One girl. One bullet. One dead man. One hundred souls to save.
"Vaya con dios, bitch."
The Black Parade is a 2013 urban fantasy/paranormal novel by Kyoko M.One bullet is all it took to transform 18-year-old New Yorker Jordan Amador into the last hope for souls of the dead. However, it also transformed her into a cantankerous asocial waitress with a drinking problem.Jordan accidentally shot and killed a Seer: a person who can communicate with ghosts, angels, and demons. Worse still, she did so on the eve of her own awakening, making her the last Seer on Earth with no one to guide her. As penance, God gives her two years to help one hundred souls with unfinished business cross over from Earth to the afterlife or she will go to Hell. Just as she approaches the deadline, Jordan finds her hundredth soul: a smart-mouthed poltergeist named Michael whose ability to physically touch things makes him distinct from her usual encounters with the dead. However, the deeper she delves solving his sudden death, the more she realizes something sinister is on the horizon.With time running short, Jordan stumbles across a plot that may unravel the fragile balance among Heaven, Hell, and Earth. Her life is plunged into chaos as she is hunted by demons that want to use her valuable Seer blood to bring about the end of the world and discovers that these creatures have a frightening connection to her family bloodline. Furthermore, the budding romance between Jordan and Michael makes it harder for them to let go of each other so he can become part of the eternal black parade.Not to be confused with the My Chemical Romance album, although that is where the novel draws its inspiration and title. The novel also roughly bases its mythology after John Milton's Paradise Lost, which is why it is separated into three "books"—Book One, The Black Parade; Book Two, In Medias Res; Book Three, The Beautiful Descent.The Black Parade has two sequel novels planned for 2014 and 2015 releases as well as a short story collection. The short story collection called ''The Deadly Seven''. It takes place In Medias Res of The Black Parade in the two month period between Chapters 15 and 16, where Jordan and Michael are getting accustomed to each other as he protects her from various demons and settles in to his new human life. The included tropes are below.The second novel is entitled She Who Fights Monsters and was released July 22, 2014. Its tropes are below as well.There are interviews with the author here, here, and here.Spoilers ahead.These novels provide examples of:
The Black Parade
Above the Influence: Michael manages not to take advantage of the drunken Jordan, but even he can’t resist kissing her before she falls asleep.
Afraid of Doctors: Jordan suffers from a variation of this—she's generally freaked out by hospitals and clinics because the last time she ever saw her mother was when they took her to a psychiatric hospital.
All Girls Want Bad Boys: Played with, as Michael (while human/poltergeist) has some bad boy charm to him and Jordan likes him more than she's willing to admit, but once he gets his body back, he's much more responsible and level-headed. It's ultimately averted with Belial, who manages to tempt her, but fails in winning her soul.
All Your Powers Combined: The only way to kill the false angel is to form a trinity of attack, defense, and healing powers through Jordan.
Alternate History / Alternate Universe: In the world of The Black Parade, the events of Paradise Lost essentially happened—not to every fine detail, but much of it did occur. Michael is very vague on the matter but he mentions that Milton had some divine assistance when he wrote it.
Amateur Sleuth: Jordan is a subversion. No one hires her to solve the ghosts' deaths; she's tasked with it in order to redeem her soul from damnation. It's also notable that she has to do most of it on her own without any help from the police in order to avoid suspicion.
Anywhere but Their Lips: A non-romantic example between Gabriel and Jordan. He always kisses her on the forehead above her right eye as a sign of affection and to be clear that his love for her is non-sexual.
Asexuality: Explored with the angels. Initially, some ancient angels were attracted to human beings but because of the natural order, the angel’s bodies were later engineered not to produce children. Michael and Uriel are the only two angels after that time to fall in love with human beings.
One of the climatic moments of Book Three is Jordan and Michael's hotel makeout session after he admits he's jealous of her going out on a "not-date" with her ex-boyfriend. It's implied that if Gabriel hadn't showed up, they would have slept together.
Bilingual Bonus: There are several instances where Spanish speakers have the advantage of understanding dialogue between Jordan and her aunt.
Black Gal on White Guy Drama: Jordan gets a taste of this when she attends Terrell’s funeral with Michael as Terrell’s mother disapproves of interracial dating.
Blood Magic: Mentioned as Belial needs Jordan’s blood to open a portal into Michael’s body.
Bodyguard Crush: Michael explains that his reason for becoming Jordan's bodyguard is that he owes her for her sacrifice to restore his life, but that's not quite the whole story as their friendship continues. It's clear that he has some sort of feelings for her at that point, but neither of them have figured it out just yet so they leave the issue be.
Book Ends: The story begins and ends with a death of someone Jordan loves.
Break the Cutie: Belial tries this several times on Jordan, but is only successful when he reveals that he murdered Terrell and inhabited his body to trap her.
Clothing Damage: Played with on both the male and female front. Michael's t-shirt gets trashed in the fight at the hospital, but the wound distracts Jordan more than his shirtlessness; Jordan's Little Black Dress gets ripped up after a helllhound attacks her.
Color-Coded for Your Convenience: The angels’ wings all have white bases with metallic sheens to them (Gabriel is gold, Michael is silver, Raphael is bronze) while the demons’ wings are dark, earthy colors (Belial is black, Mulciber is brown).
Dark and Troubled Past: Jordan spent her entire childhood being physically and emotionally abused by her aunt. As a result, she rarely discusses anything regarding before she accidentally killed Andrew. It's also the main reason she refuses to let anyone in as she's afraid of being hurt again.
Death by Origin Story: Andrew Bethsaida and Catalina Amador. A minor example with Diana, the cute store clerk saleswoman Michael met who was the first human he connected with after his memory loss.
Defrosting Ice Queen: Jordan's awfully prickly at first, but the more time she spends with Michael, the more she opens up.
Demonic Possession: Discussed. Demons cannot possess living human beings because two souls cannot share a body. They almost never attempt possessions because it is a violent process that rarely works out. However, Belial skirts the rules a bit by first killing Jordan’s ex and using his body to lure her into his clutches. This only worked because he stayed far away enough from Michael that he didn’t know he was around.
Demon Lords and Archdevils: Belial and Mulciber are the only ones who appear, but Michael mentions that there are five total: Belial, Mulciber, Moloch, Mammon, and Beelzebub. They are known as archdemons, or alternatively, the Princes of Hell—Lucifer's most loyal and powerful followers.
Flash Step: Belial and Mulciber both demonstrate this ability on Jordan.
Flirting Under Fire: Jordan and Michael (despite the latter being dead when they meet) have more than a little chemistry while she has three days left before her soul remains damned and there’s an archdemon after her.
For the Evulz: Majority of Belial’s desire for Jordan is based on this.
Belial: I wouldn't be so bitter if I were you, my dear. I have plans for your soul after you die.
Jordan: What plans?
Belial: I asked the master for your soul in return for my services. When you die, you will become my servant.
Belial: (chuckles) You're too modest. I was not lying when I said I liked you. I will thoroughly enjoy bending you to my will. Besides, it would be much more fun than simply killing you.
Genre Savvy: Jordan. She had enough foresight to hide Gabriel’s feather on her when they left to help Jacob crossover. She also knew that if Mulciber got an inkling that she had it, she'd kill her without hesitation, so she played dumb in order to wait for the opportune moment to strike back.
She also immediately starts back with self-defense training after being stabbed with the Spear of Longinus as she predicts Belial will come for her again, and soon.
Ghost Amnesia: All the ghosts who stay behind instead of crossing over lose their memories but they eventually regain them with help from Seers. Usually seeing a particular person or place reminds them of what they’ve forgotten.
God and Satan Are Both Jerks: Subverted. God refuses to interfere with life on earth, but He does eventually revoke his decision to have Michael stay away from Jordan and allows him to wed her after Michael admits to being in love.
Good People Have Good Sex: Good enough that Michael remarks that he's impressed that Jordan doesn't have sex all day, every day because their first time was just that enjoyable. It's also implied they did it several times before Jordan fell asleep as it's been hours when she wakes up.
Go Seduce My Arch Nemesis: Centuries ago, Belial ordered this of a Seer named Zora so she will bond with one of the angels and allow him to spy on them from the inside.
Green-Eyed Epiphany: Literally. Michael seemed to be struggling with his feelings for Jordan as to whether they were real or simply lust caused by his human body and doesn’t address it directly until Jordan calls him out on it.
Hannibal Lecture: Belial gives Jordan one during their second fight in the psychiatric hospital. She later shuts him up.
Held Gaze: Recurring theme between Jordan and Michael. He can always tell when she's trying to retreat within herself because she breaks eye contact, so often he'll turn her face back towards him in order to get the truth.
Hell Hound: One appears before Jordan just after she leaves for her "not-date" with Terrell. Michael explains that hellhounds are a result of Loophole Abuse by the demons, who corrupt stray dogs into hellhounds to do their bidding.
Hellish Pupils: Belial and Mulciber. Michael explains that it's the mark of an archdemon, who are considered to be royalty as they are Lucifer's lieutenants. It should be noted that the first time Jordan meets Belial in a nightmare, she is immediately wary of his eyes despite not knowing who or what he is.
Heroic BSOD: Happens to Jordan when she finds out Terrell had been murdered and Belial was impersonating him to get close to her.
Heroic Sacrifice: Jordan. She gets better. Also, Jordan’s mother. Though she doesn’t.
I Need a Freaking Drink: Surprisingly averted in Book Three, when Jordan confronts her alcohol dependence and decides not to drown her sorrows in booze.
I Want My Beloved to Be Happy: After telling Jordan about the Marriage of the Souls, Michael offers to leave her be because he loves her enough to want her to be safe and happy even if it removes him from the picture.
Michael: Jordan, I won't ask this of you. I came down here to tell you because you deserve to know and to make a decision for yourself. I don't want this life for you. I don't want you to have to wait up nights praying that some demon doesn't get lucky and finally succeed in killing me or capturing you. If you ask me to leave and never come back, I'll do it.
I See Dead People: It's later explained that Seers are the descendants of the original twelve disciples, who in this universe all had children and grandchildren and so forth. Not all of them become Seers, but those with pure enough souls can, like Jordan, her mother, and Andrew Bethsaida.
A Man Is Not a Virgin: Averted entirely with Michael. He shows no signs of being ashamed that he's never been with a woman as angels are expected not to fraternize with human beings. It also bears mentioning that after he and Jordan finally sleep together, he admits that he's impressed she doesn't have sex twenty four hours a day, seven days a week.
Our Angels Are Different: The angels only have two rules: one, to protect and serve mankind; two, do not reveal themselves to normal people. Furthermore, all angels are sterile to prevent the birth of nephilim. Michael explains that their abilities range from super speed and strength to the ability to heal injuries with spiritual energy.
Parental Substitute: Though their interactions were brief, Andrew is a version of this for Jordan, which is all the more meaningful considering he was in love with her mother.
Perpetual Frowner: Jordan. More in public, though, so people will leave her alone and not question her seemingly strange actions.
Pet the Dog: Aunt Carmen sends Jordan the letters that Andrew wrote her through her childhood as an apology for how she treated her in the past.
"If it weren’t for your cruelty, your cowardice, your selfishness, and your ignorance, then the woman standing behind me might not have come to be. It’s not your fault that your mother treasured your younger sister more than you and showered her with love and praise. I know how that must have made you feel. You became bitter and resented the both of them, so as soon as the opportunity presented itself, you leapt into action to betray your sister. When the hospital called to hand custody of Jordan over to you, it was like Christmas morning, wasn’t it? What better revenge on Catalina than to break her daughter beyond repair? But then something happened, something unexpected. That girl you worked so hard to destroy grew up and became the very person you hated the most. She is beautiful, kind, intelligent, and full of life. I’ve been around for a very long time, Mrs. Durante. Her kind of radiance is rare in this world. So I hope for your sake that you someday have enough sense to ask for her forgiveness because if you don’t…there is a place waiting for you where they won’t take as much pity on you as I have. You have a nice evening, ma’am.”
To Constantine: As Jordan regains consciousness after being stabbed with the Spear of Longinus, she wonders if she'll see Peter Stormare wearing all white waiting for her at the gates of hell. She also makes a joke about cats being "half in and half out."
Shut Up, Hannibal!: Jordan to Belial, twice. First, when he tries to convince her she should become his servant and shortly afterwards when Belial tries to pull a “If You Kill Me You Will Be Just Like Me” on Jordan, but she shuts him up by saying she’ll just deal with their similarities.
Socially-Awkward Hero: Jordan has serious trust issues, so it's enough that she is so closed off, but even after Michael gets her to loosen up a little, she still fidgets and squirms and doesn't know how to react when he compliments her or does something sweet for her.
Jordan: (after waking up cuddling Michael in her sleep) Uh. Hi.
Stupid Sexy Friend: Amusingly enough, Jordan and Michael both have this problem with each other; the former drops this term verbatim, in fact.
Take That: Jordan makes one at Twilight when she finds out what Michael had been doing the day he met her (mainly creeping around her apartment while she slept.)
Talking in Your Dreams: Jordan speaks with Belial for the first time in a nightmare, but it’s also shown that it’s a form of communication used by angels and demons alike. Catalina mentioned speaking to Gabriel in a dream after her capture.
Too Kinky to Torture: Belial is quite fond of pain, it seems, since he experiences it so rarely in his human form. Yet another reason why he’s so attracted to Jordan—she has a penchant for hitting him.
Tragic Keepsake: Jordan held on to Mr. N’s duster as a reminder of her penance.
Tranquil Fury: Jordan, when she finds out Mulciber was responsible for her mother’s abduction.
Michael, too, when he confronts Jordan’s aunt.
Trauma Conga Line: Jordan, so much. Shall we recap? When Jordan is 5 years old, her mother gets abducted and commits suicide, she is physically abused by her aunt for a decade, she accidentally shoots and kills her father figure, she gets kidnapped and murdered by a demon, gets beaten up twice by two different demons, gets her arm broken at the elbow, and finally is choked unconscious by one of them in the middle of a war.
Tsundere: Jordan is the Type A variety. She eventually grows out of it.
Twofer Token Minority: Jordan manages to be a threefer minority—a female who is half-black and half-Spanish. Her best friend Lauren is a straighter example.
The Unfavorite: Michael implies that this is part of the reason why Aunt Carmen hated Catalina, and subsequently Jordan, so much. One can infer that he might have already known some of their background after meeting Jordan, but he chose to let her put the facts together for herself.
Unresolved Sexual Tension: Occurs between Jordan and Michael all through the first two books and gets resolved in the third. Thoroughly.
Jordan and Belial have tons of this, overlapping with Foe Yay.
You Got Spunk: A portion of the reason why Belial desires Jordan’s soul.
The Deadly Seven
Being bad never felt so good.
"You think I'm so naive that I believe I can always be there to stop scum like you? Of course not. Do you really want to know why I'm doing this, you sorry sack of crotch droppings? Because I'm immortal. I have all the time in the world. [Jordan] doesn't. It doesn't matter if she's going to die someday. As long as I'm around, she will live her life the way she could have if she hadn't been born a Seer. I don't care how many of you come for her. I'll kill you all if I have to.
-Michael the archangel
"The Deadly Seven" is a short story collection that details the seven deadly sins as Michael the archangel encounters them living alongside Jordan while he masquerades as a human being. It's also told entirely from his perspective, save a bonus chapter and preview to She Who Fights Monsters.
Action Duo: Jordan and Michael, even moreso than in The Black Parade.
Liz: (as Jordan has her pinned, at knifepoint) You can't kill me. You're not a policewoman. You're just a girl.
Jordan: No. I'm a Seer. You and the rest of your friends had better learn the difference between a sheep and a wolf in sheep's clothing. Until then... (she knocks Liz out)Vaya con dios, bitch.
In that same story, Michael informs Liz just what she's gotten herself into.
Michael: I want to make one thing perfectly clear. If you do manage to kill [Jordan], there is no crevasse that you can hide in where I will not find you. I am not just some handsome bodyguard. I am the archangel Michael. I am the Prince of Heaven's Army. I am the Commander. I will swallow you whole and spit out your bones like the thousands of others foolish enough to cross me. Do your worst, little girl. See what happens.
Big Eater: Jordan, apparently off-screen. Michael mentions "she eats like a football team."
Bizarre Taste in Food: For some reason, Michael enjoys raw asparagus. Jordan points out how disturbing this is to him.
Erotic Eating: Jordan just about (accidentally) gives Michael a heart attack while eating her ice cream cone. And it certainly doesn't help that it's vanilla.
Even Evil Has Standards: Michael becomes furious when he confronts a peddler demon who tricked a teenager into selling her soul and getting her mother on his hit list. The demon admits to lowering his standards after Belial botched his plans of taking over the world.
Eye Scream: Michael throws a knife into the eye of a bouncer-demon in "Sloth II."
Lauren: (on teaching Jordan how to dance) I've had to work at getting her comfortable with her own body. (Beat) That sounded a lot more sexual than I intended.
Michael: No complaints here.
Gold and White Are Divine: Gabriel has golden feathers and tends to wear white a lot. Directly contrasts with Michael, who has silver wings and is somewhat partial to black clothing.
Good Is Not Soft: Heavily supported by Michael's actions. He always does the right thing, but if he gets angry, he can get ruthless, as seen in "Wrath" and "Sloth III."
Mckenzie: (as Michael brandishes a buzzsaw) Y-You can't do this to me! You're an angel! That'd be a sin.
Michael: You bombed a room full of God's own soldiers. I'm not sinning. I'm avenging.
Guardian Entity: He may be sweet and charming most of the time, but Michael is not afraid to remind any demons thinking of taking Jordan for themselves that he is in fact an archangel with powers akin to a demigod.
Michael: Take this message to your people, you obsequious little worm. Anyone who lays a hand on Jordan Amador will have to answer to me. Now do me a favor and go to hell. (Cue beheading)
Hero with Bad Publicity: Jordan gets a bit of this as Michael's stay on earth has caused his soldiers to question if she has managed to corrupt him.
Hidden Depths: Michael. He shows signs of being a bit of a geek (owning a Play Station 3, referencing an anime trope and comic book characters, binge-watching Breaking Bad, reading Neil Gaiman) and isn't quite as unflappable as he first appears. He can actually get a bit flustered when Jordan directly flirts with him (Sloth II) or teases him (Lust II) and is utterly mortified when he has a sex dream about her (Lust III).
Honor Before Reason: Michael could have dropped Jean Winters' case and let another angel handle it, but Winters' personal threat against Jordan overrode Michael's sense of logic.
Hot for Student: Subverted. Michael is teaching Jordan all kinds of techniques and helpful things she needs to know as a Seer, but he is quite clearly developing feelings for her as the story progresses.
Hot Teacher: Jordan calls him "pretty boy" for a reason.
I Didn't Mean to Turn You On: Michael suffers through quite a few of these moments as the story progresses, though he continues to insist to himself that it's just due to his human urges.
Jordan: No, when you make that 'aw, she does have a heart' face. You look like a Disney prince.
Lecherous Licking: Accidentally invoked when Michael and Jordan are goofing off eating caramel dip and sliced apples on the couch in "Pride II." Michael hasn't spend enough time with the opposite sex to realize what a massive turn on licking a woman's fingers can turn out to be.
Loophole Abuse: Discussed in different sins. Michael threatening to torture a human hitman on the grounds that it's "avenging" the angels he tried to murder or allowing physically intimacy (albeit non-sexual) with Jordan because "there was nothing in the rules that said I couldn't."
Made of Iron: Michael's angelic body can withstand any attack by man-made weapons. He survives getting gut-stabbed, shot six times in the chest, and later a bomb.
Male Gaze: Michael tries his hardest to suppress his sexual desires from being projected onto Jordan, but he can't resist noticing her a few times, particularly in "Lust", "Pride II", and "Sloth III."
Meaningful Echo: Jordan's repetition of "stupid, selfish, gluttonous moron" in the bonus chapter.
Jordan: See, this is why I can't take you anywhere.
Tall, Dark and Handsome: Michael, but it's played mostly for laughs. One woman calls him "Brad Pitt." Jordan's coworkers have dubbed him "the underwear model," much to his exasperation.
Brick Joke: Michael's ringtone on Jordan's phone is "I'm Too Sexy" by Right Said Fred as a jab at the fact that everyone thinks he's a supermodel.
Apparently, six different women ask him to dance while he's at a club with Lauren and Jordan in "Greed."
Take That: A small one at Nicholas Sparks in "Greed III."
Also one to Twilight in "Gluttony II." "I'm an archangel, not Edward Cullen. I don't sulk."
Through His Stomach: Jordan bakes cookies, mostly for herself, but then reveals that her former landlady taught her how to make them because they were "a surefire way to catch a husband."
Too Dumb to Live: Virgil the "collector," who thought it was a good idea to stalk Michael and try to kidnap Jordan and Lily to ransom them off for the Spear of Longinus. Michael quickly makes him see the error of his ways.
Twerp Sweating: A rare subversion in "Greed" where Lauren grills Michael about his relationship with Jordan.
You Taste Delicious: A complete aversion in "Sloth II" when Michael licks a small amount of blood off of Jordan's face to scare off the demons attracted to it. He is repulsed by the taste, though being pressed up against her does distract him a bit.
"He who fights monsters should see to it that he himself does not become a monster. And if you gaze for long into an abyss, the abyss gazes also into you."
The dynamic supernatural duo, Jordan Amador and her archangel husband Michael O'Brien, is in the middle of trying to solve a deadly case. Someone is methodically hunting down and murdering Seers one by one. After six months with no leads on the killer, Jordan and Michael are forced to work with their worst enemy—the archdemon Belial: a self-professed Prince of Hell who is dead set on stealing Jordan for himself. However, with the archdemon’s help, they pick up on the trail of the serial killer and plan to stop him no matter what the cost.When the shocking truth behind the murderer’s identity is revealed, Jordan begins asking herself if she is still fighting for the good guys or has she become one of the monsters she is desperately trying to stop?
Bad Ass Boast: Jordan gets in a pretty good, prophetic one in Chapter 21 while threatening Belial:
Jordan: I know you're going to betray me somehow. It may not be tonight or tomorrow or the day after that, but I'm not stupid. You have your own agenda and it's entirely possible that you're going to try and manipulate me into releasing the Leviathan. But I promise you that if you're foolish enough to do it, I'm going to kill you. It won't be like the last two times we've fought. I'm going to stab you in the fucking heart. Is that clear?
Bilingual Bonus: Jordan learns beginner's Brazilian Portuguese in order to speak to Juliana.
Black and Gray Morality: Explored. Michael suffers from jealousy, overprotectiveness, and revenge. Conversely, Belial shows actual concern for Jordan rather than simply lusting after her like in the first novel.
Jordan betrays her husband and best friend in order to learn how to stop the Leviathan.
Black Gal on White Guy Drama: Continues from the first novel, but this time with Jordan's father, Lewis, who is wholly unsupportive of the relationship until the very end of the book.
Jordan also mentions that Michael told her he occasionally gets dirty looks from black men when the two of them go out on dates. She admits to not caring in the slightest.
Blood Knight: Belial is happiest only when (a) having sex or (b) killing everything in sight.
Blood Magic: Explored more fully in this novel than the first one, as Belial reveals that one can actually create a circle to temporarily trap angels and hellbeasts with a demon or Seer's blood.
Book Ends: The book begins and ends with Jordan and Michael kissing in the kitchen of her apartment.
Borrowed Catch Phrase: Michael borrows Jordan's signature line in the climax before killing Belial, adding his own spin on it.
Michael: Vaya con dios, you son of a bitch. (Cue stabbing)
Bullying a Dragon: Jordan loses her temper with Belial a couple times, prompting him to remind her that he could kill her faster than she could even see it.
Call Back: Several. For example, Jordan’s fear of hospitals and lab coats, the scar from being stabbed by the Spear, and Terrell’s untimely death from the first novel.
Michael bumping into Shylock is a call back to their interaction in The Deadly Seven.
Casual Kink: Implied. Jordan mentions a maid and a naughty nurse costume in her closet. Michael doesn’t deny it, either.
Character Development: Belial undergoes a change between the first and second novel. While still evil and manipulative, he does appear to have genuine feelings for Jordan rather than just lusting after her.
Cock Fight: Belial and Michael try to avoid this problem the whole novel through. It doesn’t work.
Cursed with Awesome: Jordan's abilities as a Seer make her a valuable asset and a target to the demons, but it also gives her the ability to protect herself and the ones she loves.
The Dandy: Belial. Michael even calls him "metrosexual" at one point.
Deal with the Devil: Though not the literal Devil. Jordan makes a deal with Belial so she can stop the Leviathan from awakening.
Demonic Possession: Mulciber possesses Juliana after Gabriel kills her human body. She notes that while adults and teenagers cannot be possessed, children's spirits are too weak to resist a demon's hold over them.
Noble Demon: Belial, literally. He is still evil, but he does a few decent things. For instance, he ordered Juliana’s parents to be kidnapped but not harmed, he agreed to help Jordan and the angels find Avriel, and he didn’t take advantage of Jordan after Avriel was murdered.
Precision F-Strike: A subversion. The only time Jordan utters the word 'goddamn' is after Mulciber breaks one of Juliana's fingers. It speaks volumes to how enraged she was considering God is real and she's in the company of archangels.
Rage Breaking Point: Jordan finally loses it when Belial admits that her life (and her marriage) is nothing but a game to him, and she just straight up assaults him. It's quite rare considering Jordan is often the Pragmatic Hero in regards to fighting demons, and a final sign that she's gone off the deep end into the darker parts of herself.
The Reveal: A small one, but Gabriel's civilian last name is Solberg.
Running Gag: Belial invokes a couple. First, whenever Jordan or Michael tells him to bite them, he asks, “Is that a request or a command?” Second, whenever Jordan says, “I hate you,” he simply replies, “I know.”
Screw Destiny: Jordan and Avriel’s attitude about the Leviathan awakening.
Shout-Out: The title is one to the famous Nietzsche quote, and it just goes from there.
Brick Joke: Just before Jordan nods out from exhaustion after Avriel attacked her, she asks Belial if she thanked him and he says no, prompting her to say, "I will," echoing the Desperado moment she and Michael had in The Black Parade.
Michael has the same background screensaver of "You should be writing" as Richard Castle.
"Shut up and finish packing my underwear, Alfred." Twice as funny when you realize Jordan compared herself to Batman just a chapter earlier.
While trying to comfort Jordan, Lauren insists her father will turn out to be "as awesome as Liam Neeson in Taken."
Lamont Brooks' henchmen all take their fake names from characters in Pulp Fiction.
Michael asks if Jordan ever has a normal day and she replies with, "Once. It was a Thursday."
Michael tries to win Jordan over after their big fight by appearing at the bar singing "If You Were Here" from Sixteen Candles and playing on his acoustic guitar. It's so ludicrous that it actually works.
Unstoppable Rage: Michael slips into this after Belial follows him to the Garden of Eden.
Jordan later follows when Mulciber breaks Juliana’s finger.
Villainous Valor: Belial helps Jordan exorcise Mulciber from Juliana’s body when the odds are stacked against them, though it can still be argued he did it for his own selfish agenda to control the Leviathan himself.