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Literature / Coda (2013)
aka: Coda

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Coda is a Young Adult novel written by Emma Trevayne.

Anthem lives a double life. On the surface, he's like any other person of his station. He's a willing slave to the Corp, giving up years of his life to power the city and kept placated by the music they provide-music that can control what he sees, feels, and thinks.

Underneath that, though, Anthem is a rebel. He's in a band that plays real music. And real music is something the Corp won't allow, so he must keep it hidden from his girlfriend, Haven, and his younger brother and sister. But when tragedy strikes close to home, Anthem must decide how far he wants to take his rebellion—and if he can let others in on the secret.


A sequel and conclusion, entitled Chorus, was released in 2014. This book focuses on Anthem's little sister, Alpha, who has formed a band of her own. With friends beside her, Alpha sets out on a quest to find the root of the Corp's reemergence—while dealing with Anthem's declining health.

This book contains examples of:

  • Awesome McCoolname: Everyone in the book has one. Anthem picked his before he knew what the word meant, but it turns out to be accurate.
  • Big Bad: The Corp as a whole, though the main leader is President Z. In Chorus it's Yellow Guy, AKA Wraith.
  • Big Brother Instinct: Anthem is very protective of his siblings, Alpha and Omega.
  • Big Brother Is Employing You: After being captured, Anthem is given the best musical equipment the Corp has... to produce music that will control everyone.
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  • The Big Rotten Apple: The city the book takes place in is a future New York.
  • Children Are Innocent: Alpha and Omega are, which is why Anthem works so hard to protect them from the Corp.
  • Contrasting Sequel Main Character: Alpha, to Anthem.
  • Corrupt Corporate Executive: Corp members, particularly the President and her board.
  • Deal with the Devil: After his capture, Anthem is given the best musical equipment the Corp has... to produce tracks that will control everyone.
  • Do Not Do This Cool Thing: Invoked and avoided with the distinction between the Corp's mass-produced tracks and Anthem's band's music.
  • Dystopia
  • Dystopian Edict: Everyone is required to listen to the Corp's music once they hit a certain age.
  • Equivalent Exchange: One year powering the city takes a year off your lifespan. This is what killed Haven's parents and is what's nearly killed Anthem's father.
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  • Fantastic Drug: The Corp's music. You can even overdose on it if you're not careful.
  • Fate Worse than Death: People who are declared Exaunts are permanently deafened by the Corp. In a society based around music, this is one of the worst things that could happen to you. It happens to Haven.
  • Forced to Watch: Ell makes Anthem watch Alpha and Omega track.
  • Future Slang: "Tracking" is slang for listening to the Corp's music, and "choice" means something is cool.
  • Gone Horribly Wrong: The music started as ways to calm people after the war, as medications were in rare supply. Then the people in power got hold of it...
  • Happiness Is Mandatory: The Corp's music can create artificial highs. Anthem uses this aspect of it frequently.
  • Hoist by Their Own Petard: Anthem's original rebellion would not have worked out anyway. But by letting him and his bandmates live and produce what they think is approved music, the Corp sowed the seeds for their downfall.
  • Hope Bringer: Anthem and his band hope to be this.
  • Hypocrite: Anthem lampshades that he's this when he tracks. Even more so after he becomes a Corp musician.
  • In-Series Nickname: Yellow Guy is called that because Anthem didn't hear his name. A Corp official is given the name "Ell" because Anthem didn't hear her name.
  • Internal Reformist: This is how Anthem is able to successfully rebel.
  • Karma Houdini: Yellow Guy, who disappears after the reveal and seemingly escapes the revolution. His whereabouts are revealed in Chorus, and there, he doesn't escape.
  • Kick the Dog: Ell forces Alpha and Omega to track.
  • Late-Arrival Spoiler: The synopsis for the sequel reveals that Alpha and Omega tracked at an early age.
  • Living Battery: Conduits power the city via energy extraction. They also power President Z and the Board.
  • Mad Scientist's Beautiful Daughter: Haven is President Z's daughter.
  • Manipulative Bastard: Yellow Guy.
  • Meaningful Name: Anthem is the hero, a rocker, and speaks/sings what he feels.
  • The Mentor: Johnny, the leader of Anthem's band until his death.
  • Mentor Occupational Hazard: Johnny is killed by a death track.
  • Mind-Control Music: The Corp's music can control your emotions, or even kill you. Controlling the mind and body permanently is the Corp's ultimate goal.
  • Missing Mom: Anthem's mother died years ago, and her memories are visible through a Corp-approved memory cube.
  • The Mole: At first it seems to be Haven, but it's actually Yellow Guy.
  • More Than Mind Control: Anthem admits that the Corp's music is addictive and that when he listens, it's usually willing.
  • Mushroom Samba: The Corp's music can have this effect on you.
  • Never Found the Body: Yellow Guy. He returns in the sequel.
  • Not in This for Your Revolution: Phoenix, who just wants to play music.
  • Not Quite Dead: Judging by the sequel's synopsis, the Corp.
  • Only Known by Their Nickname: Yellow Guy. Chorus reveals his name is Wraith.
  • Only Sane Man: Mage.
  • Playful Hacker: Haven and Mage.
  • The Power of Rock: The Corp uses this to control people, and Anthem uses it to free people.
  • Sacrificial Lion: Johnny.
  • Sibling Yin-Yang: Alpha and Omega by the time of the second book.
  • We Hardly Knew Ye: Johnny.
  • Wham Episode: Chapter 16, where the concert is broken up and everyone is captured, and Chapter 23, where Anthem finds out that Haven didn't call the guards; Yellow Guy did.
  • Why Couldn't You Be Different?: Haven's parents wondered this of her.
  • Yaoi Guys: Scope and Yellow Guy. Anthem and Scope used to be this before they broke up.
  • You Are What You Hate: Anthem is this when he's recruited as a Corp musician.

Alternative Title(s): Coda