A page for tropes exemplified by characters of the novel American Subversive.
Beware of spoilers!
Aidan is content to live out his aimless life until a bomb explodes inside a New York City building, and a few days later, he receives an e-mail with a surveillance photograph of an attractive woman, and the words "This is Paige Roderick. She's the one responsible." For reasons unknown least of all to himself, he begins to track her down.
- Accomplice by Inaction: He initially decides not to report Paige to the authorities, before actively deciding to help her.
- Action Survivor: He manages to adjust to the fugitive life well enough despite having his life completely turned upside-down in the process.
- Anti-Hero: He starts out indecisive and complacent.
- Determinator: He actually succeeds in tracking Paige down on his own even after Touché stopped helping him. It even surprised Simon, who only expected him to expose Paige along with Keith.
- Et Tu, Brute?: His old life crumbles when Cressida exposes him in an article, apparently with the help of Touché.
- Jumped at the Call: When Paige comes to him for help, he doesn't hesitate to step up.
- Meaningful Name: "Roorback," the name of his blog, is a word meaning a false but damaging rumor spread for political purposes. Also, Aidan's own name means "fire," which only begins to make sense when he and Paige begin to interact more in person.
Paige is initially tasked to do research for potential targets while Keith would build the bombs to be used for their Actions. The longer they work together, however, Paige begins to notice a change in Keith for the worse, and slowly starts to question her commitment to the life she chose.
- Action Girl: Even before being recruited by Keith, she already stood out among the activists for being willing to do the harder tasks, like breaking and entering, vandalizing, and even destruction of public property.
- Anti-Villain: Despite her complicity in many potentially dangerous criminal acts, she truly believes that it is the only way to expose the corrupt institutions taking advantage of the American people in the shadows and to make a difference in her country.
- Berserk Button: Because of the immense personal cost to her, she has no sympathy for anybody who makes light of the war in Iraq and its impact on Americans.
- Broken Pedestal: She started losing faith in Keith when he tried to sleep with her. He immediately became an enemy in her eyes upon discovering the shrapnel hidden inside his new bomb, realizing that he no longer cared about sparing innocent people.
- Crazy-Prepared: Well-versed in covering her tracks and maintaining her anonymity.
- The Fettered: She is willing to employ bombs for her cause, but draws the line at killing people in the process.
- Informed Attractiveness: Several mentions of her appearance describe how her beauty makes her stand out even from a surveillance photo taken in passing.
- Knight in Sour Armor: The death of her brother and her involvement with extremists have made her cynical and bitter."I don't understand what's in it for him, Keith said finally. If he's not a journalist, why not just go to the cops and wash his hands of the whole thing? Hell, he'd be a hero.
He said the word with all the disdain it deserved."
- Only Sane Man: With Keith's ideas slowly becoming more outrageous, and Lindsay being more sycophantic than smart, it fell to Paige to be the voice of reason in their little group.
- Ooh, Me Accent's Slipping: Paige had a Southern accent before Keith taught her to hide it to make her more anonymous. When she tells her story to Aidan, he points out that her accent was changing, taking it as a sign that she was growing more comfortable around him.
- Plot-Triggering Death: Her plunge towards extremism began when her brother Bobby died in Iraq.
- Properly Paranoid: Years of living off the grid have taught her to be vigilant. At the end of the novel, she manages to escape her safehouse right before the FBI discover it, after noticing somebody looking at her place twice in two days.
- Unwitting Pawn: She was initially willing to go along with Keith's plan to target the media next after their New York City bombing, until she learned that Keith's new bomb was designed to kill people.
- Bastard Girlfriend: She lambasts Aidan publicly through her column writings. When she recognizes Paige in passing on the way to his apartment, she breaks the story that turns Aidan into a fugitive.
- Foil: A not-so-subtle one to Paige. Whereas Paige is decisive and driven, Cressida is complacent and insufferably passive-aggressive.
- Temporary Love Interest: On the one hand, she doesn't hide her growing contempt for Aidan; although for his part, he doesn't seem to care enough to make an effort with her.
- FaceHeel Turn: He assists Cressida in her article condemning Aidan for being an accomplice to Paige.
- Last-Name Basis: He's referred to as Touché more often than not throughout the story.
- Token Minority: Half-Venezuelan.
- Demolitions Expert: Highly experienced in using explosives.
- FaceHeel Turn: Paige discovers his latest bomb is full of shrapnel, indicating that he intends to kill people, or at the very least doesn't care if innocents do get killed, during his next Action.
- From Nobody to Nightmare: An anonymous agitator who slowly began to turn downright misanthropic, to the extent of potential murder.
- Jade-Colored Glasses: His cynicism makes his sense of morality start to come unhinged.
- Karma Houdini: His bomb kills Simon when it goes off, but he remains a fugitive by the end of the novel.
- Shrouded in Myth: Very few people know the full story of his exploits.
- The Unfettered: He doesn't care how lethal his bombs are if they're in service to his Actions.
- The Ditz: To some extent, seeing as she seems less decisive and calculating than Keith or even Paige.
- Satellite Character: More or less, as she is very rarely depicted acting on her own throughout the story.
- Undying Loyalty: She is willing to follow Keith however far he goes with his Actions.
- What Happened to the Mouse?: When Keith becomes the prominent antagonist of the story, she is nowhere to be seen, though she is presumed to be following his orders.
- Becoming the Mask: He embraced the artist's life after a long time as a fugitive.
- Chekhov's Gunman: It turns out that he was the person Keith reported to, and knew about Keith's Actions despite not agreeing with them.
- Sacrificial Lion: He is killed when Keith's bomb goes off while he attempted to defuse it.
- Stealth Mentor: He was EmpiresFall, the one who e-mailed the messages implicating Paige to Aidan.