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Literature / Empress Theresa

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Empress Theresa is a self-published novel by one "Norman Boutin", which hit in early 2014. The story is an odd amalgam of Science Fiction and Chick Lit: the titular Theresa, a ten-year old girl who happens to be "cute as heck" and "a whiz at school", experiences a union or "merging" with a mysterious alien entity, which she names HAL.note  HAL gives her various powers, including superhuman strength, and as she comes of age, she is forced to put these powers to use for the good of mankind.

It can be obtained here.


Tropes found in Empress Theresa include:

  • Angelic Abomination: Hal is a ball of pure white light that is for all intents a stand in for the Holy Spirit... that also happens to be an alien and "not made of matter or energy".
  • Artistic License – Astronomy: Jan Struthers says that "a comet will move in a straight line, not a curve." In fact, comets are well-known for moving in curves and orbits.
  • Artistic License – Military: The cover of the book shows a woman in a US Military General outfit, with patches on her shoulder suggesting she's a 5-Star General. Even if one was to ignore the fact that by the time the book had been published, the rank of 5-Star General had all but officially been retirednote  as well as the fact that the rank was never held by a woman, the color of the jacket and cap would suggest she's supposed to be a General of the Air Force or Armynote . However, there's elements in the cover that make it impossible to tell which branch she is supposed to belong to:
    • Her outfit is closer to the one worn by a General of the Air Forcenote ; however, she would need to be wearing Pilot Wings on said outfit, as said wings are a requirement of any member of the airforces that flies (and it's not possible to become such a high rank without having flown). Additionally, the background around her shows tanks and riflemen training - the Air Force does not use tanks, and even if said riflemen are supposed to be paratroopers, paratroopers fall under the command of the Army in the US Military, not the Air Force.
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    • And in the case she's supposed to be a General of the Army, her US tags are drawn incorrectly, she should have more ribbons on her uniform, and she should have a brass disc on the US tags.
  • Artistic License – Nuclear Physics: The story claims that nothing can survive an A-bomb at one point. However, multiple people survived the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki (one man even survived both), and there are multiple types of animal that can survive enormous doses of nuclear radiation.
  • Artistic License – Physics: It would seem that in Theresa's world, fire departments are dispatched to fight fires based on some unexplained technology that detects sudden increases in heat, despite the fact that such a system would be infeasible and far less effective than just responding to smoke or eyewitness reports. note 
  • Artistic License – Religion: Theresa says in Chapter 4 that Psalm 23 is "not a standard church prayer". Almost every church uses Psalm 23 at some point in their services, and it's one of the most recognizable prayers in the entire Christian faith.
  • Artistic License – Ships: The USS Ronald Reagan does not carry F-22 Raptors, only F/A-18E Super Hornets.
  • Artistic License – Sports:
    • While playing baseball, Theresa deliberately doesn't throw as fast as she can because she wants to avoid detection. Considering she pitches at 85 mph (for the record, the slowest a Major League pitcher throws is 60 mph) at the age of ten, the idea of her "avoiding detection" is laughable.
    • Theresa's small size is described as helping her throw faster when she plays baseball. In reality, pitching speed has far more to do with upper body strength, the grip on the ball, and how hard it gets thrown.
  • Author Avatar: Theresa. A quick visit to the book's homepage will confirm this.
  • Buxom Is Better: The story contains an unnerving number of references to the heroine's bosom.
  • Chaste Teens: Played with. Theresa and Steve are chaste before marriage, but marry at eighteen because, in her own words:
    Theresa: "Could we go four years without doing it?"
  • Christianity Is Catholic: There are a few references to a priest and a Cardinal, and the Pope - for some mysterious reason - pays for Theresa's college education.
  • Chosen One: Theresa, though her being "chosen" by the alien HAL is accidental.
  • Costume Porn: A lot of space is devoted to describing Theresa's wardrobe, including her Little Black Dress, her Stripperiffic figure-skating outfit, her wedding dress complete with "Venice Lace", and an "Irish green outfit" complete with amazing artwork from the author.
  • Covers Always Lie: Based on the cover used for the book's page on this site, you'd think that it's about Theresa climbing up the ranks of the military. However, the author himself says that the military aspect only comes into play for 1 chapter at most.
  • Disney Death: Played with, then played straight. In the ending, the whole world believes Steve and Theresa are dead, but they reappear in a spaceship and bless the Earth before deciding to age and die naturally.
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?: The alien "merges" with Theresa by appearing as a "softball-sized white ball" and entering her abdomen. Yes, you read that right.
  • Eagleland: Type 2. Theresa speaks contemptuously of "the American dream of secure mediocrity", and the President of the United States tries to have her killed, For the Evulz.
  • Eldritch Abomination: Hal, who according to the author "isn't made of matter or energy" and is a shapeless white blob that grants mysterious powers.
  • Fantastic Foxes: A fox is the host for the magical alien for many years until Theresa is 10 years old. The implication - via Word of God suggesting that Hal is pure intellect - is that foxes are magically and intellectually proficient.
  • Fun with Acronyms: The secret government organization monitoring Therersa is called the Office of Orbital Phenomena Surveillance.
  • Golden Moment: Whenever Steve and Theresa quarrel and then make up. Say it with me: Awwwwww!
  • Happily Married: Steve and Theresa, if your idea of a happy marriage is a passive-aggressive Masochism Tango.
  • Idiot Ball: Anyone who opposes Theresa grasps it firmly. First and foremost Army and Navy officers who let her carry everything she needs for her plan to escape being executed via Nuke 'em without batting an eye.
  • Jerkass: Theresa's husband, Steve Hartley. He exists only to be rude to anyone who might offend his precious Theresa.
  • Just Plane Wrong: The F-22 Raptor isn't designed to be launched from an aircraft carrier, and even if there were a way for the catapult to be connected, it would tear the plane's front landing gear off when activated.
  • Light Is Good: Allegedly Hal, who is a form of white light that grants Theresa her powers.
  • Male Gaze: How many young girls aged eighteen would describe themselves in these terms?
    Theresa: "My green outfit was modest, only five inches above the knees and with not much cleavage, but didn't hide my well-turned figure. All right, my chest and butt were well outlined."
    • And keep in mind one of the selling points is that the book contains no sex and yet it constantly sexualizes her.
  • Meaningful Name: Father Donoughty literally does nothing.
  • Messianic Archetype: Theresa's story is beat for beat Jesus' (a child selected before birth by a mysterious entity? Feared by the government? Final words being a slightly more selfish version of Jesus'? All checked.)
  • Nerds Are Sexy: Steve Hartley, Theresa's husband, is a physicist.
  • Never Trust a Title: Theresa is not actually an empress of any kind; it's just a nickname given to her by her friends.
  • Rage Against the Heavens: Theresa gets angry with God during one of her missions. He is not impressed, and tells her to stop whining and do what she ought to do.
  • Rapid Hair Growth: A sign of HAL's influence.
  • Shout-Out:
  • Stripperiffic: Theresa's "little black nothing" dress, and her figure-skating outfit with a slit skirt. She uses the first to taunt Jack, and the second to seduce Steve.
    Theresa: I had a green figure skater's outfit covered with sparkling sequins and embroidery. Nobody had ever seen me in it. I tried it on. It had one of those ridiculously short skirts that didn't seem worth putting on. My legs were exposed on both sides up to the hips, there was no back and not much front. So now Steve was free to look all he wanted.
  • Suspiciously Specific Denial: By the author, who insists that his book isn't science fiction:
    "Science fiction talks about impossibilities such as time travel, or some future or alien world."
  • The Tease: Despite being a good Catholic girl, Theresa dresses sexily to tease Jack and other boys on one occasion.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: Subverted. Even when Theresa literally turns the world upside down, the only people who object are marked down as hopelessly evil.
  • Your Cheating Heart: Theresa's first boyfriend, Jack Koster, who two-times her with an old friend named Ginny.


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