is a 2012 urban fantasy novel by Leigh-Ann Foster.
Ghislaine Whowood works at Corativellus, a company invested in restoring their split world. Her place in the company shifts immediately, and continues to do so until she and her newly formed team discover something that may put a stop to any shifts.
Available as an ebook on both Smashwords
. (Read the first several chapters for free on Smashwords.)
This work provides examples of:
- Action Girl: Most of the cast qualifies. Ghislaine is hardly afraid of combat and proves quite capable of defending herself. Hania shows off, able to handle several of the creatures on her own. Sabriel is an accomplished spellcaster, serving to train Watson and help defend the town against the creatures as well.
- Aerith and Bob: Justified - the setting is a post-apocalyptic-invasion world rife with magical creatures, psychics, and spellcasters who were all torn from their homes and thrust into settlements scattered across their world. There is a fantastic variety of names from all cultures and traditions to be found pretty much anywhere you go.
- After the End: The Split War resulted in the mass relocation of much of the world's mundane, as well as magical population, though the world (and its people, and its creatures) are mostly still intact.
- And I Must Scream: A side effect of the Blight. But averted by Ghislaine in the beginning of the book. She describes her time as a statue as feeling, but not in a way that's really comparable to our understanding of human consciousness.
- Ascend to a Higher Plane of Existence: Ghislaine, who has been fighting her transformation into the earth goddess for most of the book, does so in a form of Heroic Sacrifice to cleanse the world of the rapidly-spreading Blight.
- Badass Bookworm: Watson, after his training with Sabriel.
- Broken Masquerade: Taking a casual poll of the population, you will find an interesting mix of half-blooded supernatural creatures, psychics, spellcasters, and Muggles. The Masquerade is still in full effect for some people, though many supernatural creatures are just as likely to be met with tolerance following the events of the Split War.
- Combat Pragmatist: Most of the cast has no qualms with taking every advantage they can muster in a fight, considering most of their enemies are monsters. This extends to humans and faeries when they engage in combat as well.
- Cursed with Awesome: Ghislaine, who doesn't want the responsibility. Watson, who wants to keep his job. Ormr, who wants a family. Much of the cast, depending on their individual reactions to their various supernatural abilities. Sort of a theme, really.
- Death of the Old Gods: Many of the world's gods have died, moved on, or been forgotten following the events of the invasion and the Split War. The events of the book kick off a new addition to the pantheon though.
- Domovoi (See also: The Fair Folk)
- Eldritch Abomination: Horrible spined creatures that transmit a Mystical Plague? Pretty much.
- Evil Sorcerer: Our Big Bad is a fairly anonymous spellcaster who wants to stop things changing, so he summons beasts from another plane to spread a Mystical Plague that ... stops people from changing.
- Expressive Hair / Prehensile Hair
- Extranormal Institute
- The Fair Folk: A few types of The Fair Folk appear in the novel, and many more are referenced, including nymphs, satyrs, and of course, the domovoi.
- Functional Magic
- Gender Is No Object
- Gods Need Prayer Badly
- Has Two Mommies: Played for laughs, because She Is Not My Girlfriend.
- He Who Must Not Be Seen: This is Jay. Until the very end, that is. Overlaps with The Voice.
- Heroic Sacrifice
- Hero of Another Story: Other employees of Corativellus.
- Journey to the Center of the Mind Briefly occurs after Ghislaine reverts to her statue form.
- Ho Yay: Not so much subtext as context.
- I Just Want to Be Normal: Well, comparatively normal.
- I See Dead People
- Immortality Inducer
- Inhumanly Beautiful Race: The many varieties of fae are this.
- Like Reality Unless Noted
- Mama Bear: Ghislaine, Hania, most of the female characters actually.
- Mundane Utility / Utility Magic: Quite a bit of both, actually.
- Mystical Plague
- Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: This trope is all throughout the book. For starters, Ghislaine botches a mission before and gets herself turned into stone by a basilisk, triggering her gradual ascent to godhood. Later, Jay protects Ghislaine by directing Watson's actions, forcing Ghislaine to recruit him, lest Jay lose his job. Near the end, the Big Bad gets close to Ghislaine, he points out that he can spread The Virus to the whole world using her as a conduit. Followed shortly thereafter by a gruesome Your Head Asplode moment when Jay freaks out.
- The Omniscient Council of Vagueness: Averted by Corativellus, who only wear the robes because it's traditional.
- Psychic Powers
- Reasonable Authority Figure: An entire organization, at that.
- Red-Headed Hero: Ghislaine, of course.
- Speculative Fiction
- Supernatural Fiction
- Taken for Granite: Ghistlaine begins the novel this way.
- Telepathy: Jay's primary method of communicating with the team.
- Took a Level in Badass: Watson
- Urban Fantasy
- The Voice: Jay is this to Ghislaine and everyone on her team.
- Weird Trade Union
- Your Head Asplode: The ultimate fate of the novel's villain.