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Literature: Legends of Laconia
"What does it mean to be human?"

Fully named "Legends of Laconia, USA", this is a series of fantasy novels by author Donaya Haymond involving an East Coast town called Laconia and some of the people who live and end up there. Their lives would be fully ordinary- faith, friendship, family, worries about bullying and school work and relationships- except that they also have to deal with not being ordinary people.

  1. Halloween Romance (2009) - a boy-meets-girl story, where the girl is desperately hiding lycanthropy and the boy is desperately hiding vampirism.

  2. Bite Me (2009) - Dianne, the teenage daughter of the couple from Halloween Romance, deals with personal and family crises.

  3. Waking Echoes (2010) - Taylor, a friend of Dianne's, starts having visions of a previous life in a parallel, apocalyptic universe, and is thought to have become psychotic by most people she knows.

  4. Humans and Demons and Elves (2011) - the story of how Taylor's psychiatrist came to join the human world when his village in a pocket dimension was destroyed.


This series provides examples of:

  • Absurdly Youthful Father: Ferdinand ages so slowly that people question how he can be Dianne's dad.
  • Adults Are Useless: Inverted, as Dianne interacts much better with and receives greater help from adults, particular her parents, than most people her own age. Averted when Taylor gets so much guidance from older people that she starts calling them the "mentor medley".
  • Author Appeal: Haymond has admitted to enjoying getting Ferdinand tied up, adding onto Ferdinand's woes.
  • Bunny-Ears Lawyer: Dr. Nathan "Nat" Silver, a silly vampire who uses outdated slang and wears terribly jarring, loud clothes, but is also a competent doctor in several fields (see Open Heart Dentistry below).
  • Can't Argue with Elves: Edofine starts off quite snooty of humankind, but this starts to change as part of his Character Development.
  • Christianity is Catholic: Averted; Selene is a lukewarm Episcopalian and Taylor's family are Mormons, though Taylor starts questioning the dogma of her church as a result of her visions.
  • Creator Breakdown: The darkness of Waking Echoes may be attributed to Haymond's diagnosis of bipolar disorder and having to switch high schools mid-semester during the year it was written.
  • Dark Is Not Evil: The Anghel family, along with Krith the Archaedemon Jerk with a Heart of Gold.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Dianne especially, though others get in on the action. "Tammy has been avoiding me in a plague-like fashion. Me as the plague, I mean, not her, much as she may resemble one."
  • Deconstruction: Ferdinand gets called out by friends and family for his Wangst, squeaks like a bat when startled, violently retches at the smell of garlic, and is weak - for a vampire - and scrawny from drinking animal blood instead of human. Most people also find his bat form adorable rather than frightening. Might be considered one extended Take That against certain stereotypes.
  • Does Not Know His Own Strength: Lampshaded. Dianne and Selene get worried about Ferdinand's well-being when he doesn't accidentally break things.
  • Elves Versus Dwarves: Part of the conflict between the Elves and the Archaedemons, underground pyrokinetic miners who can change in size but prefer being about three feet tall, has echoes of this. The Archaedemons are thought crude, with their fondness for liquor and gambling.
  • The Empath: All Elves in this universe sense others' emotions uncontrollably.
  • Five-Man Band: In Waking Echoes.
  • For Halloween, I Am Going as Myself: In Halloween Romance, Ferdinand and Selene meet while they are both doing this.
  • Four-Temperament Ensemble: In Bite Me.
  • Friendly Neighborhood Vampires: In this universe, no supernatural influence can make someone evil full-time, though werewolves do become homicidal one night a month. Thus a good person who becomes a vampire may have tremendous temptation to kill, but is able to resist it; it's not easy, but possible.
  • Heel-Face Turn: Riq joins Ty's group after being her jailor and eventually falls in love with her.
  • It's Pronounced Tro-PAY : It's pronounced "AHN-ghel", with a hard "g", not "AIN-jel" as in the divine beings. Also, calling her Donaya "Hammond" is the author's Berserk Button ("Haymond" rhymes with "Raymond").
  • I Would Say If I Could Say: "I defy any human being to fail to learn slow dancing." Then again, I'm technically not a human being anymore.
  • Manic Pixie Dream Girl: Young Selene has shades of this, Ferdinand's little sister Cassi even more so.
  • Mistaken for Junkie: This is why the kids at school think Dianne's father is so pale, thin, and withdrawn, and it provides fuel for their teasing.
  • Mundane Utility: Ferdinand makes money in college betting people he's stronger than them. Dianne eventually learns to do things like turn her ears into a wolf's to eavesdrop, or her eyes into wolf eyes incapable of shedding emotional tears.
  • My Nayme Is: Cassiopoeia Anghel is "Cassi", not "Cassie".
  • Name's the Same: When she named the series, Haymond was not aware of Laconia, New Hampshire, only of Laconia/Lakonia, capital of ancient Sparta. The part of the U.S. where this fictional Laconia is located is never stated.
  • Next Sunday A.D.: Since Halloween Romance is mostly set in 2003, Fridge Logic establishes that the rest of the series must be at least sixteen years after.
  • Nobody Poops: Lampshaded in Bite Me, when Dianne's boy-next-door love interest Matthew asks if Ferdinand goes to the bathroom; she explains that he does if he consumes the few beverages other than blood he finds palatable, but otherwise no. Averted altogether in Waking Echoes: when Tylianvornika spends some time in a jail cell there is a toilet included.
  • No Periods, Period: Averted - Dianne mentions that Ferdinand has severe issues coming near his daughter and wife without hurting them when it's that time. He restricts himself to No Hugging, No Kissing for the duration.
  • One of Us: More literal than usual; the author is a devoted Troper.
  • Open Heart Dentistry: Justified with Dr. Nat Silver, who has lived long enough to have attended several different medical schools over the years under assumed identities. When we meet him in Bite Me he is a general practitioner, veterinarian, psychiatrist, obstetrician, and dentist.
  • Played for Laughs: The summaries of Halloween Romance and Humans and Demons and Elves make them sound a great deal more serious than they really are.
  • Power Incontinence: Dianne's mood-based shapeshifting powers and the Elves' empathy.
  • Power Perversion Potential: Inverted/Played Straight depending how you look at it. Selene asks Ferdinand if everything still works now that he's a vampire. He replies that it "just takes longer".
  • Puberty Super Power: Shapeshifting for Dianne at fifteen, limited and vague psychic ability for Taylor at sixteen.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: Nat is a bouncy, optimistic foil to Ferdinand's melancholy.
  • Reincarnation: Taylor and Tylianvornika/Ty.
  • Romantic Two-Girl Friendship: In this case a three girl friendship, between Taylor, Joyce, and Artemis, and their previous-life counterparts Tylianvornika, Joyannastofi, and Artenervan. Their constant pledges of adoration, hugs, and shared telepathy at times border on Les Yay.
  • Running Gag: Remarks about Ferdinand being very skinny, pale, bony, skeletal, looking like he has tuberculosis, looking like he has AIDS, and so on. To his face. It eventually becomes Never Heard That One Before.
  • Screw You, Elves!: Though John takes a long time to acknowledge Edofine as an Elf, he does repeatedly insult Edofine's apparent sissiness.
  • Shout-Out: Selene's brother is a Buffy the Vampire Slayer fan, Taylor and her friends are fond of both Lord of the Rings and Firefly.
  • Spock Speak: Edofine and most other Elves speak this way, since Elvish apparently doesn't have contractions and they thus dislike using them in English (since their magic is bound up in language, only half and full Elves are permitted to learn Elvish, meaning English is a lingua franca among the North American population). More humanized Elves like Edofine's cousin Kryvek have a more Sophisticated as Hell speaking style: "Way to be sanctimonious, kid."
  • Teenage Wasteland: Ty, Art, and Joy survive The Famine Fever, a strange disease that causes much milder symptoms in adolescents than in other age groups. Their home country, Canyonar, eventually is populated entirely by teenagers who now have personal immunity to it but still carry the disease.
  • Theme Naming: Archaedemons and Eudemons. In addition, all the Bite Me chapter titles are of the form "(Verb) Me", all the Waking Echoes chapter titles are a singular noun, and all the Humans and Demons and Elves chapter titles are "(Noun) and (Noun) and (Noun)".
  • There Are No Therapists: Averted. Dr. Fletcher, Taylor's psychiatrist, is not only competent but can tell that she's neither delusional nor lying. It helps that he's an empathetic Elf. Dr. Nat Silver also boasts a psychiatry degree.
  • Tranquil Grief: When the Anghels receive some terrible news, Ferdinand silently and methodically snaps every log in the woodpile in half with his bare hands.
  • Visions of Another Self: Tylianvornika for Taylor in Waking Echoes.
  • Weaksauce Weakness: The vampires aren't merely repelled by garlic: just the smell makes them violently ill. The Elves are hyper-sensitive to all chemicals that affect humans, such as caffeine - a cup of coffee can lead to mania and cardiac arrest.
  • Who Wants to Live Forever?: Ferdinand rejoices when Nat informs him that real vampires age, if slowly, and cannot survive more than a few centuries under ordinary circumstances.

The Legend of the 10 Elemental MastersLiterature of the 2000sLegends of the Red Sun
The Legends of EthsharFantasy LiteratureThe Legendsong Saga

alternative title(s): Legends Of Laconia
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