Literature: The Black Parade
One girl. One bullet. One dead man. One hundred souls to save.
"Vaya con dios, bitch."The Black Parade
— Jordan Amador
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.
The third novel is entitled The Holy Dark
(after a Leonard Cole lyric from "Hallelujah") and will be released spring 2015. There are a couple of excerpts from the first two chapters available to preview.
There are interviews with the author 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.
- Accidental Murder: Jordan accidentally kills Andrew, mistaking him for a demon.
- The Ace: Michael. He's handsome, well read, smart, powerful, and genuinely a nice guy.
- Action Girl: Jordan. Turns out it's in her blood, as her mother, Catalina, was quite the Action Girl too.
- Affably Evil: Belial and Mulciber. They’ll tear you limb from limb, but they’ll be polite about it.
- Affectionate Nickname: Jordan calls Michael "pretty boy." She is the only one allowed to do so.
- 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.
- After Action Patch Up: One for Jordan, and another later for Michael.
- 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.
- Alone with the Psycho: Jordan with Belial, twice. Poor thing.
- Aloof Dark-Haired Girl: 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.
- Archangel Gabriel: one of the main protagonists.
- Archangel Michael: one of the main protagonists/love interests.
- Archangel Raphael: one of the minor protagonists.
- Armor-Piercing Question: "Michael...are you jealous?"
- 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.
- The Atoner: Jordan.
- Audience Surrogate: Michael.
- Bad Dreams: They are a defining part of Jordan’s personality.
- Badass Boast: "Touch her and I'll feed you that hand finger by finger."
- Badass in Distress: Michael.
- Bald of Awesome/Bald of Evil: Luka.
- The Bechdel Test: Passes.
- Being Good Sucks: Jordan notes this as she is forced into her job due to an ultimatum and receives no help as she lives on her own.
- Belligerent Sexual Tension: Jordan and Michael, full stop. Jordan and Belial too.
- Berserk Button: Jordan does not like it if you call her mother crazy. Not. One. Bit.
- Do NOT threaten Jordan in front of Michael. It will be last thing you ever do.
- Beware the Nice Ones: Gabriel is perfectly sweet 99% of the time, but if you manage to get on his bad side, you will most certainly regret it.
- Big Bad Duumvirate: Belial and Mulciber.
- Big Brother Mentor: Gabriel. He is often willing to give Jordan advice and genuinely cares about her, and shares a similar relationship with Michael, his actual brother.
- The Big Damn Kiss: Andrew and Catalina share one shortly before she dies.
- 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.
- Black Eyes of Evil: The false angel.
- 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.
- Broken Bird: Jordan.
- But for Me, It Was Tuesday: Mulciber’s reaction to having a hand in Catalina’s death.
- Casual Danger Dialogue: Usually Jordan.
- Casual Kink: Jordan mentions wearing a police uniform. Michael becomes awfully interested all of the sudden, but she leaves him hanging.
- Cat Scare: Twice. By the same cat, no less.
- Catapult Nightmare: Jordan has a few of them.
- Celibate Hero: Gabriel, Raphael, and Michael (initially). They are angels, after all.
- Character Development: Jordan learns to open up and stop rejecting human contact because of the nature of her job. She also forgives herself for killing Andrew and falls in love.
- Michael started out as little more than a warrior and then his experiences as both a poltergeist and a man change his perceptions of life and mankind for the better.
- Chaste Hero: Jordan, by choice, and the angels by duty.
- Chekhov's Gun: Gabriel’s feather.
- Chocolate of Romance: Jordan briefly considers buying Michael some Lindt chocolate to apologize for being so closed off about her ex-boyfriend.
- Closed Door Rapport: Jordan and Michael in Book Three.
- 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).
- Creepy Child: Jacob.
- Dark Action Girl: Mulciber.
- 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.
- Deadpan Snarker: Jordan, Michael, and Belial.
- Deal with the Devil: Subverted. Belial offers Jordan one, but she's not buying it.
- 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.
- The Determinator: Jordan gets her ass kicked a lot, but she never gives up.
- Devil but No God: Averted, although both parties do not directly interact with mankind and only send orders through their servants.
- Disappeared Dad: Jordan’s father.
- Distracted by the Sexy: Jordan is so preoccupied by the sex dream she recalls having about Michael that he asks her a question and she doesn't even hear it.
- Driven to Suicide: Jordan’s mother.
- Drowning My Sorrows: A subversion. Jordan only drinks because she has chronic nightmares and the alcohol helps calm her down enough to sleep.
- Earn Your Happy Ending: Boy, do they ever...
- Erotic Dream: Jordan has one in Book Two about Michael, embarrassingly enough. In Book Three, one dream starts out this way for Jordan but quickly turns into Nightmare Fuel, no pun intended.
- Everyone Can See It: Except Jordan. Who refuses to see it (for a while).
- Evil Counterpart: Belial is Michael’s, as he is smart, handsome, and charming, but evil.
- Female Gaze: Jordan tries her absolute damnedest not to notice how attractive Michael is, but she can't resist checking him out a few times when he's not paying attention.
- Femme Fatale: Mulciber.
- First Kiss: Played with. Michael never reveals if Jordan was his first kiss or not.
- First Love: Jordan is Michael’s and vice versa. However, it should be noted that she was in a long-term relationship with Terrell beforehand.
- First-Person Smartass: Jordan.
- 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.
- Foreshadowing: Jordan's nightmare about the man in black.
- To a lesser degree, her argument to Michael that she has to prepare for "whatever's coming next."
- Freudian Trio: Michael is Id, Gabriel is Super Ego, and Jordan is Ego.
- Functional Addict: Jordan drinks each night to get to sleep, but it doesn’t affect her life until the third act.
- Gender Flip: Mulciber, who is male in Paradise Lost.
- Gentle Giant: Gabriel.
- 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.
- Ghost Shipping: For those who ship Jordan and Poltergeist!Michael.
- 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.
- Go Out with a Smile: Both Jordan and her mother.
- 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.
- Handsome Devil: Belial, to the letter.
- Handsome Lech: Michael shows signs of this in his poltergeist form.
- Headbutt of Love: Happens between Jordan and Michael after they save each other at the psychiatric hospital.
- Healing Factor: Archangels' bodies are significantly tougher than normal human bodies, but they still have to physically heal themselves. They don’t regenerate.
- Healing Hands: Raphael; Michael as well, although he uses more than his hands…
- He Is Not My Boyfriend: Happens twice. The first time Mulciber drops the term and Jordan doesn't deny it; the second time, a waitress mistakes them for newlyweds and she quickly corrects the error.
- 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.
- Heroic Self-Deprecation: Jordan. Michael calls her out on it.
- Hiding In Plain Sight: Belial pretending to be Terrell, Jordan's ex-boyfriend.
- Holding Hands: Michael holds Jordan's hand when they walk through the psychiatric hospital with Jacob. It's one of the first signs that she's warming up to him because she doesn't pull away.
- Huge Guy, Tiny Girl: Michael is roughly six-foot-one while Jordan is five-foot-six; Gabriel is a better example considering he is six-foot-six.
- Human Sacrifice: What Belial was going to do to Jordan in order to possess Michael's body.
- Humanoid Abomination: The false angel. The demons are a subversion as they cannot use their true forms, but they do have super strength and agility.
- Humans Are Bastards: What the ghost child Jacob believes.
- I Call It "Vera": Michael’s sword is called “Celeste.” Not very intimidating until you see him use it.
- I Have You Now, My Pretty: Belial to Jordan, twice.
- 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.
Jordan: Even though you love me.
- I Will Protect Her: Michael, full stop, and much to Jordan’s dismay.
- If You Kill Him, You Will Be Just Like Him: Averted. Jordan didn’t kill Belial because she was in a hurry to find Michael, but she had no trouble dispatching Mulciber for taking her mother away.
- I'm Going to Hell for This: Jordan's reaction after she has an Erotic Dream about Michael. Y'know, the archangel of the Lord.
- Innocent Cohabitation: A subversion occurs with Jordan and Michael—he hasn’t moved in but he does spend most of his time taking care of her while she recovers in Book Two.
- Insistent Terminology: The archangels tend to refer to God as "Father" or "the Father" when referencing Him directly and "the Son" when referencing Jesus.
- Interplay of Sex and Violence: Belial and Jordan, to a T.
- Interspecies Romance: Sort of. Michael is a full-blown angel in a half-human body.
- Intimate Healing: Used as a form of punishment by Michael on Jordan in the Book Three. Though the term punishment is a pretty loose translation in this case.
- Invisible to Normals: All ghosts and poltergeists.
- 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.
- It's All My Fault: Jordan blames herself for the deaths of Mr. N and Terrell.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Jordan can sometimes come across as this.
- Killed Off for Real: Terrell.
- Kissing Under the Influence: Jordan gets drunk and kisses Michael.
- Lampshade Hanging: Belial is fond of this, particularly when it comes to something regarding Michael or Jordan.
Belial: Do you see how weak he makes you? The mere mention of his name and your defenses drop. I find it rather upsetting, don't you?
- Last Kiss: Catalina and Andrew share one before she dies.
- Lecherous Licking: Belial is quite fond of this in regards to Jordan.
- Like an Old Married Couple: Jordan and Michael, so much so that a waitress mistakes them for being married.
Krystal the Waitress: ...are you sure you're not married?
Jordan: If by 'married' you mean me hating him, then yes.
- Like Brother and Sister: Gabriel and Jordan.
- Little Black Dress: Lauren secretly packs one for Jordan. She is less than pleased when she finds it.
- Little "No"’s: Jordan after mistakenly shooting Andrew.
- Long-Haired Pretty Boy: Belial in his second body.
- Love Triangle: Michael/Jordan/Terrell. Later, Michael/Jordan/Belial.
- A Magic Contract Comes with a Kiss: For both the angels and the demons, a contract involves kissing and, well, more than that…
- Manipulative Bastard: Belial.
- 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.
- Man of Wealth and Taste: Belial.
- Mayfly-December Romance: Jordan and Michael; though they do get off easy because if Jordan dies and goes to Heaven, Michael can see her whenever he likes.
- Meaningful Name: Almost everyone.
- Carmensita Durante: “Durante” is a Spanish name meaning a stubborn person.
- Jordan Amador: Jordan refers to the river where Jesus was baptized while Amador means “Lover of God” in Spanish. This was done intentionally as Jordan's mother, Catalina, was deeply religious.
- Andrew Bethsaida: named after one of Jesus’ 12 disciples from Bethsaida.
- Catalina Amador: Catalina is a Spanish version of the name Katherine, which can mean “pure.”
- Jacob: the evil child poltergeist ends up tricking Jordan and Michael as Jacob did to his brother in the Bible.
- Michael: His name means “God-like.”
- Missing Mom: Catalina Amador.
- The Mole: Jacob; Belial’s cat to a lesser extent.
- Moment Killer: Gabriel in Book Three.
- Motive Rant: Jordan purposely invokes one from Belial in order to stall for time after he captures her. She notes that he seems to enjoy hearing himself talk.
- Mr. Fanservice: Michael, although it's completely accidental. Jordan laments more than once at how he looks so gorgeous all the time without any real effort.
- Muggle Best Friend: Lauren.
- Murder the Hypotenuse: Terrell, we hardly knew ye.
- My Name Is Inigo Montoya: Jordan to Mulciber.
- Nakama: Among Lauren, Andrew and the angels, Jordan has a makeshift family.
- Never Got to Say Goodbye: Jordan to her mother. Later subverted as she is reunited with her in the astral plane.
- The Nicknamer: Jordan teasingly calls Michael ‘pretty boy’ on a regular basis. It should be noted that he hates it if anyone but her calls him that.
- Belial bestows "my pet" on Jordan. It's twice as disturbing when one realizes that Belial considers human beings to be beneath him, so the term is actually quite literal.
- No Body Left Behind: Hellhounds' bodies evaporate into ash after they're killed.
- No-Holds-Barred Beatdown: Michael vs. Luka.
- No Sense of Personal Space: Belial. However, it's usually intentional as a way to manipulate Jordan.
- Not a Date: Jordan insists this is the case with Terrell. Also serves as a Running Gag.
- Not a Morning Person: Jordan needs to coffee to be anywhere near sociable.
- Not So Different: Belial tries to use this as a reason to have Jordan give her soul to him. It doesn’t work.
- Official Couple: Jordan and Michael by the end.
- Offscreen Moment of Awesome: Jordan never got to see just what Andrew did to that demon that was chasing her.
- She also misses Michael chopping off Mulciber’s arm during the war.
- Off The Wagon: Jordan briefly tumbles off after her "not-date" with Terrell.
- Oh, Crap: Jordan's reaction once she realizes who the man in the psychiatric hospital really is: Belial.
- Older Than They Look: Michael and Belial appear to be in their mid-twenties while Gabriel seems in his early thirties, but all three of them are literally millions of years old.
- Old Flame: Terrell.
- One Head Taller: Gabriel.
- 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.
- Pillow Pistol: Jordan sleeps with a .38 Smith & Wesson.
- Plot-Triggering Death: Andrew’s death definitively begins Jordan’s story.
- Posthumous Character: Andrew and Jordan’s mother; later, Michael. Sort of.
- Power Trio: Michael, Gabriel, and Raphael are the angelic example while Michael, Gabriel, and Jordan are the protagonist example.
- Precision F-Strike: When Jordan finds out Michael had broken into her apartment.
- Pre-Mortem One-Liner: “Faith is the substance of things hoped for and the evidence of things not seen. Tell me if you saw this coming, ma cherie.”
- Psycho Psychologist: Mulciber.
- Public Domain Artifact: The Spear of Longinus and a sliver from the True Cross.
- Raven Hair, Ivory Skin: Belial in his second body.
- "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Michael delivers a well-deserved one to Jordan’s aunt.
"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.”
- Red Eyes, Take Warning: Hellhounds.
- Red Oni, Blue Oni: Gabriel and Raphael serve as Blue to Jordan and Michael’s Reds.
- Redemption Equals Death: Jordan.
- The Reveal: Mr. N’s real name, Andrew Bethsaida, and the fact that Terrell was being impersonated by Belial in Book Three.
- Rule of Three: Three books, three kisses, three archangels.
- Salt and Pepper: Jordan and Michael.
- Sassy Black Woman: Jordan.
- Scar Survey: In Book Two, Michael finds out about the scars on Jordan’s back after she undresses to change out her bandages.
- Scars Are Forever: Subverted, as Jordan could heal hers but chooses against it.
- Sealed with a Kiss: The ending.
- Sexy Discretion Shot: Jordan stops narrating shortly after she and Michael get to the bed. She picks back up after the event...a couple hours later, in fact.
- Sharp-Dressed Man: Belial and Gabriel.
- She Cleans Up Nicely: Jordan is a bit tomboyish, but she still looks pretty hot with a little work.
- Shipper on Deck: Gabriel, Lauren, and Raphael all seem on board for Jordan and Michael to be together. Even God eventually joins in.
- Shout-Out: Plenty.
- To Castle. She mentions Castle and Beckett by name.
- To Desperado: “Did I thank you?” “No.” “I will.”
- To William Butler Yeats: Michael recites “The Cradle Song” in The Beautiful Descent.
- To Firefly: Catalina asks Andrew about his life helping ghosts and he says, “It’s a life.” She replies: “That’s not much.” He tells her: “It’s enough.”
- To V for Vendetta: Jordan’s dying words.
- To Batman Beyond: at the end of Chapter 8.
- To Star Wars: “I find your lack of faith disturbing.”
- To William Shakespeare: Two, actually. Belial recites a line from '"The Life and Death of Richard III". Mulciber recites lines from "Hamlet" when she attacks Jordan in the climax.
- To Paradise Lost: Jordan recites a line about Belial in Book Three.
- To Harry Dresden: Michael is reading Proven Guilty when Jordan returns, drunk, to their hotel room in Jersey.
- 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.
- Sibling Team: Michael, Gabriel, and Raphael.
- Single-Target Sexuality: Once he’s back in his body and his soul is intact, Michael only has eyes for Jordan.
- Slap-Slap-Kiss: Jordan and Belial, quite literally too.
- Sleep Cute: Jordan and Michael fall asleep in bed together after reading Jacob a bedtime story. Aw.
- Smug Snake: Belial is certainly not afraid to gloat. Mulciber too.
- The Snark Knight: Jordan; Michael in his poltergeist form.
- 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.
- Sophisticated as Hell: Belial and Mulciber, no pun intended.
- 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.
- Tall, Dark and Handsome: Michael's got dark brown hair and green eyes. Jordan mentions his full lips and athletic body type a couple times. Not that it's important.
- Tall, Dark and Snarky: Michael (in poltergeist and human form). As an angel, he goes on and off with being a Deadpan Snarker.
- Team Mom: Gabriel.
- This Is for Emphasis, Bitch!: "Vaya con dios, bitch."
- Those Two Guys: Like in Paradise Lost, Ithuriel and Zephon appear together.
- Tomboy: Jordan, but she knows how to dress up.
- Tomboy and Girly Girl: Jordan and Lauren.
- Tomboyish Name: Jordan, of course, which Linda the ghost girl points out.
- Tomboyish Ponytail: Jordan, most of the time, wears a high ponytail.
- 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.
- Took A Level In Bad Ass: Jordan does between Books Two and Three.
- 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.
- Trenchcoat Brigade: Jordan and Andrew are both members. Jordan inherited his grey duster after he died. Done on purpose as Word of God states that Andrew is inspired by John Constantine and Capt. Mal Reynolds.
- 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.
- Urban Fantasy: with hints of Paranormal Romance.
- Victoria's Secret Compartment: Played straight, but with something reasonable: an angel feather.
- Villainous BSOD: Belial has one at the end of the war in Jersey.
- Villainous Crush: Jordan for Belial.
- Villain Respect: Mulciber admits she likes Jordan's bold (albeit foolish) decision to fight her in order to save Michael.
- Wall Bang Her: Almost happens in Book Three.
- The Watson: Jordan.
- What the Hell, Hero?: Michael calls Jordan out on her self-destructive isolation from other people due to her damned status.
- Wham Line: "Does this smell like chloroform to you?"
- And later, "I'm afraid I haven't been completely honest with you... my pet."
- Why Did It Have to Be Snakes?: Guess where's the last place Jacob remembers being before his death? A psychiatric hospital. Jordan is less than thrilled.
- Wicked Cultured: Belial and Mulciber.
- Would Hit a Girl: Belial, unsurprisingly. Michael, surprisingly, but then again, he is a military man.
- You Are Worth Hell: Jordan to Michael, though subverted.
- 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.
- Almost Kiss: "Pride II" is centered around it.
- There's also one serious near miss in the bonus chapter.
- Alone with the Psycho: Michael and Liz in "Greed III."
- Bad Ass: Michael vs. thirty demons. 'Nuff said.
- Bad Ass Normal: Jordan. Two words, "Hey, fur-face!"
- Bad Ass Boast: Jordan and Michael each have their own moments.
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.
- Buffy Speak: The following exchange:
Jordan: I don't think you'd be bad at it.
Michael: Bad at what?
Michael: Is that a word?
I'm human. I know these things.
- Casual Danger Dialogue: Gabriel has a practically spectacular moment of this after the bomb explodes in "Sloth II" and he's got internal bleeding:
Michael: Try not to move. You seem to have gotten the worst of it.
Gabriel: My popularity is an awful burden sometimes.
- Catch Phrase: Jordan's is made official: "Vaya con dios, bitch."
- Celibate Hero: Michael. Discussed in detail in "Envy II."
- Covert Distress Code: Michael drops an incredibly unusual one after he's been captured by an assassin: "I love you." Jordan later points this out to him.
Michael: How'd you know I was in trouble?
- Deal with the Devil: Michael rescues a young girl named Sarah who gets herself into one of these in the story "Wrath III."
- Dismissing a Compliment: Michael actually calls Jordan out on it.
Michael: (after Jordan saves him from the hitwoman) Thank you.
Jordan: (shakes her head) Don't. If I'd have gotten here sooner—
Michael: Shut up. (gently touches her face) Can't you just say 'you're welcome' like a normal person?
Jordan: (smiles) You're welcome, Michael.
- Doesn't Like Guns: Mentioned by Michael, who has been using a sword since the beginning of Creation.
- Double Entendre: Jean Winters drops a positively massive one in "Greed II" while comparing Jordan to a dog.
Jean Winters: Tell me...does she come when you call?
- Drinking Contest: Michael (unwisely) challenges his bandmate Casey to one of these and shows up at Jordan's place absolutely loaded.
- Embodiment of Vice: Jean Winters.
- Erotic Dream: Used as a Crowning Moment of Funny in "Lust III." Michael takes it kind of hard when he has his first sex dream about Jordan.
- 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."
- First Person Smart Ass: Though far less than Jordan's Point-of-View.
- Foreshadowing: A quick little wink at the end of "Sloth III."
Jordan: And don't think I forgot about your promise.
Michael: Your Chinese food is in the fridge, madam.
Jordan: Marry me.
Michael: (chuckles) Maybe someday.
- Friend to All Children: Subverted. Michael loves children, but babysitting makes him nervous.
- Genius Bruiser: Michael is highly trained in forensics, literature, and history. He is also six-foot-one and solid muscle.
- Girl-on-Girl Is Hot: Michael may be an archangel of the Lord, but he's still a guy.
: (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)
- Hell Hound: An absolutely monstrous one in "Greed", appropriately named Boagreus.
- 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.
- Innocent Innuendo: The entire point of "Lust II."
- Insult Backfire: Liz the hitwoman's jab at Jordan for not being a police officer leads to a Bad Ass Boast instead.
- I Have Nothing to Say to That: Michael's answer after Gabriel asks him why he knows so little about women.
- I Kiss Your Hand: In "Sloth III."
- In Vino Veritas: Jordan finds out Michael had actually been lonely before he came to stay with her on earth. He also clearly shows signs of being attracted to her, and she doesn't exactly ward him off either.
- Lampshade Hanging: Jordan's reaction to Michael getting a little sappy in "Greed."
Jordan: Quit it.
Jordan: I hate it when you do that.
Michael: You hate it when I smile?
: 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 be.
- Little Black Dress: Even littler than the one in The Black Parade. Michael has a bit of trouble not noticing it.
- 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 physical 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.
- Meaningful Name: A couple, actually.
- Jean Winters is seriously one cold bastard.
- The peddler demon is named after Shylock from William Shakespeare's "The Merchant of Venice."
- Not What It Looks Like: Lauren happens upon Jordan and Michael in mid-wrestle, with her on top of him.
- Oblivious to Love: Jordan appears this way from Michael's perspective, but it's quite clear she has feelings for him as well.
- Offscreen Moment of Awesome: We miss Michael's epic battle with thirty-something demons in "Sloth II."
- Power Is Sexy: It's implied that Liz the hitwoman is turned on due to Michael's resistance to death.
- Precision F-Strike: By a demon in "Sloth III."
- Running Gag: A series-long one, but Jordan and Michael designate ringtones for each other that change based on how they feel about the other person. In this book, Jordan's is "My Beloved Monster" by Eels and Michael's is "I'm Too Sexy" by Right Said Fred.
- Sadistic Choice: Brought up in "Greed II" where Jean Winters tells Michael to either drop the case he's investigating with the hellhound murders or let Jordan die to get to the bottom of them.
- Sentimental Drunk: Michael shows signs of this in the bonus chapter.
- Sexy Mentor: Michael, distracted by a case he's about to work, starts undressing while talking to Jordan. She doesn't stop him.
Michael: Were you just going to let me get half-naked in front of you?
Michael: (eye roll)
- Shout-Out: Several, keeping with the first book.
- Michael binge-watches Breaking Bad until four in the morning in "Gluttony III."
- Jordan casually watching Michael undress is a small homage to both The Road to El Dorado and a scene from The Nanny ("A Pup in Paris.")
- The "hand or foot" scene in "Gluttony II" is a nod to The Mexican.
- To the season three episode "3XK" of the crime dramedy Castle, when Michael is able to convey something is wrong to Jordan by telling her he loves her. See Covert Distress Code above.
- A big one to The Princess Bride in "Sloth II" as Jordan and Michael prepare to infiltrate a demons' nest.
Jordan: So we're just going to ignore what a terrible idea it is to storm the castle without Fezzik, huh?
Michael: (grins) Basically. Come on, Inigo.
Michael: I like kids just fine. I just don't like being in charge of them. They're tiny and so...breakable.
Jordan: And you have such big strong hands?
- Lauren mentions that she thinks Jordan and Michael "will be after each other like Beatrice and Benedick" in "Pride."
- Sleep Cute: In "Sloth."
- Smiting Evil Feels Good: Michael most certainly enjoys vanquishing demons.
- Spit Take: Lauren gets Michael pretty good.
Jordan: (sits down next to them, having come from the bathroom) What'd I miss?
Michael: (epic spittake)
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.
- Tsundere: Michael drops the term on Jordan, after she supposedly made him watch Ouran High School Host Club.
- 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.
- Zip Me Up: The short story aptly named "Lust."
She Who Fights Monsters
"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 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?
- Action Girlfriend: Jordan. Or, more precisely, Action Wife.
- Audience Surrogate: Erica the dead Seer.
- Bad Ass Boast: Jordan gets in a pretty good, prophetic one in Chapter 21 while threatening Belial:
: 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?
- Battle Couple: Jordan and Michael.
- The Bechdel Test: Passes.
- Bigger Bad: The Leviathan.
- 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.
- Calling the Old Man Out: Jordan does so soon after meeting Lewis, her deadbeat Dad.
- Captain Ersatz: Agent Clark is basically Agent Coulson.
- 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.
- Dangerous Deserter: The rogue angel, Avriel.
- Dangerously Genre Savvy: Belial.
- 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.
- Depraved Bisexual: Confirmed of Belial.
Belial: And for the record, I was coming on to you.
Michael: Shut up and read, Belial.
- Dirty Business: Invoked. Jordan breaks a criminal out of jail, unwillingly totes a kidnapped child, and plays good cop in a rough interrogation.
- Disappeared Dad: Jordan’s father. He gets un-disappeared after getting himself into trouble with a loan shark.
- Dramatic Irony: The audience sees Jordan decide to work with Belial one chapter ahead of Michael and Gabriel.
- Enemy Mine: The archangels very reluctantly agree to work with Belial to stop the rogue angel.
- Eureka Moment: After Jordan suggests retrieving the fruit from the Leviathan’s stomach, Michael realizes he can use Avriel’s knowledge to help them.
- Even Evil Has Standards: Belial wasnt a fan of his daughter Juliana, but it was clear he didn’t want her to come to harm.
- Evil vs. Evil: Belial allies himself with the good guys just so he can take down Mulciber.
- Face Heel Revolving Door: Belial. Good God, Belial.
- Fake-Out Make-Out: Jordan and Gabriel. However, the amount of No Yay involved makes it Played for Laughs.
- Fate Worse Than Death: Jordan’s main motivation to stop the Leviathan is to prevent 1,000 innocent people being devoured by the hellmouth and sent to Hell to suffer.
- Finger in the Mail: Unfortunately, Jordan gets a whole hand as a threat from the loan shark closing in on her father.
- The Gadfly: Belial really likes pushing people’s buttons.
- Good Is Not Nice: Jordan, Michael, and Gabriel all get their hands dirty in this novel, and it certainly has its consequences.
- Happily Married: Jordan and Michael for the first half of the novel.
- He Who Fights Monsters: The book is named after the quote for a reason, as Jordan struggles with this issue thoroughly from beginning to end. Whether or not she is successful is up to the reader.
- Heel-Face Turn: Avriel.
- Heroic BSOD: Jordan has one after Belial tricks her into releasing the Leviathan.
- Horny Devils: Belial. Demons can draw energy from humans through any sort of sin, but Belial enjoys doing so through sex. There are rumors that he’s sired literally thousands of children in his time.
- Ignore the Fanservice: Jordan blatantly refuses to get an eyeful of Belial's bare chest when they chat at The Morsel, mostly because by now she knows he's doing it on purpose.
- In Love with the Mark: Belial zig-zags on the line of this from start to finish. It's anyone's guess.
Jordan: Belial...are you in love with me?
- Insatiable Newlyweds: Heavily implied of Jordan and Michael.
- Insult Backfire: Jordan forgets herself in anger and quickly regrets it.
Jordan: Fuck you, Belial.
- Jack Bauer Interrogation Technique: Used on Avriel by Belial.
- Knife Nut: Belial.
- Kraken and Leviathan: The latter makes a terrifying appearance.
- Lampshade Hanging: Belial has a lot of personality traits similar to a modern day vampire, which comes to a head when Jordan brings him to Michael's apartment for research purposes.
Jordan: Uh, what's the problem?
Belial: You have to invite me in. I cannot enter because [Michael] has blessed the apartment.
Jordan: What? Like a vampire?
Belial: In a manner of speaking, yes.
- Michael lampshades his method of getting Jordan back after their big fight:
Michael: Nothing says 'I love you' like pressuring you into forgiving me in the middle of a crowd of random spectators.
- Leaning on the Fourth Wall: When Gabriel mentions Scribes in Heaven:
Jordan: Whoa. You're gonna have to explain that one to the slow people in the audience.
- Mama Bear: Jordan becomes very protective of Juliana as the story progresses.
- Meaningful Name: A couple, like the first book.
- Edmond Saraf: Saraf means “to burn.” Edmond refers to Edmond Dantes, of November the 5th legend.
- Freitas: (Juliana's last name) Freitas means “one who stands on broken ground” in Portuguese.
- Moment Killer: Belial, after Jordan and Michael are reunited in the hotel room.
- Mood Whiplash: The story begins with Erica being brutally murdered and then cuts to Michael feeling up Jordan in the kitchen.
- No-Holds-Barred Beatdown: Michael and Belial vs. Avriel.
- 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.
- Not Afraid to Die: Jordan in the third act climax.
- Omniglot: The archangels and the archdemons speak every known language, but it's justified as they've been on earth since language was first developed.
- Papa Wolf: Andrew straight up decks Michael for not taking care of Jordan like he promised. Mind you, Michael is an archangel of the Lord.
- Pop Cultured Bad Ass: Jordan.
- Surprisingly, Belial has a moment of his own.
: There's enough hatred and sexual tension in here to fuel an entire season of True Blood.
- Power Perversion Potential: Belial has used his immortality to become a Sex God.
- 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.
- Really Gets Around: Belial. To the point where it's an actual plotpoint.
- Redemption Equals Death: Avriel.
- The Reveal: Belial is Juliana's biological father.
- 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.”
- The ringtone gag between Jordan and Michael continues. Hers is "Fascinating New Thing (FNT)" by Semisonic and his is "Big Bad Handsome Man" by Imelda May. Belial also joins in this time, and his ringtone for Jordan is "I Can't Decide" by Scissor Sisters. Jordan is deeply unamused when she finds out about the latter.
- Screw Destiny: Jordan and Avriel’s attitude about the Leviathan awakening.
- Sea Monster: The Leviathan.
- Sex God: Belial. See Power Perversion Potential above.
- Sherlock Scan: Michael performs one on FBI Agent Ana Corona.
- 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.
- Belial briefly imitates Hannibal Lecter as an Insult Backfire from Jordan.
- 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.
- One of Lamont's henchmen asks what makes Jordan think she can take him on and she replies with "He's not gonna catch us. We're on a mission from God."
- Jordan briefly mentions a delirious fear that the U.S. Marshal escorting the rogue angel to jail might be Raylan Givens as they are in Lexington, Kentucky.
- Snark-to-Snark Combat: Get Belial in a room with Jordan and Michael. You get this.
- Spirit Advisor: Andrew is one to Michael.
- Stuffed In A Fridge: A variation is used when loan shark Lamont Brooks sends Jordan Wallace’s hand in the mail just to scare her out of trying to save her dad.
- Take That: Belial makes one at The Last Airbender, which was so bad it caused Jordan to ask Michael if M. Night Shymalan was actually a demon.
Belial: Come now. Not even demons are that evil.
- Tall, Dark and Snarky: Belial, Belial, Belial. He's as bad, if not worse, than Jordan.
- Thicker Than Water: Jordan saves her father despite his abandonment of her and her mother right after she was conceived.
- Too Kinky to Torture: Turned Up to Eleven when Belial gets sexually aroused when Jordan admits how much she wants to kill him.
- Tragic Keepsake: Jordan keeps her mother's rosary after her father brings it to her.
- Treacherous Advisor: Belial.
- Unstoppable Rage: Michael slips into this after Belial follows him to the Garden of Eden.
- Jordan later follows when Mulciber breaks Juliana’s finger.
- Urban Legend Love Life: Belial. It's justified considering he's literally millions of years old.
- 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.
- Wham Line: "So this has nothing to do with the fact that [Belial] is Juliana Freitas' biological father?"
- What the Hell, Dad?: Both Jordan and Michael call Lewis out on his bullshit.
- What the Hell, Hero?: Jordan gets a full blast of this for her questionable actions in the second and third acts.
- Michael calls Gabriel out on leaving Jordan with Belial in order to pursue the rogue angel.
- Later, Gabriel calls Michael out for his actions towards Jordan after she helps kidnap the rogue angel. Andrew does as well.
- Weirdness Magnet: After the incredible drama with her father drops, Jordan apologizes to Michael for being a "death magnet."
- Well-Intentioned Extremist: Avriel.
- Wretched Hive: The Morsel, a "demon safe haven" in Queensbury, New York.
- Wrongly Accused: Jordan gets a taste of this after Mulciber murders the rogue angel and she and Belial are blamed for it.
- You Are Better Than You Think You Are: Strangely enough, Belial is the one who drops this on Jordan. She later does this for Avriel.
- You Can Barely Stand: Belial chastises Jordan for this after she survives Avriel's attack.
- Your Approval Fills Me with Shame: Jordan expresses great displeasure at having Belial’s approval after she betrays the angels.