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Literature / Duumvirate

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Two Dominators are better than one.

Duumvirate, the sequel to Billy and Howard, like many other novels, features a few gifted teenagers discovering their place in the world.

The only difference is that here, they own it.

The book gathers a number of strange reactions in people who read it.

Tropes present:

  • Ape Shall Never Kill Ape - Engineered shall never kill engineered.
  • Authority Equals Asskicking - Played dead straight for the main characters. This is because The Operator made them that way. Genetic Engineering Is the New Nuke.
  • Big Bad Duumvirate - The title gives a hint.
  • Color-Coded Patrician - Masters wear light colors, and servants wear dark ones. This is the only clothing rule they tend to follow.
  • Even Evil Has Loved Ones - The main characters have a number of people they protect and cherish, including each other.
  • Even Evil Has Standards - Apparently running an Orphanage of Fear is something that can get you killed.
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  • Evil vs. Evil - Hedonistic, bioengineered killers who don't see ordinary humans as people, versus insane, sadistic creeps.
  • Elite Mooks - Enforcers.
  • Evil Overlord - Deconstructed entirely. The Evil Overlord's Guide is quoted more than once. The Illuminati is portrayed as a society of six thousand of them, and it's the Duumvirate's job to keep them under control.
  • Gambit Pileup - Where to even begin? Between the two books there is a pileup of Gambit Pileups. It is implied that this state of affairs is more or less constant.
  • Little Miss Badass - At the age of fourteen and a half, Sarah Mortis has a body count in the hundreds and commands a small army of assassins. The previous commander steps aside because he knows what's good for him.
  • Moral Guardians - It really should be no surprise that they've come after this. Reddit has a link
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  • More Dakka - A five hundred megawatt laser isn't enough? Try two hundred gigawatts!
  • Power Echoes - The twins have a doubled larynx for exactly this reason.
  • Rule of Cool - It is heavily, repeatedly implied that Illuminati technicians regularly sit down and work for years on projects simply to accomplish this trope.
  • Shown Their Work - There are a number of parts where the author clearly did the math and wants everyone to know it.
  • The Dragon - Sarah.
  • Transhuman - Almost everyone is either born transhuman, becomes transhuman, or desperately wants to be transhuman. When your regeneratively immortal friends can play Bullet Hell games at maximum difficulty without breaking a sweat, and dodge actual bullets for that matter, you tend to get a deep appreciation for genetic superiority.
  • Transhuman Treachery - Averted, with the main characters wishing this would happen.
  • Tyke Bomb - Every last Northberg kid is this and a Child Prodigy.
  • Utopia Justifies the Means - The main characters eventually determine that human society cannot survive genetic alteration. No points for guessing their solution.
  • Villain Protagonist - And villain antagonists, villain contagonists, and villains for minor characters. There are nice guys, but no heroes. Paul tries to be one, but his loyalty to the villains puts an end to that quickly.
  • Young and in Charge - Howard takes total, world-controlling power at age ten. He is underestimated at first. That does not last long.


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