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Literature / Market of Monsters

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"There was normal, there was abnormal, and then there was Nita."

Urban Fantasy focusing on Fantastic Racism with a chaser of Star-Crossed Lovers, Market of Monsters is a book trilogy consisting of:

  • Not Even Bones (released Sept. 2018)
  • Only Ashes Remain (released Sept. 2019)
  • When Villains Rise (released Sept. 2020)

The setting is 21st century Earth, shared by the mainstream human population and the "unnaturals," who range from humans with unique abilities or unique... diets, to very non-Homo sapiens creatures that can nonetheless pass as human. Some are familiar (vampires who must feed on human blood, ghouls who must feed on human flesh, kelpies who must also feed on human flesh, which they obtain by luring victims into water and drowning them). Some have familiar names, like unicorns, humans (not horses) who must feed on the souls of virgins. Some are completely new (zannies who must feed on human pain, aurs who simply glow in the dark). They all have one thing in common, though: humanity hates and fears them. The dual purpose of the International Non-Human Police (INHUP) is to protect innocent unnaturals from an ignorant public and protect innocent humans from species on the Dangerous Unnaturals List. In theory, that's the list of species whose very existence necessitates killing humans, so killing unnaturals on the list has been declared perfectly legal as "preemptive self-defense."

And there’s plenty of people willing and eager to kill unnaturals — their flesh, blood, and organs are in high demand. All around the world, there's a thriving black market trade in unnaturals and unnatural body parts. Powdered unicorn bone is great for a high, zannie blood is an excellent painkiller, and eating an unnatural's eyes, limbs, or skin will give you some of their powers, right...? Maybe, maybe not, but it's worth a try.

The 17-year-old heroine Nita is an unclassified unnatural with the power to consciously control natural bodily functions regular humans can't. She can turn her pain receptors on and off, make wounds heal super fast, increase or decrease the appropriate hormones when she needs to run, sleep, or calm down, and probably more if she was willing to risk experimenting. She inherited her abilities from her mother, one of the most prolific dealers of unnatural body parts on the black market. Nita dissects the bodies for her, but she's never killed any of them herself, so it's not like she's doing anything she should feel guilty about, right? Right...

Nita's life is turned upside down when her mother brings home a live teenage boy whom her mother plans to keep alive as long as possible so she can keep selling his high-demand blood. Expected to help slice off his body parts one by one while he's still alive, Nita finally reaches her breaking point. She defies her mother and helps the boy, Fabricio, escape.

The next thing Nita knows, she's been drugged, kidnapped, and hauled off to a secluded jungle town on the Amazon River in Peru. "Mercado de la Muerte. Death Market. The biggest market for unnatural body parts in the world." It’s there she meets Kovit, a 20-year-old zannie who’s either (depending on who you ask) been employed or enslaved by a mafia family since childhood and has now been assigned to help keep the prisoners in the market in line. Initially seeing him as the enemy, Nita eventually starts to realize he’s not the monster she’s been taught zannies are. Circumstances lead to the two working together, escaping together, going on the run together, and, well, you can figure out where it goes from there.

The series follows their attempts to hide from the black market, protect their secrets, take out their enemies without getting caught, distance themselves from their abusive families, understand these alien feelings they have for each other for the first time in their lives, and find answers about why their world is the way it is and why certain people are considered unworthy to live.

A webcomic based on the series can be found on WebToon.

The series provides examples of:

  • Absurdly Spacious Sewer: Nita tries to hide from Gold by ducking down a manhole in Only Ashes Remain.
  • Abusive Parents: Nita's little more than a servant to her mother, who constantly terrorizes her and does her best to isolate Nita from the outside world and crush all of her aspirations and any hope she has of someday leaving. Kovit's biological mother tortured a friend of his for pain when he was a child, which triggered a series of events that led to him being taken in by the Family. He sees Henry as a father figure despite that the man treats him like a slave.
  • Actually Not a Vampire: Regular vampires exist in this world, but with their urge to feed on humans in a way that harms them, and the fact that they look weak and sickly the longer they go without eating and stronger, younger, and more attractive after they feed, zannies are essentially vampires with a different diet. The incident in Only Ashes Remain where Kovit is so hungry that he can't restrain himself from feeding on an innocent man after their original target escapes clinches the analogy.
  • Actually Pretty Funny: When Nita trips and knocks over a cardboard clown in Adair's cluttered shop, he tells her, "You break it, you buy it! I know where you live!" Nita is not amused, but Kovit says, "I actually thought that one was kinda funny."
  • All Girls Want Bad Boys: Nita thinks about this phenomenon several times. She may not fantasize about "reforming" Kovit or feel proud because she’s the only one who handle his darkness or the like, but because of how she loves the way he can make her enemies squirm or scream and even admires the way he terrifies regular people, she's still a 100% straight example, no matter how much she tries to deny it.
  • Always Save the Girl: Kovit swears he could never kill or harm his abusive surrogate father figure. Said father figure kidnaps and intends to kill his girlfriend. You do the math.
  • Are You Pondering What I'm Pondering?: Results from the Socratic Method as Nita and Kovit assess their problem. They've killed and escaped from Reyes, but they need to escape Death Market. For that, they need money. Where can they get it... in a place like this...?
    Kovit: Are you thinking what I am?
    Nita: This is a body-parts market.
    Kovit: And we have a body.
  • Artistic License – Biology: Biological processes like hormone, bone, and muscle production require raw materials — the vitamins and minerals in the food we eat. Nita never once mentions needing to, say, consume a lot of calcium before densifying her bones, or a lot of protein before bulking up her muscles or healing wounds. She never needs any raw materials to use her ability — indeed, there are many periods where the plot necessitates she go a long time in between meals, and there’s never any mention of this limiting what she can do to her body with her power.
  • Bad Is Good and Good Is Bad: This is how Nita feels about disobeying her mother to save Fabricio. "She'd done something, something bad, because it was good."
  • Beast and Beauty: Nita and Kovit, obviously, but Diana and Adair fit even better since kelpies are actually completely non-human-like fish-reptile-esque creatures. Diana even gets a moment where she stops Nita from shooting Adair and tells her he’s not the monster, she is.
  • Being Evil Sucks: Gold has a moment where she cracks and admits she'd rather be the girl she pretended to be online than her father's lackey.
  • Beta Couple: Diana and Adair
  • Black-and-Gray Morality: The only characters who can be described as genuinely good and heroic are Diana and Agent Quispe. Everyone else, including the two protagonists, are different degrees of evil.
  • Bond Villain Stupidity: Henry successfully captures Nita with no one around to save her or stop him or his 2 henchmen from killing her, he fully plans to kill her, she's tied up and defenseless, he and his 2 henchmen all have guns... and instead of killing her when he has the chance, he leaves her alive and lures Kovit to the location to teach him a lesson about Conflicting Loyalty. Dumbest. Move. Ever!
  • Bring the Anchor Along: Nita leaps up and shoves her captor into a wall, head first, while still zip tied to a chair.
  • Can't Kill You, Still Need You: After Boulder captures Kovit and Nita, he seems ready to shoot Kovit but restrains himself because he plans to use the zannie as his own personal attack dog.
  • Cast from Hit Points: Using her power drains Nita of energy.
  • Catapult Nightmare: Nita has plenty of nightmares full of horrifying, disturbing images, but the first dream that makes her scream and shoot up in bed as it shocks her awake is a dream of Kovit kissing her.
  • Category Traitor: Nita's mother and Boulder are both unnaturals, but that doesn't stop the former from selling and the latter from buying and eating other unnaturals as if they don't even regard them as people.
  • Chaste Hero: Neither 17-year-old Nita nor 20-year-old Kovit have had any sort of significant physical interaction with people outside their "families," let alone sexual experience — slaving away for parents who only want to use you and stress the importance of keeping their secrets doesn’t leave much room for dating.
  • Cold-Blooded Torture: Zannies need severe pain from humans in order to feed. Most get it from hunting victims and torturing them, or working for people like criminals and dictators who supply people they would prefer be used as food.
  • Come Out, Come Out, Wherever You Are: Gold does this when she calls Nita's bluff and shows up at the trap apartment looking for her.
  • Commonality Connection: This is how Kovit and Nita bond – 'both suffered from isolation and abuse, they're both surrounded by people who want to use them against their will and see them as property, and they both have a darkness in them that revels in the pain they cause their enemies. This comes up frequently between them — any time one accuses the other of being too cruel or evil, they'll respond by ranting about how the other is no better.
  • Conflicting Loyalty: Henry realizes Kovit is suffering from this after he returns to the family, since Henry discovered he'd been living with Nita, one of their most valuable targets, but never told them about her or where to find her. As far as Henry's concerned, it's nothing short of betrayal.
  • Consummate Liar: Fabricio. He doesn't care who he hurt with his lies and deception, as long as it secures his survival. In the end, he doesn't even know himself what is part of his act and what is genuine.
  • Cry into Chest: Kovit lets Nita do this as she cries from missing her murdered father.
  • Cycle of Revenge: Nita and Fabricio get into a game of Attempted Murder Tag in Only Ashes Remain.
  • Daddy's Girl: Nita and her father were much closer than Nita and her psychopathic mother.
  • Daddy's Little Villain: Gold — her father is the head of the Family, the criminal organization Kovit belongs to.
  • Dating What Daddy Hates: Nita and Kovit are each fully aware they can never let their parental figures know they know each other. Nita’s mother would kill, dissect, and sell Kovit faster than Nita could say "Don't!", and Kovit's mafia Family has been contracted specifically to kill Nita.
  • Daywalking Vampire: Young vampires have no reaction to sunlight, and while their vulnerability to sunlight increases with age, it's never an instant death sentence.
  • Decoy Protagonist: More specifically, Decoy Deuteragonist. After Nita frees Fabricio and takes him to the bus station, you fully expect her to run away with him to avoid whatever punishment her mother would have in store and the story to follow the two of them on the run together. Even Fabricio expects it. But she doesn't, ultimately meets and partners up with Kovit, and Fabricio ends up having a very different role.
  • Don't You Dare Pity Me!: There's nothing Nita or Kovit hate more than this.
  • Does Not Drive: Fabricio escapes one of Nita's attempts at revenge and makes his getaway in the stolen car Kovit drove there. 17-year-old Nita, raised by an abusive mother who wanted her daughter to have no future outside of working for her and never let her do anything normal, jumps behind the wheel of Adair's refrigerated truck, turns the key, prepared to chase him down, then remembers... she has no idea how to drive!
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?: The black market trade in unnaturals strongly brings to mind the illegal sex trade. The only two prisoners we actually see are young women, and the only buyer we actually see is an older man... who wants to eat their body parts (in other words, use them for his own sensual pleasure and a power high).
  • Double-Meaning Title: Market of Monsters obviously refers to the black market where unnaturals, whom many humans call "monsters," and their body parts are sold — it's a market that sells "monsters," but since Humans Are the Real Monsters, it’s also a market run by and belonging to monsters.
  • Due to the Dead: Nita has to dispose of 2 bodies of people who tried to kill her, but she promises Kovit she won't dissect Henry's body.
  • Emotion Eater: Zannies eat physical pain, which they cause the traditional, physical way.
  • Everyone Has Standards: Kovit has self-imposed rules he vows never to break and advises Nita to do the same to keep herself from truly becoming a monster.
  • Evil Cannot Comprehend Good:
    • "She'd never seen the sense in doing something you were afraid of. Your brain was smart — it wouldn't send your fear signals without good cause." Nita, to her initial surprise and confusion, learns over the course of the series that, contrary to what she always believed, there are things more important and forces stronger than self-preservation. After much denial, she accepts she wants Kovit with her even though she no longer "needs" him, even if she doesn't understand why.
    • Henry seriously underestimates how attached Kovit is to Nita, admitting during their confrontation in Adair's store that he just doesn't get it. He truly couldn't fathom that Kovit would ever choose Nita over him, let alone how he'd react when he learned Henry planned to kill her... Henry clearly never once considered things would result the way they did when he threatened the girl he assumed was already Kovit's lover.
    • Due to her background, Nita falls victim to this more than once. She assumed the only reason Adair took her and Kovit in was because she had valuable information he could use. It turns out her "information" was all useless — when he reveals he let them keep living in his shop because he felt sorry for her, she truly doesn't believe him.
  • Evil Feels Good: Nita successfully lures three of the people hunting her into a trap and kills them all in cold blood. It makes her feel so strong and powerful, she loves it... and realizing how much she likes it immediately scares her.
  • Evil Tastes Good: Agonizing pain is delicious to a zannie — they can't stop it.
  • Evil Virtues: Discussed — Henry banishes Kovit to Death Market because his "morals" got in the way of doing his job. When he sees the latter again in Toronto, he recounts how the zannie they hired to replace him was a monster with no empathy or restraint and claims the disastrous results taught him it's much better to work with someone with a moral Restraining Bolt.
  • Exact Words:
    Kovit: Henry, are you afraid of me?
    Henry: (laughing) Hardly. You never hurt people you know. I’ve been safe for years.
    Kovit: Yes. I never hurt people I know. This won't hurt.
  • Fair-Play Whodunnit: Nita concludes her mother is the one who sold her because only 3 people know about her powers — Nita herself, her, father, and her mother. An observant reader who's neither paralyzed with terror nor recovering from a strong sedative like she is could remind her that Fabricio saw her heal her arm during the struggle in her dissection room.
  • False Reassurance: Henry tells Kovit he now prefers working with people with morals and compassion because they're easier to control.
  • Fantastic Fruits and Vegetables: Yes, there are even unnatural plants in this world. A stand in Death Market has "large yellow nectarine-like fruit with eyes. They blinked."
  • Fantastic Racism: The Dangerous Unnaturals List and status of unnaturals in this world is an obvious metaphor.
  • The Farmer and the Viper: Nita saves Fabricio from her mother. He repays her by selling her to the black market so he'll have enough money to run away from home.
  • Fire-Forged Friends: Nita and Kovit become friends out of a mutual sense of gratitude (he saved her from being tortured, and she subsequently saved his life) and a mutual desire to escape from Death Market.
  • Freudian Excuse: Discussed — after Kovit tells Nita about how Henry raised and taught him, he can tell she's ready to start blaming Henry for the way he is. He violently insist she’s wrong, that he's a monster because he chooses to be and takes full responsibility, not because of anything Henry or his mother did to him.
    "Nita didn’t deny it. A small, traitorous part of her had been imagining Kovit as a tragic figure with bad influences."
  • Freudian Excuse Is No Excuse: Fabricio insists he only sold Nita's power and location to the black market because he was desperate to get enough to run away from an unbearable situation at home and that he believed, with a mother like hers, she'd be safe and they'd never get her. Nita is unmoved.
  • Full-Name Ultimatum: Nita's mother calling her "Anita" is never a good sign.
  • Glamour Failure: A kelpie's human form is pure illusion. Every time she's around Adair, Nita sees small parts of it crack (his real eyes briefly show, his real teeth briefly show, etc.).
  • Go Through Me: Diana does this when she finds Nita ready to shoot Adair.
  • Good Feels Good: Nita initially feels this way after freeing Fabricio. "She felt like someone had given her a particularly difficult test and she'd passed."
  • Good Is Impotent: Nita firmly believes this after the one good deed she feels she's ever done in her entire life leads, through no fault of her own, to her life being ruined.
  • Gory Discretion Shot: The reader doesn't get to watch Kovit torture Mirella, but Nita hears her bloodcurdling screams echo throughout the building. The same occurs when he tortures Boulder — the next time Nita sees him, Boulder's missing a front tooth.
  • Half-Human Hybrid: Kovit gives Nita a book that theorizes that unnaturals are the offspring of humans and creatures from another dimension.
  • Hates Being Touched: After her mother pulled her out of school, the only human contact Nita had was with her parents. Just talking with other people is intimidating, let alone touching them or letting them touch her.
  • Headbutt of Love: Nita and Kovit do this before their First Kiss. In context, they're both exhausted and traumatized, and it's like a gesture of support.
  • Heel Realization: Kovit tells Nita about a young zannie he knew growing up whose family tried to hide what he fed off of from him. When he learned the truth, he committed suicide.
  • Humans Are the Real Monsters: A recurring theme – evil humans like Henry and Reyes call unnaturals "monsters," and someone replies they’re the real monsters.
  • I Just Want to Be Normal: Nita has a moment of this while hiding in Reyes' house.
    "But now she almost wished she were human. Which was ridiculous. Who wants to be normal when they can be special?"
  • I Know You Know I Know: Nita is able to function when she sees Fabricio at INHUP headquarters once she remembers he doesn't know she knows he betrayed her.
  • I Know You're Watching Me: When Mirella tells Nita that Kovit watches the security cameras, Nita waves at the camera and gestures for him to come back in.
  • I Lied: Reyes orders Kovit to start cutting off Nita's fingers if she doesn't cooperate with the demonstration of her healing powers. Nita complies and heals the gash on her arm... and once they're done, Reyes still orders Kovit to cut off her fingers.
  • I Will Punish Your Friend for Your Failure: As punishment for hiding Nita from the Family, Henry warns Kovit that if he ever disobeys them again, Henry will kill one of his friends.
  • If You Kill Him, You Will Be Just Like Him!: Nita almost shoots Henry in Only Ashes Remain but changes her mind when she realizes Kovit would never forgive her, that by taking the choice to go back to the Family away from him, she’d be doing exactly what Henry’s doing to him, the reason she wants to kill him in the first place.
  • I'm a Humanitarian: Unnatural flesh, blood, and bone are delicacies to natural humans.
  • I Never Said It Was Poison: Nita realizes that, despite the evidence, there's a chance Fabricio didn't betray her. Their first conversation in Only Ashes Remain puts an end to this when he consistently refers to Nita's captor as "she" — Nita never said she was held prisoner by a woman.
  • Instant Sedation: Averted — when Nita's injected, she slowly feels herself lose control over more and more of her body (struggling in vain to get away the whole time), before falling completely down, then her vision going crazy before completely blacking out.
  • Interspecies Romance: Depending on your definition of "species," either one or both of the main couples fit.
  • "It" Is Dehumanizing: Reyes refers to her prisoners, including Nita, as "it," not "he" or "she." She and her buyers talk about the "product" exactly like they're non-sapient animals, right in front of them.
  • Jack Bauer Interrogation Technique:
    • Discussed — when describing his days with the mafia, Kovit points out that most people believe zannies are used to torture people for information, but they're not because torture is useless for gaining true information.
    • Kovit does this to Boulder to find out where he keeps his cash. He gives in after 30 seconds.
  • Kill It with Fire: Nita escapes Death Market by burning the whole thing to the ground.
  • Klingon Promotion: Reyes killed the previous biggest dealer of unnaturals and their body parts — the King of Parts — and took over his business.
  • Like a Son to Me: Henry gets Kovit to come back to him by playing this card.
  • Like an Old Married Couple: Nita notes Adair and Diana bicker like this the first minute she sees them together.
  • Love Is a Weakness: Henry tries to get Kovit to see this, claiming (probably with complete sincerity) that he's doing him "a favor" by killing Nita, eliminating the one thing holding back from serving the Family with all his heart.
  • Morality Chain:
    • In a flip of the usual gender roles that go with the trope, Kovit spends most of the series acting as this for Nita, trying to get her to draw lines she won't cross and find other solutions to her problems besides killing people. The one time Nita takes the role for Kovit is when he’s about to kill Gold, believing that he's already crossed the Moral Event Horizon so there's no reason to hold back, and Nita talks him out of it because she knows he'd never forgive himself.
    • Diana is able to serve as this to some degree for Adair. He's about to throw Nita and Kovit out when the cops start looking for them and only changes his mind because Diana asks him to.
  • More Teeth than the Osmond Family: Kelpies — Adair's can be seen whenever he suffers from Glamour Failure.
  • Murder Is the Best Solution: Nita very quickly comes to think that she can simply murder everyone that wronged her to solve her issues. Not even Kovit, who actually feed on pain, has this mindset. Naturally, this comes to bite her in the ass several times, as her murder attempts more often than not go very wrong and she ultimately paints a bigger target on her back.
  • No Name Given: Nita's mother has so many aliases that Nita has no idea what her real name is.
  • No, You:
    Allen Burns: Zannies don't have friends, they're not capable. You're a fool if you think differently.
    Nita: No, you’re the fool.
  • Not What It Looks Like: It's clear that, when Henry discovers Kovit and Nita were living together in a room with only one bed, he instantly jumps to the conclusion they've been having sex.
  • Older Than They Look: Nita's mother uses her ability to make herself permanently look about 30. Nita's noticed that her mother has never aged like her father has.
  • One Head Taller: Kovit is 3 years older than Nita but "an inch or so shorter."
  • Pet the Dog: Nita's mother, despite all her micromanaging and manipulations, does care about her daughter. This is most prominent in the second book when she intervenes on Nita's behalf when the latter is being questioned by INHUP, spinning the situation around to make even the experienced agents look like fools for trying to interrogate Nita. Even afterwards when Nita apologizes for the trouble she's caused and needing help, rather than be angry, her mother expresses pride in her daughter for the things she'd accomplished so far without needing her, and even lets Nita continue to live independently, promising to always be there if she needed her. Nita is understandably both stunned and moved.
  • Power at a Price: Nita's fully aware that messing with your body and hormones the way she can comes with severe risks and has dangerous side-effects. It's why there are many things she suspects she could do but doesn't want to try for fear of the consequences.
  • Power Glows: Boulder is an aur — an unnatural whose only difference from normal humans is that they glow in the dark.
  • Rape Is a Special Kind of Evil: Kovit's conditioned himself to enjoy torturing people, but he refuses to ever torture someone sexually.
  • Reassigned to Antarctica: Kovit was reassigned to prison guard duty in the Amazon jungle as punishment for insubordination (refusing to torture a friend).
  • Red and Black and Evil All Over/Bring My Red Jacket: Nita notices that all of Kovit's shirts at Death Market are black or dark red (she suspects because he no doubt gets a lot of bloodstains on them).
  • Sadistic Choice:
    • To teach Nita who's in charge, Reyes tells her she can either turn her pain receptors on and let Kovit torture her for an hour, or let him cut off three of her fingers.
    • Kovit is devoted to both Henry and Nita. Henry manages to capture Nita with the goal of killing her and selling her body — which Conflicting Loyalty will win out...?
  • Screw the Rules, I Have Money! and Connections: Money, power, and information easily allow people like Boulder and Alberto Tacunan to break any law they want. Nita concludes that acquiring a bunch of both for herself is the only way she'll ever be safe.
  • Super-Senses: Nita's power includes being able to enhance her senses like sight and hearing.
  • Super Spit: One of the things Nita's learned to use her ability for is to spit stomach acid at her enemies, as Gold learns the hard way.
  • Super Window Jump: The stairs are too slow when running from 2 people shooting at you, so Nita escapes from Gold this way in Only Ashes Remain (she opens it first).
  • Superhuman Trafficking: The premise of the series.
  • Surprisingly Realistic Outcome:
    • When trapped in her glass cage, Nita tries beefing up her muscles and hormones to give herself Super-Strength. It works. She punches the glass wall... and breaks her fingers. She can make herself strong, but she doesn't know how to hit things with the right force in the right way to make them break.
    • At the end of When Villains Rise, Nita has a ton of data which she could make great use of for selling to people or blackmailing. She finally has the power she craves... and she then realizes that she has no idea how to use it, as she has no training or knowledge as an information broker. As a result, she gets ripped off by Adair during her first exchange with him, something they both know to be the case. After a couple of days, she wises up and realizes that if she wants to pursue her dream and stay in power, she needs to learn the ropes of the trade, thus leading her to become Adair's pupil in exchange for the remainder of the data. One could say he gets the better end of the deal by far, but at least Nita is getting long-term knowledge that will serve her all of her life, and if she is like her mother, she is going to live a long time.
  • The Svengali: Henry was this for Kovit, whom he trained in the art of Cold-Blooded Torture so he'd have a zannie around capable of keeping other employees in line.
  • Then Let Me Be Evil: At some point in his childhood, Kovit decided that if the world is only going to see him as a monster, he might as well be one.
  • There Is No Kill Like Overkill: How Nita gets rid of her final opponent: she pulverizes her mother with a way more powerful than expected hand-crafted bomb, one that nearly killed herself too. Given her combat experience and her regenerative abilities, Nita felt this was the only way to get rid of her.
  • Title Drop: Chapter 10 of Not Even Bones, as Nita recalls how, once she was done dissecting a body, there was never anything left. Happens once again during the last book, when Nita explodes her mother, noticing that not even bones remained.
  • Unicorns Prefer Virgins: In a darker take, unicorns are a species of monsters which feed on the souls of virgins for sustenance.
  • Unscaled Merfolk: There's Mirella, the shapeshifting human-dolphin, for one. Later, Nita sees a man in INHUP headquarters with eight octopus legs, whom she identifies as a ningyo (Japanese mermaid).
  • We Need a Distraction:
    • Nita knocks over a table of phoenix feathers to try to distract the crowd long enough for Mirella to steal them a getaway boat. It fails because nobody cares enough.
    • Nita later decides she and Kovit will need a much bigger distraction when they try to escape. Like burning the entire market down.
  • What Is This Feeling?: Nita truly doesn't understand what it is she starts feeling when she realizes how similar Kovit's Dark and Troubled Past is to hers, except that it's like empathy but not quite. She's had such little human interaction throughout her life, she doesn’t understand what it feels like to make a connection with someone. When she starts missing him after they separate, she feels "something intangible" when she remembers him whispering his e-mail address in her ear. Neither of these poor kids know what genuine "love" feels like, so they can't accurately identify it. When it looks like they're going their separate ways in Only Ashes Remain, Nita sincerely struggles and fails to understand why they met up again in the first place, why they wanted to work together. She concludes they were "using" each other to feel better at a time when they were down, lost, and lonely and sees them finding solace in each other as a sign of being weak and messed up.
  • What Is This Thing You Call "Love"?: To Nita, the new feeling she experiences for Kovit is "this weird, amorphous thing in her."
  • What Measure Is a Non-Human?: The main theme of the series. As far as people like Gold and the Unnatural Extermination Agenda are concerned, no unnatural, no matter what they look like, is human. Or deserves to live.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: Adair really lets Nita have it after the quadruple murder at the apartment building, lashing out at her for thinking that posting on the Internet about killing 3 people would really scare the planet into leaving her alone. His speech causes the sense of power the incident briefly gave Nita to vanish.
  • Wouldn't Hurt a Child: Kovit refuses to feed on or torture children (his cutoff age is 15).
  • You Killed My Father: One of Nita's missions is to find and kill the vampire who kills her father.
  • You Must Be Cold: Darker than usual version — when they get on the subway in Toronto, Kovit gives Nita his sweater... not because she's cold, but to hide the blood all over her shirt from the struggle she just had with the (now dead) man who tried to strangle and kidnap her.
  • You're Not My Father: Kovit tells Nita Henry's been like a father to him, he returns to the Family because he starts to believe Henry actually cares about him like a son... but when Henry kidnaps Nita and makes jokes about how you're supposed to introduce your girl to your parents, Kovit tells him, "You're not my parent."
  • You Won't Feel a Thing!: Before killing him, Kovit assures Henry, "This won't hurt." Cold comfort, but he's telling the truth.