Rated R is the first novel in the exaggeratedly self-aware Genre-Busting adventure series The Postmodern Adventures Of Kill Team One, by Mike Leon. The series focuses on the everyday exploits of the titular Kill Team One, Sid Hansen. Sid is a teenage super soldier believed to be the deadliest man in the world. In a bizarre act of teenage rebellion, he decided to quit super soldiering and try to live like normal everyday Americans. Unfortunately, his social skills are complete garbage and he seems to have very little understanding of accepted cultural norms. In his defense, he was conditioned to murder people since before he could walk...
In this first book, Sid gets a job at a video rental store and meets Lily Hoffman, a vampy little movie geek with some serious issues. Hilarity and a ridiculous amount of violence ensue.
The series has a dry and irreverent style, often drawing attention to its own shortcomings and overused action adventure tropes, or subverting them altogether.
This book provides examples of:
- Anti-Hero: Sid. He's an angry loner with a Dark and Troubled Past.
- Blood Knight: Sid seems to prefer solving his problems with violence over other alternatives.
- Catch Phrase: "I don't have time for this."
- Conspiracy Kitchen Sink: The mysterious Graveyard company is said to have been involved in the JFK assassination, the recovery of crashed alien spacecraft, and MK Ultra, as well as some other notorious events.
- Dangerous Forbidden Technique: Victor does this when he tears a man's beating heart from his chest and shows it to him. Also when he 'shadow kicks' Sid.
- Deadpan Snarker: Sid. He's seen way too much ludicrous ultra-violence to be anything but jaded by it. Lily to a slightly lesser extent.
- Decapitation Presentation: This happens to Ted's head. And a mook early on.
- Exactly What It Says on the Tin: It really is. It really really is.
- Fille Fatale: Lily. She point blank offers Sid sex to kill her abusive stepdad.
- Genre-Busting: The book defies classification. It pulls elements from horror, techno-thrillers, superhero comics, science fiction, urban fantasy, all with a strong dose of satire and black humor.
- Gun Porn: All throughout, real-world firearms are detailed pretty extensively. Also taken too literally when Sid and Lily have sex on a pile of guns and ammo.
- Legitimate Businessmen's Social Club: The video store is one of these.
- MacGuffin: The MacGuffin. Lily calls it that throughout the book. It is actually a device that rips holes to other dimensions.
- Ninja: Yoshida Tanaka is very much this.
- Plot Armor: Sid has this and it is lampshaded liberally. Possibly subverted. Unbeknownst to him, he actually has an alien deflector shield that redirects bullets so they always miss him.
- Rape Is a Special Kind of Evil: Victor is that kind of evil turned Up to 11. He has "Rape God" tattooed on his chest. He attempts to rape Lily and Helen and is implied to have raped Lily's mother and Amy.
- Secret Art: Both Sid and Victor are masters of ansatsuken, the forbidden martial art of the assassinating fist.
- Slasher Movie: The Ghoul. Mask? Check. Perpetually Not Quite Dead? Check. Super Strength? Check. Panoply of stabby weapons? Check. He even tries to kill Lily in the video store horror aisle.
- Sliding Scale of Idealism vs. Cynicism: Cynicism. So much cynicism. None of the characters are traditionally good people. The best ones are morally ambiguous and the worst ones are beyond vile. Garden variety incompetence leads to some of the most horrific events in the story.
- Stuffed in the Fridge: Discussed as "Women In Refrigerators". Helen namedrops this trope when Sid opens a refrigerator at a crime scene. He finds steak in the fridge.