YMMV: H.I.V.E. Series

  • Acceptable Lifestyle Targets: Played straight and then subverted with Franz, who is morbidly obese throughout the entire series. In books one through five, its Played for Laughs, but after that it is either not mentioned or mentioned in passing, such as when he has to walk for several hours in Aftershock and remarks that he feels like he is going to have a heart attack.
  • Acceptable Political Targets: One of, if not the only person Otto actually kills in the series is Matt Rodney, an excruciatingly obvious Mitt Romney clone who is tied to the Disciples in book eight.
  • Cliché Storm: Played for Laughs to the point that the series can nearly be considered a Deconstructor Fleet.
  • Einstein Sue: Otto and Laura can become this at times. Everyone drops several dozen IQ points in their presence, and at least three times per volume someone has to tell them to "speak English please" when one of them is saying something that is actually completely understandable by laymen.
  • Ensemble Darkhorse: Lucy Dexter is pretty popular on Tumblr, disproportionately so in relation to the amount of screentime she gets. This is nothing compared to the small faction of rabid Peitor Furan fans. They produce a volume of fanart and headcanons that makes relatively little sense considering how much characterization he doesn't actually get. Large, large quantities of Draco in Leather Pants accompany almost everything to do with Peitor Furan in the fandom.
  • Evil Is Cool
  • Evil Is Sexy: Anastasia Furan was known as strikingly beautiful by all before the burning of the original Glasshouse. Out of our "villainous" protagonists, the majority of them are remarked to be exceptionally good-looking: Nero, Raven, the Contessa, Lucy Dexter, Wing, Shelby, Laura, and Diabolus. Cypher, Wing's father, an actual arc villain, is noted to be handsome as well.
  • Fan-Preferred Couple: Lots of fans are pretty damn obsessed by NeroxRaven.
    • There also seems to be a bit of OttoxWing floating around too.
  • Faux Symbolism: A significant portion of book five takes place at the Christ the Redeemer statue in Brazil. Some discussion about religion is even had between Raven and an old friend of hers. What this has to do with the plot is unclear.
  • Fridge Logic: At the first meeting in Escape Velocity, Diabolous Darkdoom knows all the details about the recent events at H.I.V.E., the Countessa's betrayal and the Renaissance Initiative. The only question: how? Sure, Raven could have filled him on in some of those things, but how would she know what Nero and Leonov were talking about before they were attacked?
  • Genius Bonus: The scene in Dreadnought where H.I.V.E.mind and Otto are talking about the CIA AI Majal becomes a whole lot funnier if you know about computer networking.
  • Growing the Beard: the series becomes noticeably better beginning with the revelation of Overlord's identity. Serves also as Cerberus Syndrome.
  • Iron Woobie: Almost everyone, but a few stand out:
    • Otto himself. Watches his best friend get shot in book two and finds out his father is a homicidal AI who wants to take over his body in book three. In book four, he is captured by H.O.P.E. and injected with Animus fluid. Book five features Otto as the villain, under control by H.O.P.E. and forced to assassinate members of G.L.O.V.E. At the end, he is taken over by Overlord, who tries to kill Laura and Wing. Laura shoots him, and he goes into a coma. He tells the others he remembers nothing, but later reveals he remembers killing innocent people and attacking Laura and Wing all too clearly. He has nightmares for at least six months afterward. The first good thing that happens to him comes in book six, where he confides in and kisses Lucy Dexter, only for her to be killed by his own father two days later. At this point, he thinks he'll only hurt anyone he gets close to, and makes no effort to get closer to Laura, whom he loved all along. In book seven, he finally kisses Laura, only for her to be captured by Anastasia Furan. He blames himself. He spends book eight trying to rescue her, only to find out that his clone, Zero, has mind raped her and she will probably suffer permanent brain damage, bringing back flashbacks of himself trying to kill her in book five.
    • Laura, who is kidnapped in literally every installment, suffers from homesickness, grief over witnessing the death of Lucy Dexter, guilt over being responsible for the death of more than half of her classmates, and is mind raped by Zero in book eight to the point that she is a quivering mess when Otto finds her. That is, after at least four months of isolation and psychological torture by Anastasia Furan, as well as training that nearly kills her and nearly being starved. That she chose to stay at the H.I.V.E. was shocking if not amazing.
    • Raven, who was raised at the Glasshouse. The vast majority of her flashbacks are tearjerkers. She makes two friends while there, the first of whom is shot in front of her while trying to help her escape, and the second of whom she is forced to kill because he had been brainwashed into attacking her. She is so lonely that she hallucinates about the former for years afterward so that she has someone to talk to. This all happens at the ripe age of eleven. At sixteen, she finally escapes and joins the Alpha program and has a hand in destroying the Glasshouse and killing Anastasia, but finds out two decades later that Anastasia is alive and giving her own students the same treatment she gave to her.
    • Wing, raised without friends or general interaction with people who aren't his parents. He comes home one day to find his mother murdered in their kitchen and his father essentially disappears into himself for several years. When he finally involves himself in his son's life again, it's to take him away from the only real friends he's ever had because his father misses the only thing he has left of his wife. He ends up trying to kill Wing's closest friend out of paranoia, and Wing is forced to kill him.
    • Lucy, who was never allowed to leave the house or interact with other kids after her mother died when she was very young. She is told from childhood that she will be taken over by the instinct for evil within her, and survives until she's fifteen resisting the urge to use her mind control. Once she joins the Alphas, she finds herself having to use her abilities more and more, and it's implied she starts to enjoy it. She falls in love with the only boy on the planet who can relate to her problems, who is clearly already in love with someone else. She ends up taking a bullet for him with a strongly implied knowledge he'll end up with the other girl, and a relief that she won't turn into the monster that everyone told her she would be.
  • Magnificent Bastard: Overlord and Anastasia Furan in spades.
  • Nightmare Fuel: The Animus fluid and Raven's experiences in Glasshouse.
  • No Yay: In book eight, after Anastasia discovers Laura sent the distress signal, she calls her out of her room and the two have a very... disturbing conversation in which Anastasia tells Laura just how much she enjoys causing her pain. It's long and subtext is found very easily. Doubles as Foe Yay and a Mind Game Ship.
  • One True Threesome: Laura/Otto/Lucy. Otto and Lucy are together for a brief amount of time and Otto and Laura are together currently. What really sells this ship, though, is that Laura and Lucy spend virtually no screentime separated in every book Lucy is in, and act like close friends the day after Lucy is introduced into the story.
  • Outgrow The Trope: Walden seems to have realized how childish Otto's hypnosis experiment in book one was, and from book four onwards Otto claims he has no idea or doesn't want to say how he got into H.I.V.E.
    Shelby: Hypnosis? That's the stupidest thing I've ever heard!
  • Portmanteau Couple Name: Ottra, Wingelby, and Naven are the most common.
  • Relationship Sue: Some think Lucy Dexter is this to Otto. Others don't.
  • Relationship Writing Fumble: There is some Ship Tease between Nero and Raven throughout the series, but starting in book four many flashbacks from Raven's past show up that paint their relationship very un-romantically- more like a father and daughter deal. If it turns out the two are related, the ship tease would be squicky in hindsight. If the two get together in the romantic sense, it would still be a little creepy that so many father-daughter analogies are being used.
  • Robo Ship: Deadlock introduces Majal, a CIA- affiliated AI whom H.I.V.E.mind remarks has "impressive data arrays." Following this, he and Otto have an innuendo-ridden discussion about H.I.V.E.mind getting to know her through "handshake protocols" and "gaining access to a secure socket."
  • Serial Numbers Filed Off: Some thought the series was one of these to Harry Potter based on book one, but all resemblance faded quickly with the accusations.
  • Ship-to-Ship Combat: Averted. Despite the fact that many of the fans ship conflicting couples ship wars are practically non-existent, which is pretty surprising given the general insanity of the forum.
    • Although some think that this is because they're all united in horror against Franz/Contessa.
  • Sister Ship: Otto and Wing are roommates. Laura and Shelby are roommates. Otto and Laura are love interests. Wing and Shelby are love interests.
  • Toy Ship: Young Natalya and Dimitri.
  • What Do You Mean, It's for Kids?: The first few books, barring the language, are fine for small children. The last several are really not, although the language gets cleaner.
  • What Measure Is a Non-Badass?: Should Laura be trained in hand-to-hand combat so she can keep up with the rest of the majority of the cast who can fight, or do her technical skills make her valuable enough to the team that she can survive on being a Combat Pragmatist?
  • World Of Woobie: While most people who aren't named characters do fine in this universe, the vast majority of the named cast is firmly on the woobie spectrum.