Released: March 3, 2015
Format: e-Book, 320 pages
Genre: YA, Historical Fiction, Paranormal
Kelpie knows the dangers of the Sydney streets. Ghosts have kept her alive, steering her to food and safety, but they are also her torment.
Dymphna is Gloriana Nelson’s ‘best girl’, experienced in surviving the criminal world, but she doesn’t know what this day has in store for her.
When Dymphna meets Kelpie over the corpse of Jimmy Palmer, Dymphna’s latest boyfriend, she pronounces herself Kelpie’s new protector. But Dymphna’s life is in danger too, and she needs an ally. And while Jimmy’s ghost wants to help, the dead cannot protect the living . .
Razorhurst is a story that takes place in 1932 Sydney, Australia. It is a place where two rivals, Gloriana Nelson and Mr. Davidson, rule nearly every aspect of those who live there. I would offer that this story definitely falls not only within the area of Historical Fiction due to Larbalestier using actual characters of the time, but the paranormal genre as well. Razorhurst is a twisted story that follows Kelpie and Dymphna Campbell as they each struggle with what life has thrown them. I will say that neither of these characters is perfect, which makes them absolutely wonderful to read about.
Kelpie was left abandoned by her parents, grew up thanks to Old Ma, Miss Lee, and Snowy Fullerton. She knows all about the dangerous of Razorhurst streets. Ghosts like Miss Lee have kept her alive, steered her towards food and safety, they even taught her how to read and write. She's quick on her feet, street smart, knows when to run away and hide when trouble comes her way, and can handle herself thanks to a ghost boxer.
But, she also spends a whole lot of time around ghosts who torment her every chance they get. When Kelpie breaks into a house looking for food, she has no clue that her life is about to get a whole lot more dangerous. I adore Kelpie for the simple reason that she never complains about her station, or the lack of education, or the lack of opportunities that she missed out on. She faces things with an almost innocence to her, rather than she's holding the whole world on her shoulders.
Dymphna is what you would call a chrono (prostitute) who is one of the main mob bosses (Gloriana Nelson) best girls. She's worked for Glory for 3 years, she's saved all the money that she can to escape from the life she never wanted, and planned a coup of sorts against the other boss Mr. Davidson. As with Kelpie, Dymphna can also see ghosts but she mostly ignores them. When a chance meeting with Kelpie takes place over the boy of her dead lover Jimmy, Dymphna promises to protect, and teach Kelpie everything that she's learned about ghosts.
Dymphna couldn't be more different from Kelpie, which makes their story feel realistic in nature. Dymphna is also known as the Angel of Death because every single one of her boyfriends has ended up dead in a relatively short period of time, including Jimmy. There are dangerous people at every turn, and the author offers flashbacks for each character to give them more depth.
What's shocking to me is that Razorhurst takes place over a 24 hour period of time. Such a fascinating way to tell a story without making the reader feel rushed, or a feeling of informational overload. Larbalestier is a very descriptive writer, which is perfectly fine when telling a story about a city that I am not at all familiar with. I would love to visit Sidney one day since I never had the opportunity while I was in the Navy.
Razorhurst has almost everything you need in a book. A bit of romance, a bit of historical feeling to it, wonderfully diverse characters, intrigue, ghosts, crime, and gangs of razor-wielding men due to the fact that guns during this period of time were outlawed due to the possibilities of a Communist take over of the country. It does a reader wonders when an author actually takes a minute out of their lives, and researches the period of time she is trying to sell to the audience.
**I received this book for free from (Soho Teen) via (Edelweiss) in exchange for an honest review. Thank you!! This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.**