"This country's gonna be screwed up for a while, isn't it?"
Pretty Killers is a Magical Girl
novel series written by troper Pancake McKennz, and while it is scathingly satirical
of many subjects, with the whole of its focus on millennial American pop culture, politics, and society, it steers away from lampshading or deconstructing the genre, though the characters are definitely Genre Savvy
. The series' setting begins in June of 2009 and follows closely along Real Life
chronology with a nod to events every couple of chapters. So, the reader can expect a sliding scale of Shout Outs
to chronic Reference Overdose *
and the '00s
with over 100 name drops of television shows, musicians and products in the dialogue.]]
The story follows the life of Tomika Drake — a 16-year-old cynic
, born with Purple Eyes
and raised in the urban parts of Michigan where she spent most of her childhood honing her fighting skills and ability to control nature according to lessons left in Jules Lenoira
comic books. Jules Lenoira was a princess born with the same ocular oddity around the 1860s in a hidden kingdom in the islands of the Bahamas. But upon determining that the ways and rules of her people were less than satisfactory for explaining the science of the world, she abdicated her throne
and came to Florida, which led to the death of her village at the hands of French witch-pirates. After defeating the leader of this roving gang, Jules dedicated her life to fighting against evil.
Tomika grew up believing this was a true story of her ancestor, but the death of her mother took away her courage and faith in the abilities she was born with. It is not until she has a comatose meeting with Jules that she learns to believe in her powers for the sake of saving humanity from an oncoming evil. Tomika, then, puts together a team of teens who all vow to protect the city from incoming threats. But of course, she and her family and friends have to deal with the ordinary and not-so-ordinary adventures of everyday life in between battles.
Diamonds (Book One)
With her mother gone and her father incarcerated
, Tomika has been forced to spend the last three years living with her half-sister Jina Cordova
and her mother Trecille Cordova
. And the two specialize in making Tomika's life a living hell. On the night before her 16th birthday, Tomika finds out that Trecille has received a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to work with famed fashion mogul Anastacia di Stacci, prompting them all to move to opulent Gardenia Hills—a suburb of Queen City which is neighbor to Northern State who had just recently encountered a problem with humongous mutants terrorizing the metropolis, as well as a violent gang called the SKY-Gs (Super Kawaii Yakuza Girls) who run amok in the city after the police are fired due to salary disputes. Amidst a sex/murder scandal, the mayor of Northern State brings in Dr. Kalita Sotnik "Niki" Orlova, owner of a weapons manufacturing firm, who agrees to let her task force protect the city in exchange for use of the area's factories. But Dr. Orlova has plans to secretly start her world domination plot
from this opportunity.
In her first couple of days in the new city, Tomika meets Allie Taliano, Kerou Karlrissian, Jizzelle Quezada and Morgan Harischandra. Three of the four girls agree to join Tomika in her efforts to save the city. Meanwhile, Jina and her longtime friend Jayla Cooke
run into vacationing Canadian celebrities Danielle Marcelle and Marc Kearney and end up getting into a street fight. Later, at a party at Jizzelle's house, Tomika and an inebriated Danielle get into a fight over Marc, then Jina and Tomika get into a fight over respect. Jina's skills impress the leader of the SKY-Gs and she invites the girl to join the gang. Amongst stopping the rampaging mutants and the psychologically-damaged weapons expert, Tomika must decide if she wants to save her sister, or take the chance to finally do away with her while ending the SKY-Gs tirades.
Get the free e-book version
, or if you like the smell of processed trees and pigmented water, physical copies are available available for purchase.
- Action Girl
- A-Cup Angst: Everyone insists that small-breasted Jina is jealous of her adequately-endowed younger sister.
- Affectionate Nickname: Trecille often calls Jina "coquí" * and Tomika "coneja"*.
- Alice Allusion: The mall is named the Pleasence Liddell Lifestyle Center
- Amazon Chaser: Tomika and Jina's father, Robert, fell in love with 5'11" Trecille because of her strength, stature, and confidence along with her beauty.
- Arch-Enemy: Felicia Mercado to Trecille and Steffennie
- Atomic F-Bomb:
Trecille: I did not come this muthaf*ckin' far to lose this muthaf*ckin' job to muthaf*ckin' Felicia over somethin' as muthaf*ckin' stupid as no muthaf*ckin' clothes! I don't care if you've gotta hand-sew new ones from scratch. Get me my muthaf*ckin' clothes, Steffennie!
- Awesome McCoolname: Arguably, all of the Pretty Killers when they go by their alter egos, and the SKY-Gs. But the girls' names in the latter group almost fall into porn name territory.
- Berserk Button: When Kayleigh mentions Niki's relationship with her father
- Don't EVER call Tomika or her mother or any female from South River a 'river girl'.
- Big Fancy House: Trecille, Jina and Tomika move to one... that was built in less than one day.
- Blondes are Evil: Jesse Janeé the witch. Brandi, Andrea and their friends. Danielle Marcelle. Leader of the SKY-Gs Kennedy Monroe.
- Burn the Witch!
- Buxom Is Better: Trecille's ideology when she was told she didn't fit the mold of a model as a teenager.
- Change the Uncomfortable Subject
Trecille: Jina, no one can have sex seven times and be a virgin.
Jina: Well, not in the conventional sense, you know?
Trecille: Oh, okay, I get it. I get it. But sweetie, doesn't that, you know, hurt?
Jina: Not when I'm on my back. It actually feels kinda good like that.
Trecille: (cringes) ... Okay, we'll come back to that.
- Cool Old Lady: Anastacia di Stacci. Former-model-turned-impossibly-rich fashion designer, but a bit eccentric with regards to things she says and does.
- Curb-Stomp Battle: The Pretty Killers defeat the anomaly fairly easily on their first battle.
- Damn It Feels Good to Be a Gangster: The entire mentality of the SKY-Gs
- Dangerous Sixteenth Birthday: Though Tomika was supposed to get her powers before she turned 16.
- Day of the Week Name: Mardi Chienne*
- Drunken Master: Danielle can only invoke the skills of her fighting style when she's drunk.
- Evil Is Sexy: Pick any of the antagonists. They're most likely a hot chick.
- Elegant Gothic Lolita: Anastacia di Stacci's assistants.
- Elemental Powers: All of the Pretty Killers have the ability to control water, fire, earth and air. But Tomika is the only one who can do this without having to invoke the magic of her charmbracelet.
- Everything Sounds Sexier in French: Marc woos Tomika with a little quip about her spoken entirely in French.
- Faceless Goons: The SKYG-s' gimp-masked goons.
- Fashion Show
- Four Bad Band: The SKY-Gs
- Kennedy Monroe
- Mardi Chienne
- Sweetie Mittsu
- Jinxie Rosé
- Four Man Band: The Pretty Killers
- Get Out
- Girl Posse: The blondes that beat up Tomika in Chapter 2
- Grand Romantic Gesture
- Group Hug: Vagina Cuddle!
- Heterosexual Life Partners: Trecille and her assistant Steffennie
- Humongous Mecha
- Incredibly Lame Pun
Tomika: I don't know how I let that rabbit get away with my bracelet. I feel kinda stupid about the whole thing.
Jules: Don't... it's why they're called jackrabbits
- Kick Them While They Are Down: Niki literally does this to the anomaly
- Law Enforcement, Inc.: The task force, and then The Commissary.
- Love at First Sight
- Love Makes You Crazy: Kennedy to Jina, but Kennedy was more of a Living Doll Collector.
- Mama Didn't Raise No Criminal
- Named After Somebody Famous: Jesse Janeé*.
- Kerou Karlrissian*]].
- Kennedy Monroe*
- Steffennie Lindgren.
- Kalita Sotnik "Niki" Orlova*
- No FEMA Response: Inverted. FEMO does arrive but it's just after the girls save the day.
- Parental Incest: Implied between Niki and her father.
- The Power of Friendship
- Screw This, I'm Outta Here: The original task force. Granted, they were underpaid and unprepared to fight mutants.
- Sibling Yin-Yang: Jina and Tomika. Niki and Kayleigh Orlova.
- Smarter Than You Look: Kerou, who is a clinical genius, tries to play down her intelligence to fit in with other 14 year olds.
- Sword Drag: After turning her weapon into a flaming sword, Tomika does this to spark up a fire tornado.
- Talking Is a Free Action: Jesse and Jules discuss their purpose in life during sword combat.
- This Is for Emphasis, Bitch!
Construction Worker: You and all those other Mexicans need to go back across the border and stop stealing our jobs.
Trecille: I'm Puerto Rican, bitch! (punches worker in his mouth)
- Transformation Trinket
- Wangst: Tomika at times, but most definitely Jules:
These aren't tears, Sarah. This is mom and dad's blood. You don't understand that it is my fault
that half of our village is dead. I was not there to protect them and I have been trying to trick myself into believing that every day from the time I left the village is justifiable. ... You just don't understand how I wish that I had not been born with these eyes, but I wouldn't even wish this responsibility and remorse on anyone else. The penitence alone is an enduring torment.
- Wild Teen Party
- Would Hurt a Child: The SKY-Gs kill a kid and justify it as rape prevention.
- Your Cheating Heart: Not long after Trecille and Robert moved to Michigan, he cheated on her with the woman who would become Tomika's mother.