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Literature / Feliks, Net & Nika

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From left to right: Net, Felix and Nika. In Net's suitcase, Manfred.

Felix, Net & Nika is a series of Young Adult books by Polish writer Rafał Kosik, mixing fantasy and science fiction with heavy doses of Polish school.

It's the beginning of the new schoolyear and, for Felix Polon, the beginning of new school - first class of Gymnasium. Looking for his class, he meets gang of bullies and is robbed for his lunched money. Just after that meeting he stumbles upon Net and Nika, two other members of his class, who were robbed the same way. Together, they decide to solve the problem.

Oh, should me mention that Net has pet AI program called Manfred and is a Playful Hacker? Or the fact that Felix is Gadgeteer Genius and his father works on top secret government projects? That Nika hides that she's an orphan and can move things with her mind? That the school is haunted? That the gang of so-called Invisible People starts raiding banks and trio just must find out who are they? Or maybe that magic, as well as advanced cybernetics and time travel, is very much real?


First book was published in 2004 and next ones are still coming. Those are:

  • Felix, Net & Nika and the Gang of Invisible People
  • Felix, Net & Nika and the Theoretically Possible Catastrophe
  • Felix, Net & Nika and the Castle of Dreams
  • Felix, Net & Nika and the Trap of Immortality
  • Felix, Net & Nika and the Orbital Conspiracy
  • Felix, Net & Nika and the Orbital Conspiracy 2: Little Army
  • Felix, Net & Nika and the Third Cousin
  • Felix, Net & Nika and the Rise of Machines
  • Felix, Net & Nika and the World Zero
  • Felix, Net & Nika and the World Zero 2: Alternauts
  • Felix, Net & Nika and the Extracurricular Stories (compilation of shorts stories featuring the trio)
  • Felix, Net & Nika and the Secret of Red Hańcza
  • Felix, Net & Nika and the Dangers of Growing up
  • Felix, Net & Nika and the End of the World as We Know It
Books are extremely popular in Poland and have won few national literature prizes. The movie based on Theoretically Possible Catastrophe was made, but due to bad public reception, series was not continued on screen.

Series contains examples of:

  • Absurdly Spacious Sewer: Warsaw's sewer system seems surprisingly spacious in The Trap of Immortality.
  • A.I. Is a Crapshoot: Morten.
    • However there might be something behind him turning evil... Konpopoz is a better example.
  • Alpha Bitch: Aurelia, especially towards Nika.
  • Alternate Universe: In both parts of The World Zero, the trio visits some worlds more and more different from ours, from the one where recent political crisis didn't happen to the world where dinosaurs never died, and everything in between on their way.
    • Alternate History Wank: in the Cliffhanger to the first part of Alternauci, the heroes read about Polish-Chinese border. Ultimately deconstructed, since the Polish empire bordering France and China is still only slightly less friendly than Soviet Union, for instance (though the heroes visit worse worlds). The main universe can actually qualify as well - Poland sends robots to Mars, experiments with jump gates and hires Men in Black.
  • Ancient Conspiracy: The symbol of the three gears appears in Morten's lair, in the Nazi secret bunker and in the 18th century's catacombs...
  • Antagonist Title: Third Cousin.
  • Artificial Intelligence: All over the place. Story states that in our times there are dozens of incredibly humanlike AIs that work in data analysis or management, it's just that they are not seen by general public. Special mention goes to Manfred and Morten.
  • Bad Future: weather control is a crapshoot.
  • Beneath the Earth: the Underwarsaw in The Trap of Immortality.
  • Benevolent A.I.: Manfred.
  • Big Eater: Celina.
  • Breather Episode: After the serious The Castle of Dreams and The Trap of Immortality, and before the grim The Third Cousin and The Rise of Machines, The Orbital Conspiracy was surprisingly light.
  • Building of Adventure: The Institute. The gymnasium the trio goes to counts too, although it's no Academy of Adventure. The motel they stay at in The Third Cousin also counts, although this is more scary than awesome.
  • Bunny-Ears Lawyer: Professor Butler and most of the Institute's staff. The Institute even has Bunny Ears Robots!
  • Captain Oblivious: Headmaster Stokrotka and his assistant. They don't realize most things that happen at school.
  • Character Blog: Manfred used to blog occasionally.
  • Character Name and the Noun Phrase: All the titles follow this rule, even the short stories.
  • Chekhov's Gunman: Stefan Kuszmiński, the man after whom the trio's gymnasium is named.
  • Cool Old Lady: Felix' grandma, Mrs Lusia. She's an amazing cook, always willing to help the trio and hides an amazing fortune. Sadly, she dies in The Trap of Immortality.
  • Conveniently an Orphan: Subverted in most of the books, as they make clear just how much trouble Nika must go through to avoid being send to an orphanage. However, played straight in The World Zero, when it turns out that in almost every world they visit Nika still lives alone, so they have a safe hiding spot.
  • Creepy Basement: There's one under the residual Orphanage of Fear. Golem hides there, among... other things.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Net. Also Konpopoz, to such an extent that people get suspicious when he isn't sarcastic.
  • Drill Sergeant Nasty: Cyryl Borkowski, the P.E. teacher may classify, since he used to work in the military and rarely notes that he no longer does.
  • Evil Teacher: Some of the teachers in the heroes' school are just stupid like the incompetent IT teacher, or the Hippie Teacher of arts, but the geography teacher takes the cake, forcing the students to cram areas, leaders and borders of all the states. The PE teacher is borderline Sadist - he changes a school trip into an extreme survival camp in the very last minute.
  • Everybody Did It: In The Third Cousin the majority of the trip are Kid Sleuth s quite like our heroes, with access to unusual technologies and/or psychic powers, but using them to steal. For a change it's the protagonists who are Locked Out of the Loop, and just want to rest.
  • First-Episode Spoiler: Nika is an orphan and has psychic powers.
  • From Bad to Worse: Both The Theoretically Possible Catastrophe and the two parts of The World Zero are based on this trope.
  • Gadgeteer Genius: Felix and his dad, full stop. Polons' entire house is full of various gadgets and machines in different state of usability.
  • Generation Xerox: Net and Felix. Net's dad is hacker and programming specialist, the same as his son, and Felix' dad is hobbyst Gadgeteer Genius, just as his son.
    • Nika might be this with some delay - her great-great... grandmother was one of the last witches in Poland.
  • Ghostly Chill: Presence of ghosts causes temperature drop. This is used by the trio to hunt ghosts at school.
  • Girl Posse: Aurelia has one, consisting of Beta Bitch Klaudia and Fat Girl Celina. After some time, however, Celina breaks away and Aurelia is stuck with Klaudia.
  • Going for the Big Scoop: Ilona Bogucka pretends to love this, while in reality she's in for the money.
  • Gone Horribly Right: Golem's first awakening was... adventurous, to say the least.
  • Grim Reaper: The villain from The Trap of Immortality appears as this. He's actually a ghost of long-dead inventor.
  • Intangibility: Ghosts' property.
  • Haunted House: The gymnasium, up to the end of book one.
  • Hell Hotel: The Three Cousins' motel. It's absolutely creepy and run by even creepier two cousins.
  • Hidden Depths: Juliusz Stokrotka, the principal of school - a jovial incompetent self-centered Small Name, Big Ego... who, when realizing that his IT teacher is incompetent becomes a good enough sysadmin to stop Net.
  • Inn of No Return: For some girls, the Three Cousins' is this.
  • Its A Small World Afterall: That's quite a coincidence that both Net's and Felix's fathers work in the same place when boys met each other for the first time at school.
  • Legacy Character: The headmistress of Orphanage of Fear is always named Eleonora Chrubieszczak. The most promising student takes her place and name. The current Alpha Bitch is a biological daughter of the current headmistress - unaware, so that she receives the same treatment as other orphans.
  • Lighthouse Point: Rozewie Lighthouse where the climax of The Theoretically Possible Catastrophe takes place.
  • Mad Scientist: Professor Butler, Biology teacher. Gilbert's father, dr Kurtacz. Also some workers of the Institute count. But the late Professor Kuszminski takes the cake.
  • Man Behind the Man: Morten in The Castle of Dreams and both parts of The Orbital Conspiracy.
  • Merlin Sickness: Great Anticipator lives backwards. Unlike Trope Namer this is painful - he remembers being born when he fell under the tram, had to learn to walk forwards and to discern human speech sounding backwards. When he reads, he loses information, and he knows he's going to die in 1960.
  • The Men in Black: A recurring Agent Mamrot (Eng: "Murmur"), tied to Polish government. he's that badass that he exists in every parallel universe where there is a Polish government. He's also badass enough to be the first adult POV character in the series.
  • Middle-of-Nowhere Street: There's one in The Castle of Dreams that appears and disappears as it wish, at the same time erasing and overwriting itself from or into every data bank or map it should be in... including videos and tape recordings.
  • Mind Screw: There are parts that induce that feeling, especially in The Trap of Immortality. It... takes some time to get it.
  • Noodle Implements: Short descriptions of Felix's basement have this vibe. Among others, there are high-jump shoes, cyberfly, forever-pen, matchstick de-lighter, torchdark (opposite of torchlight) and many others.
    • As a meta example, backsides of covers of every book look like this, with short paragraphs of text mixed with various Checkhov's Guns and Noodle Implements.
  • No Export for You: Some books were translated into Lithuanian, Hungarian, and Czech, but nothing into English.
  • Non-Human Lover Reveal: Regina is actually a ghost.
  • Not Me This Time: It was actually Konpopoz, not Morten who wrecked havoc in The Rise of Machines.
  • Official Couple: Net and Nika after The Orbital Conspiracy. Felix and Laura later on.
  • Orphanage of Fear: The trio's class goes to one in The Trap of Immortality. All children have only names and - maybe - numbers, the building is dark and unfriendly, and the headmistress is terribly strict...
    • Until kids manage to put the headmistress and the local Alpha Bitch to sleep. Parties are quite fun, although Nika is still creeped out.
  • Paparazzi: Ilona Bogucka and the entire crew of News And Nuances to a lesser extent. They're news reporter, but will bend the truth or outright fake evidence for the audience.
  • Playful Hacker: Net.
  • Portmanteau: Names of the Institute's robots. Konpopoz is for KONserwator POwierzchni POZiomych (Conservator of Horizontal Surfaces), Roznakin is RObot ZNAKujący I Informujący (Information and Labeling Robot) and Autotup comes from 'AUTOmatyczny TUrystyczny Przewodnik (Automatic Tourist Guide).
  • Psychic Powers: Nika possesses telekinesis, although it works only when she feels strong emotions or focuses very hard.
  • Psycho Rangers: Kinga, Patryk i Adrian, the other Super-team. Not really sure if they're evil, but they quite likely work for the Ancient Conspiracy.
  • Reality Warping: Some ghost can do this... Or can't they?
  • Really 17 Years Old: Nika wears make-up in order to look more mature and lies about her age so she can work in a restaurant. She almost gets caught several times (unsurprisingly, many people from her school, including the chairman, suddenly decide to eat there).
  • Recurring Boss: Morten, who appeared (or was suspected of appearing) in books 1, 3, 4, 5 and 6.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: Net's Red to Felix' Blue. Golem Golem is Blue to Manfred's Red.
  • Repetitive Name: Golem Golem.
  • Ridiculously Human Robot: All robots in the Institute are like this. Manfred also counts, as he has his new shiny robotic body now. Played with Golem Golem.
  • Robot Maid: Konpopoz - no one wondered why they should create an Artificial Intelligence just to clean corridors - and it really backfired on them.
  • "Second Law" My Ass!: Konpopoz has this attitude after accidentally his programming fails. Given what was his attitude to humans to begin with...
  • Secret Keeper: Felix and Net are this for Nika.
  • Secret Secret-Keeper: In The Rise of Machines we find out that Net's and Felix' parents know that Nika is an orphan an actively help her hide it, without her knowledge.
  • Secret Underground Passage: The entire sewer system of Warsaw is one in The Trap of Immortality. There's also a smaller one between the orphanage and the sewer system.
  • Shout-Out: Everywhere. Some more specific examples:
  • Something Completely Different: The Third Cousin not only focuses solely on magic (other books have more science or mix science with paranormal) but is also the only book in the series that can be described as horror.
  • Tagalong Reporter: Ilona Bogucka has this attitude in The Rise of Machines, which annoys everybody to no end.
  • Time Travel: The entire plot of The Theoretically Possible Catastrophe.
  • ¡Three Amigos!
  • Three-Laws Compliant: Robots in Institute follow them, some other AI's... not so much.
  • 20 Minutes into the Future / 20 Minutes into the Past: Both occur in The Theoretically Possible Catastrophe.
  • Unfinished Business: The motivation of ghosts.
  • Webcomic Time: The Gang of Invisible People takes part during one school year and The Theoretically Possible Catastrophe all happens during holidays. But then all books up to and including The Rise of Machines happen in school's year two and both parts of The World Zero happen during holidays.


Example of: