Synergy: noun; the merging of many different components to reach a greater goal.
Synergy is the story of six people
, Eden, and Deirdre
— who live in the town of Slanton
itself exists in Another Dimension
, known as Underland
. In a world where demons
devour children in the woods, morality is in shades of black, grey
, blue, and orange
, gods literally cannot survive long enough to save you
, and dimension hopping is the only way to visit your mother
, these six struggle to survive and find their own happy endings
Synergy is a story of many genres, going from Slice of Life
to horror in an instant and dealing with everything from dating to Fantastic Racism
There are several smaller stories set between the books of the primary series that tend to focus on the secondary characters and their motivations, and the main True Companions
are rarely the main characters.
- Action Girl: Every female in Underland. Justified in that Underland is a very dangerous place, and not being an action girl of some form is a quick ticket to being eaten.
- Action Girlfriend: Deirdre is this to Tucker, as well as a Violently Protective Girlfriend. Clover is also this to Logan.
- Action Mom: Nell and Colleen Greine. Of course, Underland is full of Action Girls who grow up into Action Moms, so it's not like this is a rare trope in the series.
- All Myths Are True:
- Ancestral Weapon: Diana's Killer Yo-yo.
- Angry Black Man: Cricket describes her father as this. He's really a nice guy.
- Arc Words: Deirdre could have been worse.
- Author Appeal: Frequent mentions of Dan Schneider shows and kid cartoons, long hair, and badass female characters. Also, a bizarre hatred for jaywalkers.
- Back from the Dead: Deirdre. The vampires also sort of count, in that they die before they come back as bloodsucking fiends.
- Badass: Everyone.
Conway: This fella is about to learn an important life lesson.
Seda: What's that, daddy?
Conway: That calling an Israeli a kike
is a bad idea.
- Battle Couple: There are many.
- The Berserker: Logan is this. There are several other Berserker characters, including his Action Girlfriend Clover.
- Big Damn Heroes: Thoroughly lampshaded.
Logan: Here we come, to save your ass! Again!
- Boy Meets Ghoul: Tucker and Deirdre.
- Brainsand Brawn: Tama and Deirdre are this, respectively. Also Alex and Logan.
- The Clan: Many of the Families of Underland.
- Cloudcuckoolander: Quite a few, but Eden is a notable example. Tucker may also count.
- Color-Coded Characters: The main group have specific colors that they prefer to wear or are otherwise associated with them.
- Tucker ~ Red
- Tama ~ Purple
- Alex ~ Gray
- Logan ~ Yellow
- Eden ~ Green
- Deirdre ~ Blue
- Common Eye Colors: Most of the main group have meaningful eye colors, and many other characters do as well.
- Brown Eyes ~ Tucker, Eden, and Alex. This can be easily dismissed as Tucker being Middle Eastern and Eden and Alex being East Asian, but the three of them are the most trustworthy/emotionally stable.
- Green Eyes ~ Deirdre and Nell. It conveys both independence and a devious nature, as well as jealousy and sexuality. Note that Nell's eyes are a dark green, while Deirdre's are a paler bluish green.
- Icy Blue Eyes: Nathan, on the other hand, is frequently described with icy or cold blue eyes.
- Purple Eyes ~ Tama. When attention is drawn to them, she explicitly states that they are simply pale blue that look purple because of blood vessels. However, they do represent her mysterious and regal nature, as well as her supernatural powers.
- Eyes of Gold ~ Many Underlanders, who are predominantly supernatural/trickster characters, are described as having gold/amber/pale brown eyes.
- Gray Eyes ~ Millicent is described with gray or silver eyes.
- Combat Clairvoyance: Tama uses it.
- Cool Old Lady: Every vampire (or immortal) female is most likely a Cool Old Lady, but special mentions go to Nell Greine, a Pirate Vampire Tsundere, and Millicent Blade, a Patrician Vampire Lady of War.
- Creepy Child: The vampire children, especially Harper.
- Cute Witch: Eden is one.
- Daddy And Mommy Had A Good Reason For Abandoning You: They were trying to keep Deirdre's other genocidal grandmother from finding her.
- Damsel out of Distress: Eden.
Eden: Oh, we're supposed to be escaping? Why didn't you say so earlier, dummy?
- Dark Action Girl: Every female villain. Nell also counts, and Tama and Deirdre can be construed as Dark Action Girls on occasion.
- Eerie Pale-Skinned Brunette: Tama is the most obvious example.
- Evil Redhead: Nell Greine, who is frequently described as "a super-villain." Her children and granddaughter also qualify, depending on the circumstances.
- Extranormal Institute: Slanton School is this, definitely. The strangeness includes regular fights that smash through classrooms, a werewolf as a history teacher, gym classes that frequently involve running for one's life, and an aquitted murderess for a biology teacher (she didn't do it, but it is still frequently mentioned). It also qualifies as an Academy of Adventure.
- Fantasy Counterpart Culture: Underland is this, quite explicitly. It is justified by Underland being a splintered world caused by two realities smashing together several millenia ago, and one world floating away while Underland clung to our reality. Despite its age, Underland isn't whole or complete within itself, and thus borrows from the Real World extensively.
- This is addressed later in the series, when the vampire goddess Lilith has a nervous breakdown because Underland isn't 'whole.' This prompts her to try to escape into the Real World.
- It's also used when Terri kills Phineas, and it turns out the Coven are the pillars holding up Underland. Upon Phineas's death, Underland starts to literally fall apart.
- Faux Flame: Traveling spirits frequently appear as Will o' the Wisp type blue flame.
- Female Gaze: Deirdre and Shana both have this down pat.
- Fiery Redhead: Deirdre, literally.
- Friendly Neighborhood Vampires: Played with, but ultimately subverted. Even the angstiest vampires will eat you with very little fuss.
- Funny Background Event: A lot of them. Tucker, who has the attention span of a mushroom, tends to notice them when he should be focusing on something else.
- At one point, Harper is seen having a conversation with a human skull. Naturally, Tucker is the only one who finds that strange.
- Genius Ditz: Eden may be considered this, in that she is endearingly simple and idealistic, but can also whip up a Keep Out potion with a half-empty spice rack and a crock-pot.
- Handicapped Badass: Cynthia, the only blind vampire.
- Heroes Want Redheads: Tucker loves Deirdre. And her hair.
- Insistent Terminology: Eden does not have healing abilities. She transfers energy from one subject to another. Used as an Pre Ass Kicking One Liner when she finally demonstrates the full meaning of her terminology.
Eden: It's energy transfer!
- It's the Principle of the Thing: Uttered by many characters as they obey the Law of Disproportionate Response.
- Lady of War: Millicent, oh so much. Tama may also qualify..
- Loads and Loads of Characters: Around 70-80 that actively contribute to the plot.
- Lust Object: Tucker is this to Shana. Deirdre is greatly displeased.
- Major Injury Underreaction: Shae had his arm ripped off. It didn't impede him muchly.
- It's also implied that, at some point in the past, his head was cut off.
- Mama Bear: Nell and Colleen Greine.
- Missing Mom: Deirdre has one, as well as a Disappeared Dad.
- Noodle Incident: Most every character refers to one or more Noodle Incidents in their lives. Conway's life is arguably one long string of Noodle Incidents.
Conway: And then my Jewish hooker legal guardian beat the guy down with a lobster. But I digress.
- Older Than They Look: Vampires and Immortals. Played with in that most of them don't remember their real age, and when pressed will default to either 25 or 306. They're just good numbers.
- Papa Wolf: Conway is one, literally.
- Pint-Sized Powerhouse: The vampire children. Seda also counts.
- Playing with Fire: A common power in Underland. Deirdre herself is pyrokinetic (though her being a fiery redhead is incidental — her red hair is from her mother's side of the family, while her pyrokinesis is from her father's side).
- Pop-Cultured Badass: Conway, who watches iCarly and listens to Ke$ha when he isn't punching people to death.
- Pregnant Badass: Once again — Magdalena, Legend Incarnate.
- Product Placement: Alluded to.
Tucker: What kinda soda do you want?
Deirdre: I only answer that when I'm being paid.
- Quirky Household: The main group.
- Red Oni, Blue Oni: Deirdre and Tucker — though it's interesting to note that, while he is the calmer of the two, his favorite color is red while hers is blue.
- Royals Who Actually Do Something: The Royal Families of Underland.
- Sealed Evil in a Duel: The Chosen vs the Coven.
- Significant Green-Eyed Redhead: Nell Greine and her relatives, although it is pointed out in-Universe as a product of them being Underlanders, with different phenotypes and common colorations.
- The Stoic: Tama is this, and so is Nathan (who is also a Creepy Child).
- Tomboy Princess: Seda is considered to be this in certain circumstances. It is expected that Maggie's child will become this.
- True Companions: The main group are this, to the point where hurting one is a Berserk Button for the other five.
- Undead Child: The vampire children, obviously.
- Unskilled, but Strong: Many of the students, but particularly Tucker's telekinesis. Note that he does become significantly more skilled as time goes on, and soon becomes one of the most (if not the most) powerful telekinetic in the series.
- Weak, but Skilled: Many of the students, but particularly Deirdre's pyrokinesis. She has very little actual 'fire power' compared to other pyrokinetic characters, but can do very intricate and advanced moves with small amounts of flame.
- What Measure Is a Non-Human?: The purpose of the Hunters is to protect humanity above all else. However, they want to keep the entirety of humanity safe, not individuals.
- World of Badass: Underland.
- World of Ham: It is obvious that many characters wished they lived in one. Logan, Tucker, and Eden in particular are prone to truly glorious scenery chewing.
Logan: Dear god, NOT THE JERKY, PLEASE NO.
Tucker: MY MOTHER THINKS I'M AMAZING.
Eden: I TOOK HIS SOCKS BECAUSE HE WASN'T USING THEM AND I NEEDED THEM SO THERE.