Mona Lisa Overdrive is the third novel in William Gibson’s Sprawl Trilogy
. Published in 1988, the book switches off between the interwoven stories of four different protagonists
, who are each involved in a plot to kidnap famous sim-star Angie Mitchell: Mona, an innocent young prostitute
; Kumiko, the daughter of a Yakuza businessman
, Slick, a computer technician; and Angie Mitchell herself, who has the unique power to enter the Matrix without a computer. Characters who return from the first two books include Angie and Bobby Newmark (from Count Zero
), Molly from Neuromancer
(now called Sally Shears), and the Finn, from both (well, sort of).
Mona Lisa Overdrive provides examples of:
- Action Girl: Molly/Sally Shears, as usual
- Asshole Victim: Eddy, Mona’s abusive boyfriend/pimp. Also Little Bird, Slick’s racist comrade.
- Awesome McCoolname: Molly reminisces about fighting under the name 'Misty Steele'.
- Badass: Molly/Sally Shears—if possible, even moreso than in Neuromancer.
- The Butler Did It: Almost all of the plot threads features a suspicious butler-like figure, who, shockingly, turns out to have shady motives. Kumiko has Petal, Mona has Prior, Angie has Swift.
- Disposable Sex Worker: Subverted; Mona realizes that her captors consider her this, escapes, and winds up playing a significant role in the story.
- Expy: Tick replaces the Finn as the new eccentric software dealer (since the Finn himself isn’t exactly in a position to do so anymore…)
- Genre Savvy: What saves Mona from becoming a Disposable Sex Worker.
- Girl Friday: Cherry Chesterfield, the sassy nurse working with Slick and Gentry to take care of Bobby’s unconscious body.
- Hooker with a Heart of Gold: Mona.
- Mafia Princess: Kumiko
- Sequel Gap: It’s been several years since ‘’Count Zero,’’ and well over a decade since ‘’Neuromancer,’’ such that the characters who do return have changed drastically; Angie Mitchell is now a sim-stim superstar; Bobby Newmark has married her, divorced her, and gone missing; Molly has changed her name to Sally Shears, and fills an older-mentor role rather than a sidekick one; and the Finn has died, but left behind an A.I. construct of himself.
- Unreveal: Molly/Sally’s eyes are still never seen.