From Publishers Weekly
A Romeo-and-Juliet tale of star-crossed lovers and their conflicted families plays out against a futuristic backdrop shaped by outrageous fashion trends in Armstrong's offbeat debut fantasy. Michael Rivers, heir-apparent to a hi-tech security empire, is poised to wed Nora Gonzalez-Matsu, heiress-apparent to a rival firm, when an assassin's failed attempt on his life humiliates the company and scuttles the nuptials. Though the planned union seemed as calculated as the business merger behind it, incurably romantic Michael believes that Nora, whose lifestyle is governed by the same fashion magazine to which he's addicted, is his soul mate. When he repudiates his father's scheme to marry him into another corporate family and attempts a forbidden reunion with Nora, he discovers nasty realities that have made his coddled life possible. This routine romance plot is virtually secondary to the giddy elaboration of a future world so saturated with advertising and fashion imagery that its most public transactions are orchestrated like runway walks. Though the story runs on a little longer than it should, its playful take on fashionistas of the future is diverting. (Feb.)
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In a future controlled by the fabulously wealthy Families, whose every move is a media event, Michael, 19-year-old RiverGroup heir, is engaged to MKG heiress Nora. Indicative of the business merger their marriage seals, their conversation is coded in quotations from their favorite magazine, Pure H
. Just before the wedding, someone tries to assassinate Michael, wrecking the RiverGroup's ratings, confidence in the would-be merger, and Michael and Nora's perfect relationship. Michael questions his father (a terrible businessman, more showman than anything else), everything he thought he knew about life, and the identity of the assassins as he tries to salvage his relationship with Nora despite both Families' objections. He searches the "slubs," where the poor and non-Family live, and visits his estranged, circus-performer mother, which proves enlightening and potentially earthshaking for the RiverGroup. Since so much of it is based on the occasionally morbid Pure H
patois, the novel makes frequently strange reading, but Michael's enlightenment and the bizarre family secrets he discovers make it worthwhile reading, too. Regina SchroederCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved