A novel by Daniel O'Malley.Myfanwy Thomas II wakes up in the rain
with no memory
and no idea how she managed to knock out a bunch of bad guys wearing latex gloves. Fortunately for her, she checks her pockets and finds the first and second of many Notes to Herself
, written before the memory loss. Myfanwy the original knew
that she was going to lose her memory.
Since she's the ultimate contingency planner, she wrote not only many notes To Self, but entire dossiers of everything and everyone at the Checquy
, the secret supernatural organization dedicated to saving people from unpleasant manifestations in Britain. And since Myfanwy's in the ruling Court, she'll need to step in and do her job as if nothing ever happened. While trying to find out who sucked her memories.
Because thanks to the psychics, she knows it's one of her fellow Court members...
Adding to the fun, the Grafters
, the Checquy's greatest enemy, have returned. They're a bunch of twisted Belgian fleshcrafters
that the Checquy only barely managed to defeat centuries ago... and now they're bloody everywhere.
- Academy of Evil: Camp Caius
- Affably Evil: Despite a century of loyal service, members of the Checquy seem to fear that Alrich's affableness is masking a more patient evil. People tend to treat him with the same kind of caution and respect one would an unpinned grenade.
- Graf Gerd De Leeuwen attempts this when first meeting Myfanwy, but can barely make it two sentences without screaming in utter rage.
- The Alcatraz
- Amnesia Danger: averted since Myfanwy's power erupts by default if she's attacked/put in enough pain.
- Ancient Conspiracy: Inverted in that the protagonist actually works for the conspiracy from the start
- Badass Bookworm and Badass Bureaucrat: Myfanwy
- Beat Still, My Heart: Combined with Finger in the Mail, when someone inexplicably sends Myfanwy I a human heart in the mail. It's actually a way for one of the leading Grafters to smuggle himself past the Checquey's defences.
- Berserk Button: Do NOT threaten Myfanwy's family.
- Beware the Nice Ones: Myfanwy I may have been meek, but minus her past and inhibitions, Myfanwy II ain't afraid to unleash the whup-ass.
- Blondes are Evil: Gestalt
- Body Horror: The Grafters
- Brother-Sister Incest ,Screw Yourself: Gestalt again
- Buffy Speak: Invoked by Myfanwy as she tries to fit in at work after losing her memory.
- The Casanova: Grantchester. Note the pornographic decorating style at the Rookery.
- Chekhov's Gun: Myfanwy's epinephrine pen.
- Chess Motifs: Pawns are powered indivduals that don't hold Court office. The Court offices are Rooks, * Chevaliers (Knights), and Bishops. King and Queen had to be changed to "Lord and Lady" so as not to offend the actual royalty.
- Chrome Champion: Shantay can do this partially or over her entire body.
- Co-Dragons: Technically Gestalt
- Cold-Blooded Torture: The Checquy gets creative with anyone who runs away or commits treason. Nastily so.
- Combat Tentacles
- The Confidant: Ingrid
- Crazy-Prepared: Myfanwy I.
- Creepy Twins
- Departmentof Redundancy Department: "The Scientific Brotherhood of Scientists", formally known as the Wetenschappelijk Broederschap van Natuurkundigen (aka the Grafters.)
- Google translate has it as the scientific fraternity of physicists.
- Dragon Rider: Neil thinks he's one because he Speaks Fluent Animal. Seems to be a giant Take That to certain dragon-themed works of fiction.
- Extra Ore Dinary: Shantay's power.
- Also Chevalier Joshua Eckhart.
- Extranormal Institute: the Estate
- Extra-Strength Masquerade
- Face-Heel Turn: Gestalt and Grantchester
- Fantasy Kitchen Sink: Dragons, vampires, talking trees, talking mice, 3500 year old women, and an oracular duck are examples of some of the more mundane things the Chequy has to deal with on a daily basis. No (human) psychics however.
- Femininity Failure: Myfanwy is definitely no fashion expert and has no idea what to do with a baby. She also is a virgin.
- Flying Brick: Monica Jarvis-Reed.
- Geek Physiques
- Get It Over With
- Ghostapo: Implied. The Chequy only gets involved in supernatural affairs. However, it was said that Sir Wattleman assassinated a bunch of Nazis. Ergo: Supernatural Nazis.
- Great Big Book of Everything: the purple binder Myfanwy I wrote up.
- Harbinger of Impending Doom: Myfanwy I recieved no less than four of these, all of them predicting her memory loss. They consisted of a homeless man, a sick child, a flamboyant immortal sorceress, and a precognitive duck.
- Having a Blast
- Heel-Face Turn: Alrich did one when he joined the Checquy. Also Ernst, and presumably the Grafters at the end of the book.
- Hive Mind: Gestalt is quadruplets (identical twin boys, another boy and a girl) and also an incestous baby who have one overall mind running all the bodies.
- Humanoid Abomination: The Grafters often appear as this on the few occasions they bother to look human.
- Hypercompetent Sidekick: Ingrid. Rook Thomas/Myfanwy I was one before the identity loss.
- I Am A Humanitarian: Van Syke. However, it is not clear if being a Grafter turned him into one, or if he picked up that habit beforehand.
- "It" Is Dehumanizing: Well, you try figuring out how to refer to Gestalt...
- Iron Lady: Lady Farrier.
- Long-Lost Relative: Bronwyn.
- Lovecraftian Superpower: The Grafter's ability to shape flesh. Also moderately common among the Checquy.
- Magical Native American: played straight. America has their own Checquy (called the Croatoan), but Native Americans put enough protections on the land that there are less powered individuals, and less power outbreaks, going on there.
- The Mole: tons and tons of people, most notably Goblet, Gestalt, and Grantchester.
- Multipurpose Tongue
- Noodle Incident: A ton. One that comes to mind is Sir Wattleman assasinating a bunch of Nazis while he was naked.
- No Pronunciation Guide: As far as Myfanwy knows, her name is said to rhyme with "Tiffany." This is backed up by the matron of the Estate.
- Organization with Unlimited Funding: The Checquy
- Our Monsters Are Weird
- Our Vampires Are Different: Like "hatch out of eggs" different and their hair color changes depending on feeding status. But otherwise, we never find out much about them.
- Plucky Office Girl: presumably Myfanwy was one before her promotion, but she's kind of treated like one still before her memory loss.
- Prophecies Rhyme All the Time: Parodied. Thomas says that the Checquy has to deal with many false prophesies, "that inevitably rhyme but don't scan."
- Psychic Powers: supposedly very rare in this world, but Myfanwy I meets several psychics, one Oracular Urchin, and one oracular duck.
- Psychic Surgery: Myfwanwy's power is to be able to manipulate other people's bodies, usually in unpleasant ways such as The Paralyzer.
- Puberty Superpower: averted. Some folks are born with powers, but people can come into them at any age, even in middle adulthood.
- Quest for Identity: Myfanwy wakes up surrounded by dead bodies wearing latex gloves and no memory.
- Red Shirts: Your average Checquy soldier is said to be better than any of the world's conventional special forces. Yet, they die quickly and often.
- The Reliable One: Ingrid.
- Stock Superpowers: sometimes, but other powers are extremely wild and creative. Most are incredibly deadly, weird, and/or hard to typecast.
- Superhero School: the Estate
- Talking in Your Dreams: Lady Farrier's power
- Teleportation: how the American Bishops arrive in England.
- Undying Loyalty: Played straight and averted with the Pawns and Retainers.
- Who Names Their Kid "Dude"?: Heretic Gubbins