Young Rissa – F. M. Busby

Young Rissa


Rissa is orphaned, separated from her brother, and sent into the harsh hands of Welfare to be made a productive member of society. By luck, she finds a way out and a path to success.


I haven’t read any of Busby’s other work, so wasn’t sure what to expect, but had picked this up for free at some point, and I’m always open to new authors. Ignorance didn’t work in my favor this time. Young Rissa is an origin story for those already familiar with the later actions of its protagonist, Rissa Kergeulen. Since I wasn’t, I’m sure I missed a good deal.

Having not read Busby before, I can’t be sure whether the clipped, summary nature of the prose is his style or lack of interest on the author’s part. I grew accustomed to it, but never felt very engaged by the characters. Rissa herself, while somewhat interesting, is portrayed somewhat inconsistently, which countered her intriguing traits. Much of what she does have she owes as much to luck as to determination

Busby is given to Heinlein-esque declarative statements that purport to convey universal truths. In the context of the brusque voice of the piece, it worked to an extent, but I wasn’t convinced by it the way I was by Heinlein when I was 12. That may not be Busby’s fault. There’s also a very utilitarian approach to sex that somewhat fit Rissa’s character, but I eventually found tiring. Not every problem can be solved by either fighting or having sex, not even if you combine them.

All in all, I imagine this may be of interest to existing Rissa Kergeulen fans, but not for new readers.

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