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''The Book of Joan'' recreates the {{dystopia}} genre, reimagining the Joan of Arc story and the story of life everywhere in a paradigm undefined by masculine-dominated narratives. It asks, what if we are not creatures of light and air, driven ever upwards by our manifest destinies? What if, instead, we are matter--by and of the Earth? And what happens when that connection is restored to us?

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''The Book of Joan'' recreates transforms the {{dystopia}} genre, reimagining the Joan of Arc story and the story of life everywhere in a paradigm undefined by masculine-dominated narratives. It asks, what if we are not creatures of light and air, driven ever upwards by our manifest destinies? What if, instead, we are matter--by and of the Earth? And what happens when that connection is restored to us?


* {{Allusion}}: The book is filled with references, both explicit and in undertones, to Myth/ClassicalMythology, Literature/TheBible, and [[Creator/WilliamShakespeare Shakespeare]].


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* ShoutOut: The book is filled with references, both explicit and in undertones, to Myth/ClassicalMythology, ''Literature/TheBible'', and [[Creator/WilliamShakespeare Shakespeare]].


* PoweredByAForsakenChild: Played with. No children have been born on CIEL for two decades, so Jean de Men has begun resorting to [[spoiler:twisted reproductive experiments to try to produce one. When he learns that Joan is alive, he plots to kidnap her and use her body to propagate the species.]]



* PoweredByAForsakenChild: Played with. No children have been born on CIEL for two decades, so Jean de Men has begun resorting to [[spoiler:twisted reproductive experiments to try to produce one. When he learns that Joan is alive, he plots to kidnap her and use her body to propagate the species.]]

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* RuleOfSymbolism: Much of the story functions on this logic as it overlaps with RuleOfCool. See [[spoiler:Joan's brother]] [[ContrivedCoincidence showing up at the cave]].


* BodyHorror: Since physicality and the human body are possibly the book's CentralTheme, this abounds.
** The layers of scar tissue built up from repeated and overlapping skin grafts on the wealthier CIEL residents produces grotesque deformations resembling anything from headtails to long, imperial sleeves.
** The sexless, colorless devolved state of the humans on CIEL itself.
** Jean de Men's fertility experiments, [[spoiler: which have involved the creation of artificial genitalia, among other monstrosities]].
** [[spoiler: Joan fully remembers the sensation of being [[BurnTheWitch burned alive]].]]
** In the climactic scene, Jean de Men [[spoiler: pulls out Leone's reproductive tract ''[[EatenAlive and eats it]]''.]]



* MedicalHorror: There's a decent bit of this on CIEL, between Jean de Men's demented punishments and experiments and the skin grafts themselves.


''The Book of Joan'' is a poetic, philosophical {{dystopia}}n novel by acclaimed author Lidia Yuknavitch, published in 2017. It was a National Bestseller and one a ''New York Times'' Notable Book of the year.

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''The Book of Joan'' is a poetic, philosophical {{dystopia}}n novel by acclaimed author Lidia Yuknavitch, published in 2017. It was a National Bestseller and one a ''New York Times'' Notable Book of the year.


* AffectionateParody: Trinculo writes Christine a modernized and characteristically obscene take on the "To be or not to be" soliloquy from ''Theatre/{{Hamlet}}''.

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* AffectionateParody: Trinculo writes Christine a modernized and characteristically obscene take on the "To be or not to be" soliloquy from ''Theatre/{{Hamlet}}''. Christine laughs at how terrible it is, but it's actually something of a masterwork.



* GreenAesop: Humanity's ruthless exploitation of the Earth and the environment has led to its downfall.
* GuyOnGuyIsHot: When pretending to masturbate for the cameras in her cell, Christine imagines Trinculo with another man.

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* GreenAesop: Humanity's ruthless exploitation of the Earth and the environment has environment--hijacking biological systems to further its own designs--has led to its downfall.
* GuyOnGuyIsHot: When pretending to masturbate for the cameras in her cell, Christine imagines Trinculo with another man. In great detail.



* LoveableSexManiac: Trinculo is bawdy and blasphemous and obsessed with the fleshy pleasure, but in a meditation on the importance of the physical, this is hardly presented as a bad thing.

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* LoveableSexManiac: Trinculo is bawdy and blasphemous and obsessed with the fleshy pleasure, pleasures, but in a meditation on the importance of the physical, this is hardly presented comes across as a bad thing.thing. The first time we meet him, he has just designed a ridiculous belt covered with metal phalluses in imitation of the genitalia he has lost.



** Nyx is the Greek goddess of the night.

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** Nyx is the [[Myth/ClassicalMythology Greek goddess goddess]] of the night.


* WeWillHaveEuthenasiaInTheFuture: To conserve resources, CIEL residents are executed on their 50th birthdays.

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* WeWillHaveEuthenasiaInTheFuture: WeWillHaveEuthanasiaInTheFuture: To conserve resources, CIEL residents are executed on their 50th birthdays.


* AmbiguousGender: Nyx, Christine's first disciple, has NoBiologicalSex like all residents of CIEL. Christine assumes they are a young woman, but [[spoiler:Joan]] treats them as gender-neutral.



* BittersweetEnding: [[spoiler:Most of the cast is dead, but the Earth and humanity are not.]]

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* ABirthdayNotABreak: Christine's resistance's attack on Jean de Men is scheduled for her fiftieth birthday--her last day of life. It goes unmentioned until Trinculo brings it up, as [[spoiler:they and all of CIEL are [[HurlItIntoTheSun hurtling towards the sun]].]]
-->'''Trinculo:''' Happy birthday, you moon-breasted star song.
* BittersweetEnding: [[spoiler:Most of the cast is dead, but the Earth with CIEL [[HurlItIntoTheSun incinerated]] and most of humanity are not.along with it, but Joan has given her body to rejuvinate the Earth, and [[PyrrhicVictory Jean de Men has been defeated]].]]



* FreeLoveFuture: Deconstructed. CIEL pretends to offer this, but Jean de Men's grafts are decidedly heteronormative, and since sex characteristics are a thing of the past, all anyone can do is fantasize.



* HappilyMarried: Christine and Trinculo, though they are frustrated by their inability to have sex.

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* HappilyMarried: Christine and Trinculo, though they are frustrated by their [[NoBiologicalSex inability to have sex.sex]].


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* KillSat: CIEL can function as one, zapping those on the ground with bolts of energy.


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* {{Mutants}}: Some members of the youngest generation on CIEL, including Nyx, have developed vaguely defined [[SuperHero superhuman powers]] like walking through walls. Nyx is also able to [[{{Teleportation}} teleport]] by harnessing the Earth's energetic frequencies.


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* NoBiologicalSex: All humans except Joan have devolved to this point.


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* SpaceStation: CIEL, a satellite orbiting Earth and connected to it by supply lines, where the remains of humanity live their stunted lives.


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* {{Teleportation}}: Nyx teaches [[spoiler:Joan]] how to teleport by harnessing the Earth's energetic frequencies and [[HeroicWillpower concentrating]].


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* WeWillHaveEuthenasiaInTheFuture: To conserve resources, CIEL residents are executed on their 50th birthdays.

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* CentralTheme: Devolution, matter and energy, love, gender, and the cycle of creation and destruction.


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* HappilyMarried: Christine and Trinculo, though they are frustrated by their inability to have sex.


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* LaResistance: Joan became a rebel leader, fighting against Jean de Men.
* {{Leitmotif}}: In-universe. The song of the universe Joan hears constantly, which Christine and Joan's other followers learn to sing. In the novel's first chapter, it gets stuck in Christine's head, {{foreshadowing}} [[spoiler:Joan's return]].


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* NumberTwo: Leone has always been Joan's second in command. They've been friends since they were children.


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* SlidingScaleOfPlotVersusCharacters: Definitely more focused on the characters and the concepts they embody than on the plot. Not much actually happens.


* RecycledInSpace: JeanneDArchetype [[AC:InSpace]]!!

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* RecycledInSpace: JeanneDArchetype [[AC:InSpace]]!![[AC:InSpace]]

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* NeverGotToSayGoodbye: It's not until after Leone is captured by Jean de Men that [[spoiler:Joan]] realizes she loves her.


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* RecycledInSpace: JeanneDArchetype [[AC:InSpace]]!!
* RelationshipUpgrade: Joan and Leone's [[TheBigDamnKiss Big Damn Kiss]].

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* EveryoneIsBi: The disappearance of sex and gender characteristics has muddied the line of sexual attraction for everyone, and Christine, Trinculo, and [[spoiler:Joan]] all show attraction to both men and women.


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* GuyOnGuyIsHot: When pretending to masturbate for the cameras in her cell, Christine imagines Trinculo with another man.

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* LitFic: It's a SciFI {{Dystopia}}n thriller, yes, but it's also an introspective, obsessively linguistic PhilosophicalNovel.


* AdamAndEvePlot: Deconstructed. [[spoiler:Joan eventually realizes she can use her body not only for destruction, but for creation, [[HeroicSacrifice sacrificing herself]] to give rise to a new generation on Earth.]]
* AffectionateNickname: Trinculo, Christine's husband, often calls her "Christ."
* AffectionateParody: Trinculo writes Christine a modernized and characteristically obscene take on the "To be or not to be" soliloquy from ''Theatre/{{Hamlet}}''.
* {{Allegory}}: The subplot involving Jean de Men's desire to use Joan as a BabyFactory can easily be read as a pro-choice argument.
* {{Allusion}}: The book is filled with references, both explicit and in undertones, to Myth/ClassicalMythology, Literature/TheBible, and [[Creator/WilliamShakespeare Shakespeare]].
* AppropriatedAppellation: Joan adopts the enemy's derogatory name for her, "Joan of Dirt," since she ''is'' of the dirt, as all humanity is.
* BabyFactory: This is how Jean de Men sees women--especially Joan, who, unlike the rest of humanity, has not lost her reproductive capabilities.



* BittersweetEnding: [[spoiler:Most of the cast is dead, but the Earth and humanity are not.]]
* BurnTheWitch: As part of the JeanneDArchetype story, Joan was burned at the stake on live television. [[spoiler:It turns out she was actually rescued from the pyre, though she sustained horrible burns on her skin, which is scarred to this day.]]
* ChekhovsGun: [[spoiler:The spider Christine notices in the first chapter returns to play a vital role in communication between Christine and Trinculo.]]



* TheCynic: Christine, downplayed. She doesn't believe that humanity is inherently evil, but she does believe it to be beyond saving.

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* ChildSoldiers: Children, including Joan and Leone, were used as foot soldiers in the war.
* CoveredWithScars:
** On CIEL, the dominant form of literature is scarification--burning patterns and pictographs onto one's skin to tell stories. As a result, most residents of CIEL are covered in scar tissue--some areas burned over so many times they have grown into headtails or other grotesque shapes.
** [[spoiler:Joan is covered in burn scars from her [[BurnTheWitch attempted execution]].]]
* TheCynic: Christine, Both Christine and [[spoiler:Joan]], downplayed. She doesn't They don't believe that humanity is inherently evil, but she does they do believe it to be beyond saving.saving.
* CynicismCatalyst: [[spoiler:Joan's loss to Jean de Men and subsequent attempted execution cost her her faith in humanity.]]
* DefiantToTheEnd: Trinculo continues admonishing and VolleyingInsults at Jean de Men, even after [[spoiler:he has been [[FlayingAlive flayed alive]]]].



* EarthThatUsedToBeBetter: Decades of warfare and a vaguely defined eco-apocalypse have left the planet barren and lifeless, save for its deepest caves.



* FalseUtopia: Most residents of CIEL don't realize they are in a TotalitarianUtilitarian autocracy where horrors are perpetrated under their noses, engrossed as they are in shallow comforts and fantasies.

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* EveryScarHasAStory: Literally. Scarification is the main form of literature on CIEL, and master burn artists like Christine are novelists.
* FalseUtopia: Most residents of CIEL don't realize they are in a TotalitarianUtilitarian autocracy where horrors are perpetrated under their noses, engrossed as they are in shallow comforts and fantasies.inane fantasies.
* FingerInTheMail: Played with. [[spoiler:Joan sends her pinky finger, along with a lock of her hair, to the colony she learns of on Earth as proof of her identity.]]



* FlayingAlive: This is done to [[spoiler:Trinculo]] as punishment for his repeated infractions. [[spoiler:He somehow stays alive through and after the procedure, until the end of the book]].
* GenreDeconstruction: Of ScienceFiction and {{Dystopia}}. It hits most of the same points, but almost always from an entirely new angle.
* GreatOffscreenWar: Earth has been ravaged by catastrophic global warfare, which Joan and Leone both fought in as ChildSoldiers.
* GreenAesop: Humanity's ruthless exploitation of the Earth and the environment has led to its downfall.
* HurlItIntoTheSun: [[spoiler:In the end, Christine sets CIEL on a course that will send it and all the dregs of humanity it contains into the sun.]]
* ICallItVera: Leone calls her special [[NothingUpMySleeve boot-knife]] "Little Bee."
* InsultOfEndearment: Trinculo loves [[Creator/WilliamShakespeare Shakespearean]]-sounding insults, which he volleys at Jean de Men in defiance but uses on Christine with affection.
* InTheFutureHumansWillBeOneRace: On CIEL, human skin has lost its pigment, and everyone is ''literally'' white--almost translucent. Subverted by [[spoiler:Joan]] and Leone, who have retained their French and Korean heritage, respectively.



** Starting with Part 2, this archetype is deconstructed. [[spoiler:It turns out that Joan escaped her execution and is still alive, WalkingTheEarth with her companion Leone and sabotaging CIEL supply lines where she can. But she also was not the force for unambiguous good she is believed to have been: her capture was preceded by a failed attempt at global genocide--seemingly what redecuced the Earth to its current nearly lifeless condition--to wipe out human life and allow the planet to start anew, which she believed was why she had been given her powers.]]

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** Starting with Part 2, this archetype is deconstructed. [[spoiler:It turns out that Joan escaped her execution and is still alive, WalkingTheEarth with her companion Leone and sabotaging CIEL supply lines where she can. But she also was not the force for unambiguous good she is believed to have been: her capture was preceded by a failed attempt at global genocide--seemingly what redecuced reduced the Earth to its current nearly lifeless condition--to wipe out human life and allow the planet to start anew, which she believed was why she had been given her powers.]]
* KnifeNut: Leone prefers to do her fighting with her favorite knife, [[ICallItVera Little Bee]].
* LoveableSexManiac: Trinculo is bawdy and blasphemous and obsessed with the fleshy pleasure, but in a meditation on the importance of the physical, this is hardly presented as a bad thing.
* MandatoryMotherhood: [[spoiler:Joan]] is the last woman alive who has not lost her sex characteristics and reproductive capabilities. Jean de Men intends to kidnap her and use her as a BabyFactory.
* MeaningfulName:
** Trinculo's sarcastic AffectionateNickname for Christine, "Christ", isn't entirely inappropriate.
** Joan, of course, is a JeanneDArchetype.
** "Trinculo" is [[ShoutOut the name of the fool in]] ''Theatre/TheTempest''.
** Nyx is the Greek goddess of the night.
** ''Leone'' means ''lion''.
** Christine disgustedly lampshades the appropriateness of "Jean de ''Men''".
* MedicalHorror: There's a decent bit of this on CIEL, between Jean de Men's demented punishments and experiments and the skin grafts themselves.
* MedicalRapeAndImpregnate: [[spoiler:Jean de Men has attempted this on numerous women in an attempt to undermine the SterilityPlague, even growing false uteruses and implanting them into people. It hasn't worked.
]]


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* MistakenIdentity: PlayedForDrama. [[spoiler:Jean de Men kidnaps Leone, initially believing her to be Joan herself.]]
* MoralityChain: Leone to Joan, especially after [[spoiler:Joan's failed genocide, when Leone becomes the only human Joan still cares for]].
-->Leone became Joan's defenition of love.


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* OrganicTechnology: Before the war, humanity learned to harness biological systems and use them to create new structures, hijacking evolution and merging technology and nature--in a move that turned out to be disastrous. Many pieces of organic tech come into play in the story, including the olms which are used to convert energy and the [[ChekhovsGun spider]] which is used to transfer information.

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