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YMMV: Venus Prime
  • Bizarro Episode: The sixth and final book deviates heavily from the rest of the series, being mostly told from a first-person perspective, and featuring aliens, time travel, and alternate universes.
  • Darkness-Induced Audience Apathy: In the fourth book, Sparta and Blake are separated, and Sparta all but burns her bridges with the Space Board, then gets hooked on drugs, murders a bunch of people, attempts to sabotage a Space Board mission, and ultimately suffers a nervous breakdown. Paul Preuss himself conceded that he feared many readers would abandon the series after reading it.
  • Fanservice: The series has nude scenes and sex scenes throughout, but the fifth book really takes the cake; Towards the end, Sparta abandons her clothes and spends the rest of the book swimming nude around the world-ship.
  • Les Yay: The second book opens with Sparta receiving a massage from another woman.
  • Moral Event Horizon: Ari Nagy, Sparta's mother, willingly handed her own daughter over to the Free Spirit cult, and unlike her husband Jozsef, she's not sorry. On top of that, she let her daughter believe that the Free Spirit had killed her and Jozsef, resulting in Sparta nearly throwing her life away on a poorly-planned vendetta.
  • Nightmare Fuel: The super-extendable needles can be this if you're Afraid of Needles.
  • Paranoia Fuel: Salamander can give people false memories...
  • Strangled by the Red String: Sparta and Blake's relationship is more told than shown, and relies heavily upon the notion that constantly rescuing someone inevitably results in them falling in love with you.
  • Tear Jerker: Kara Antreen's fate at the end of the first book; She ends up with her memories thoroughly wiped by Sparta.
  • True Art Is Angsty: The fourth book features Sparta breaking her ties with the Space Board, getting hooked on drugs, killing a bunch of people, attempting to sabotage a Space Board operation, and suffering a nervous breakdown and temporarily losing her enhanced vision. Preuss has justified all this, saying that character development requires confronting despair and figuring out a way past it.
  • Unfortunate Implications: Quite a few, sadly.
    • Nearly every Russian character in the series is portrayed as corrupt, or at the very least, a Jerk Ass. Special mention goes to Sharansky, a Space Board officer who goes out of her way to make Blake's job on Mars harder and nearly gets him killed.
    • Sondra Sylvester, a lesbian, is portrayed as an Ice Queen. Her companion Nancybeth is also portrayed as a promiscuous airhead.
    • Khalid Sayeed is engaged to a pre-teen girl. He's also stated to have bullied a female non-Muslim classmate during his days in the SPARTA program for religious reasons. These are, of course, stereotypes associated with Muslims.

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