Literature / Ten-Ghost

Ten-Ghost is a novel by Adam J. Thaxton, who is also the author of the Webcomic Ow, my sanity.

Lucy Alraune Greeble, Ten-Ghost Finishes the Test Satisfactorily, is an artificial person created by murder and mandrake roots, and like all such creations, can see part of the way into the world of spirits. Taking her skill to college, she became a doctor who diagnoses and treats infections of zobani, a type of spirit that includes "memes," small spirits that represent things like attractions, hates, hopes, and dreams, looking to infect and reproduce using humans as their hosts. Unfortunately, because of what she is, she can't interact or empathize with humans on a basic level, and indeed, can't understand many of the intricacies of even basic interaction, leading her to walk the earth, trying not to overstay her welcome.

Word of God says it's the first in a series; the second book will be titled Folk Devil. This book series is thus why we aren't getting any more Ow, my sanity at the moment.

This novel provides examples of:

  • After the End: There's abandoned buildings all over the place, and talk of "the war."
  • Become a Real Girl: What Lucy is trying to avoid, mostly because humans mystify her to the point of fear. Despite ridiculous amounts of offers.
  • Berserk Button: Apparently mandrakes have one, and Lucy tries to beat hers to death with a mental stick. And people in the world seem to know that a mandrake can turn violent and psychopathic over things as simple as their food being the wrong color.
  • Don't Look at Me!: Lucy doesn't like people seeing her soul, since it allows them to immediately know that hers is made of nine dead people and an animal.
  • Everything's Better with Dinosaurs: Some of the described animals, hoppers (which are clearly domesticated velociraptors), for example, and a lot of the described artwork, clearly depict animals that are dinosaurs, or at least dinosaur like.
  • Functional Magic: Lucy's understanding of how most spirits work is perhaps her only advantage against them. Apparently, you can go to college for it.
  • Genius Loci: In one chapter, Lucy encounters a forest that has fallen in love with a man.
  • Gone Horribly Right: They wanted a child. They succeeded. One member of the couple is in jail and the other committed suicide.
  • Hate Plague: What is stated to happen when memes go unchecked.
  • Humans Are Special: They can ignore anything Fate tells them directly or through its spiritual agents.
  • Implacable Woman: At one point, Ten-Ghost gets nearly bit in half by a predator in the wilderness and keeps trying to walk away from it.
  • Lie to the Beholder: Mandrakes are human-looking flesh wrapping over rotting meat, wood, dirt, and leaves.
  • Magic A Is Magic A: The world's science, from power generation to the fuel for cars.
  • Mana: Implied to be a fusion of the western and Pacific Islander concepts, since Word of God says your mana can change dramatically if you act dishonorably.
  • Mix-and-Match Woman: Lucy is made of nine dead people and one dead (presumably) "housepet".
  • Nigh Invulnerable: Nearly bitten in half. She loses a hand and even chops off a few fingers. She sews new mud and leaves in place.