Marianne de Pierres – the Parrish Plessis trilogy : a Reread

Nylon Angel

The Tert—a toxic strip of humanity outside the city limits—is no longer big enough for bodyguard Parrish Plessis and her sadistic boss, Jamon Mondo. So with Mondo’s dingoboys on her tail, Parrish cuts a deal with a rival gang lord to steal some files that could send Mondo to death row. At the same time, she’s sheltering a suspect in the murder of news-grrl Razz Retribution. In a networld run by the media, the truth isn’t relevant. It’s bad for ratings, which is why Parrish finds herself tagged for the murder—and up to her tricked-out leather tank top in trouble…. 

Code Noir

The Tert war is over, and bodyguard Parrish Plessis has gotten a piece of the toxic pie-and the responsibilities that go along with it. To pay off a blood debt to the Cabal Coomera tribe, she must enter the heart of tekno-darkness-the slum town of Dis-to find their missing shamans and to kill her ex-lover Daac. But Parrish still has feelings for Daac-feelings that run as deep as the high-tech parasite he infected her with. Bad blood never boiled like this.

Crash Deluxe

Parrish Plessis, sometime coup leader, paid assassin and ex-bodyguard, is finding life tough. Betrayed by the enigmatic Loyl Daac, and still under blood debt to the deadly Cabal Coomera, Parrish is trying to hold together the little empire she’s inherited in the Tert, live up to the expectations of the many strays and waifs she’s accumulated, and attempt to flush the high-tech parasite from her system before she becomes something so much less than human. Not an ideal lifestyle, Parrish would be the first to admit, but she can make everything alright again if she can manage just one little task. Bring down the media. Just another day for Parrish Plessis …

When buying books you take a chance. Some books are clearly up your alley, some are not what you expect and sometimes you find a weird outlier, hard to peg in a corner. I found this little gem in a book store and bought it because of the art and the back cover. I am not one to read up on my prospective purchases and good cover art can make me buy something out of my preferred genres. It turned out to be a good read and I bought the remainder of the series. To this day it stood apart in my mind, not easy to pin down to a single genre and something different. 

That is why I reread the whole series, to see if it still is as I remembered it and if it holds up to the test of time. In my opinion the series does just that. Its social and environmental message are even more current and relevant today as they were then. But this is no run of the mill post-apocalyptic setting. It is a weird half-apocalypse, displaying a semi-Orwellian society. From the main themes to the sub plots, it is a good and interesting amalgam of genre crossing ideas, never breaking my suspension of disbelief and infinitely interesting. 

The true jewel in the series is the main character Parrish Plessis. Before my reread I thought some of the characters a bit flat and one note, but after my reread I changed my mind. Due to the pace of the novel there is not much time to flesh out any characters, other than Parrish. Also it is entirely from her point of view, so any insight into others comes from her. It fits the hyper-future-setting full of overstimulated people, to have these weird, almost over the top, side characters. I like Parrish even better now than before. You don’t come across a female lead quite like her in books. Again it is hard to put her in any one category, action hero, lone wolf or a modern Conan all fit her to some degree. 

Now these books feature violence, the mention of rape, attempted rape and sex. Gory action scenes too and Plessis gives what she receives and then some. If that is not your thing, these novels are not for you. On the other hand, if you are looking for something different, these three books touch so many genres they have something for everybody without diluting the strength of the story. I consider myself lucky, for having stumbled across them.  

Wiebe van der Salm