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Literature / Dead Silver

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Hawke just wanted to go on vacation, hang out with his friend Rocke and catch the notoriously hard to find chupacabra. Instead he arrives in the town of Silver Dreams to find out Rocke is missing, the body count is rising, and he’s the only one able to help the town.

Dead Silver is an urban fantasy novel, written by Max Florschutz and published in 2014. It’s the sequel to his novella One Drink which details Hawke and Rocke’s search for a Ghost Wolf in New England.

Not to be confused with a 2008 novel of the same name by Neil McMahon.

Dead Silver provides examples of:

  • Abandoned Mine: Hawke and Rocke both want to explore nearby abandoned mines for signs of the Chupacabra. Unfortunately the company that owns the mines won’t let them, citing liability reasons. Furthermore, the climax of the book takes place in a particularly large one.
  • Ancient Artifact: The Aztec ziggurat. It's mysterious enough for researchers to come from all over the world to study it.
  • Blood Magic: The ancient Aztec ziggurat, as well as all the Wraiths, are powered by blood magic.
  • Chupacabra: Capturing one is what brings Hawke out to Silver Dreams.
  • Corrupt Corporate Executive: Henderson is one. He found the largest silver vein in town to date and kept it hidden so he and a few others could mine it for themselves.
  • Dem Bones: The wraith’s are animate skeletons held together by blood magic.
  • Detect Evil: Hawke feels sick anytime he’s in the presence of necromancy. This is the first hint that the chupacabra’s are not responsible for all the killings.
  • Detective Drama: A “closed” example.
  • Differently Powered Individual: People with magic, or “fantasy” creatures are referred to as “Unusual.”
  • Dirty Cop: Sheriff Hanks is only a sheriff because of his connections.
  • The Drifter: Rocke is one. He does have a home but just make it there often.
  • Dying Town: Silver Dreams has been limping along for over a century but is slowly slipping away.
  • Fantastic Racism: Not prominent but more than one character has reacted badly to Hawke and Rocke because they’re Unusuals. Sheriff Hanks is a notable example.
  • Fantastic Science: Cryptozoology is a valid science, magic is studied in universities, and wizards are hired by companies.
  • Functional Magic
  • Government Agency of Fiction: The NSAU, an extension of the NSA that focuses on “Unusuals.” Notably, they aren’t not portrayed as bad guys, just very bureaucratic.
  • Healing Hands: Shamans, like Hawke, are supposed to be world class healers. Hawke’s never really learned how to utilize this though.
  • Hermetic Magic: A lot of the magic seen has focused on using runes.
  • Intrepid Reporter: Evelyn Harper, who seems to be aware of everything going on in town.
  • Instant Runes: Averted. Runes are complex and time consuming to make
  • Mystery Magnet: Played with. Rocke often finds himself caught up in mysteries but it’s because he’s a well known spook who likes to help out.
  • The Nose Knows: Magic smells like ozone.
  • Occult Detective: Rocke is. Hawke just wanted a vacation.
  • Only in It for the Money: Hawke declares that he’s only out to find Rocke and catch the chupacabra. The disappearances are none of his business. Subverted when he decides to help the town anyway.
  • Our Liches Are Different: Mentioned, but so far unseen. Happens when a necromancer binds his soul to his body after death. According to Rocke, even very weak ones are dangerous foes.
  • Paranormal Investigation
  • Pet the Dog: Henderson seems to genuinely care for his co-conspirators safety and expresses regret about letting the wraiths loose.
  • Pragmatic Villainy: Henderson is immediately helpful to Hawk once he’s been caught. He explains the whole plan and how it went wrong. He does this as he has nothing left to lose with the wraiths hunting him and as the sole surviving conspirator his story, which paints him in a decent light, is the only one anyone will get.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: The hospital staff as a whole. They won’t let Hawke in to see Rocke but they also keep Sheriff Hanks out as well.
  • Revive Kills Zombie: The life energy stored in Hawke’s staff is able to hurt undead.
  • Speaks Fluent Animal: Hawke can communicate with animals. They don’t actually speak so much as send him images and feelings that he sorts into words.
  • The Summation: Delivered by Hawke to Henderson.
  • The Unmasqued World: Appears to have been unmasqued back in the sixties, if not further.
  • White Magic: Hawke’s shaman abilities seem to be this, coming from the life energy found in nature.
  • Workaholic: Rocke is very much one. He has to bribed or threatened into not working for even a short amount of time.

Tropes unique to One Drink include:

  • Life Drain: Doratti has several runes around her lair that absorb nearby life energy and store it for later.
  • Monsters Anonymous: The Pack is an online support group for werewolves, helping them to adjust to their new life.
  • Necromancer: Adrianne Doratie aka Danielle Beers is a standard example, raising the dead and controlling spirits.
  • Our Werewolves Are Different: They can transform at will and retain their humanity but little else is known.
  • Stalker with a Crush: Doratti has one on Mr. Smith, the clients husband. She tried to kill his wife so she could claim him for herself.