Fiction Reviews

Code Noir

(2004) Marianne de Pierres, Orbit, 6.99, pbk, 311 pp, ISBN 1-84149-257-4

Code Noir is the second Parrish Plessis book and concerns the heroine's life after the Tert War of Nylon Angel. Parrish is now a major power in the Tert, but with her new found wealth come responsibilities. Oh, and she has a price on her head.

The Tert is a playground for a mixture of high technology and various power groups and this backdrop is ideal for the sort of violent thriller the title suggests. As Parrish pursues a quest that will alleviate her problems, we meet a variety of strange characters and situations throughout the Tert, eventually leading to confrontation in the district of Dis. Clearly, Parrish is intended as a sexy independent heroine and the first person perspective helps this.

All this is very well and quite stylishly handled, but I found it lacked a certain substance. I am not, of course, expecting cosmic illuminations from every book I read, but I do expect there to be some point to it all. The slight substance this has is more related to fantasy than SF, even though SF provides the backdrop. Be aware, then, that although this is a nice enough read, I would not recommend unreservedly.

Graham Connor

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