Razor Blades by: Noir Hayes

Synopsis

Enter into the minds of the most dangerous gangs in the city. Razor, the gang’s leader, is known for his brutal, cut-throat methods, and cold eyes. His arrogance, getting to the better of him, prevents him from noticing some of his member’s evil intentions. Every man in the gang has their role, and it’s up to you to determine who is genuinely Razor’s right-hand man.

Evaluation

A brutal story of betrayal and blood told through the villains’ perspectives.

Realism in the Gang

I would boldly claim that most people who write gangs, including myself, write them with too much mercy because it’s convenient for the main characters’ survival. Hayes broke that mold beautifully by making every one of her gang members ruthless and savage, and that true villainy made my stomach quiver every time a gun was pointed at a victim. Well done writing realistic over convenient.

Gang Boys Have Consciences

Although the story was told through the alternating perspectives of each gang member and their twisted way of looking at the world, it was a pleasant surprise to read their consciences. It was a nice break from the grizzly nature of the rest of the content. Not all of them had a conscience, so I suppose that’s where Hayes’ hook “it’s up to you to determine who is genuinely Razor’s right-hand man” comes into play.

Sequel Bait

Personally, I’m not thrilled to read book two because of the bait left hanging at the end of this one. I have no investment in the characters that will be involved with book two, and am not really sure what the connection is between the survivors of this book and those new characters. (It’s hard to explain without spoiling!)

If it had been a revenge sequel, I would be asking to buy book two right now. If a certain someone had come back on his conscience and saved a certain someone, there would be a thrilling revenge sequel in the making. But as it stands now, the bait didn’t lure me in.

Unusual Plot

Typically, plots follow a system, right? There’s an introduction, a climactic event, and then the repercussions of said event that possibly bleed into a second or third book. This story followed none of those traditional rules. Instead, there was no plot except the motives of the REAL villains, and we never knew there was an ulterior motive until more than halfway through the book.

At first the writing style was bizarre to me. About halfway through I asked myself why I was reading this. I didn’t feel as though I was going anywhere and neither were the characters. There didn’t seem to be a conflict, just bad distrust amongst a group of bad guys.

But when the issue hit, it hit hard and I devoured the last quarter of the book within an hour and a half I was so engaged. So I’m not entirely sure if the diversity in storytelling worked or if I just got to the point of interest in hopes that reading that far would pay off.

Overall

Definitely a unique story with once-in-a-lifetime characters and the rawest of emotions I’ve felt in a while as a reader. I’ll recommend this one to anyone who’s able to tolerate gore, blood, and violence. At times it was quite a bit to bite off brutality-wise, but I feel like the story wouldn’t have held its own without those hard-to-stomach details. Hayes did a fantastic job molding a realistic gang and uniquely telling their story.

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