Kill The Elf (working title) is a thriller by Strix Obscuro.
The year is 1985. The world is engulfed in a cold war between humans and elves, and tensions are high. Against this backdrop, a deaf immigrant grocery-store employee named Nioba is trying her best to make a living in the city of Baystone and forget the circumstances that cost her the ability to hear. Fate has other plans, however, when Lihiri, an elvish interpreter, stumbles into her apartment, begging for help. Lihiri has discovered a plot by a rogue elvish operative to set off a terrorist attack in Baystone. These two women must work together to unravel the plan before it's too late.
This book contain examples of:
- Alternate History: Hetra is reasonably close to Earth, but with several fantasy races and the potential to use magic in play.
- Ambiguously Human: Zynobians are taller than average humans and have pointed ears and hardened brows. That they don't resemble normal humans makes it harder for them to fit in.
- Black and Grey Morality: Kurnoz Kralluk is a horrible, repressive dictatorship, but on the other hand, Maceria is basically going through a harsher version of the Reagan Revolution, with even more jingoism.
- Les Collaborateurs: Lihiri willingly served The Empire, even as it persecuted her people, because she was already an outcast anyway due to being a trans woman, and at least the government kept her supplied with hormones and her position as an assistant to a government official meant that her family had a measure of protection from persecution.
- Dark and Troubled Past: Before losing her hearing, Nioba was a wetworks operative for the Zynobian government, carrying out extrajudicial killings of people who helped bankroll the attempted invasion of Zynobia.
- Eagleland: Maceria is basically Reagan-era America.
- Fantastic Racism: Non-humans face a lot of prejudice in Maceria, to the point that Nioba tries to pass herself off as a mixed-race woman instead of a Zynobian.
- Handicapped Badass: Nioba lost her hearing in an explosion. However, she is still a highly trained ex-Knight Templar, so being unable to hear doesn't limit her fighting abilities all that much.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Sotto is a manipulative, greedy bastard, but he does actually give a crap about Nioba's welfare, and stands up for her when her boss contemplates firing her for prejudiced reasons.
- The Magic Goes Away: Hetra's industrial revolution relied heavily upon magistone, an element that drained magic out of the atmosphere. For humans, this wasn't too big a deal, as most of them couldn't use magic anyway. The elvish kingdoms, however, were heavily dependent upon the use of magic, and the sudden loss of magic caused their kingdom to collapse, resulting in an extremely ugly revolution that birthed the modern repressive dictatorship of Kurnoz Kralluk.
- Magitech: The industrialization of Hetra was made possible through the discovery of magistone, an element that leeches ambient magic and converts it to electricity. As a result much of the technology on Hetra has magical components.
- No Celebrities Were Harmed: Roger Reardon, the President of Maceria, is a thinly-veiled expy of Ronald Reagan, with a dash of Donald Trump thrown in for good measure.
- Screw You, Elves!: The collapse of the elvish kingdoms caused the Hetran equivalents of the Armenian Genocide and the Holocaust. Consequently, the rest of Hetra has very little patience or sympathy for the elves.
- Took a Level in Kindness: Nioba starts off deeply bitter about the isolation caused by her lack of hearing and the absence of any other Zynobians. Her friendship with Lihiri gradually changes this.
- Transgender: Lihiri is a trans woman.
- Vestigial Empire: Kurnoz Kralluk is all that remains of a much larger elven kingdom. When the magic started to fail, many of the outer cities simply ceased functioning, causing the kingdom to contract.