action romance I've ever read, and I'll say right out, it was surprisingly enjoyable. Mancusi manages to make the various elements work, with her futuristic society, both pre- and post-collapse, coming off as believable and easy to picture. The technology is advanced, but not too far-fetched, and the culture of the day is certainly logical and well thought out. This is a setting that works for me, and it wouldn't be out of place in science fiction proper, and there's plenty of room to explore it.

The story itself is told in alternating chapters, following Molly's quest across country in the hazardous world of 2036, even as we see the events leading up to society's collapse in 2030. In both cases, we're treated to the evolution and progress of Molly's relationship with Chase (originally named Chris) as they go from the most tenuous of friends to something much closer. It's a natural progression under the circumstances, and it's easy to see how they fit together, with sparks flying as they fight and make up.

Razor Girl works as both a science fiction story and a romance, and it's quite entertaining. The Shomi line has been hot and cold for me as I sample its offerings, and I'm happy to say that this is definitely one of the better releases to date, and one of Mancusi's strongest efforts to boot. I do have one minor quibble, and that's with several character names. Whenever I see "Chris Griffin," I can't help but think of the show Family Guy, and Molly's father, Ian Anderson, makes me wonder where the rest of Jethro Tull might be. Intentional or not, those names throw me off a little whenever they pop up in the text. In the grand scheme of things, I guess that's not much of a complaint, though. For the sheer novelty of it all, or because it's generally a good book, I don't mind recommending it one bit.

Copyright © 2009 Michael M Jones

Michael M Jones enjoys an addiction to books, for which he's glad there is no cure. He lives with his very patient wife (who doesn't complain about books taking over the house... much), eight cats, and a large plaster penguin that once tasted blood and enjoyed it. A prophecy states that when Michael finishes reading everything on his list, he'll finally die. He aims to be immortal.

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