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Literature / Nemesis Saga

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The Nemesis Saga is a Kaiju thriller series of novels written by Jeremy Robinson. The first book, Project Nemesis, was published in November 2012.

Jon Hudson, lead investigator for the Department of Homeland Security’s Fusion Center-P, thinks his job is a joke. While other Fusion Centers focus on thwarting terrorist activity, Hudson’s division is tasked with handling paranormal threats to national security, of which there have been zero during his years at the DHS. When yet another Sasquatch sighting leads to a research facility disguised as an abandoned Nike missile site in the back woods of Maine, Hudson’s job becomes deadly serious.

Hudson and the local Sheriff, Ashley Collins, suddenly find themselves on the run from a ruthless ex-Special Forces security team, but the human threat is short-lived as something very much not-human destroys the facility and heads for civilization, leaving only a single clue behind—a name scrawled in blood: Nemesis. Working with his team at Fusion Center-P, Sheriff Collins and a surly helicopter pilot named Woodstock, Hudson pursues the creature known as Nemesis, attempts to uncover the corporate secrets behind its creation and accidental release and tries to comprehend why several clues lead to a murdered little girl named Maigo.

But as the body-count explodes, along with the monster’s size, it quickly becomes clear that nothing short of a full military response can slow Nemesis’s progress. Coordinating with every branch of the U.S. military, Hudson simultaneously searches for clues about Nemesis’s origins and motivations, and leads the counterattack that will hopefully stop the monster before it reaches Boston and its one million residents.

The book also has a sequel, Project Maigo, was released in 2013, in which it is revealed that Nemesis is not the only kaiju in existence, and introduces the characters from Island 731 to the cast. Another sequel, Project 731 was released in 2014, and establishes that Raising The Past is part of the continuity.

The fourth book, Project Hyperion, was published in September 2015, and features series' first mech, the titular Hyperion. The fifth and final book, Project Legion, was released in October 2016. A six issue comic book series based on Project Nemesis, with art by Matt Frank, was published in late 2015 and early 2016. A comic adaption of Island 731 with art from artist Jeff Zornov, also of Rulers of the Earth fame, was announced for August of 2016, but was later cancelled.

The title monster has also been announced for the video game The Fall of Nemesis: Clash of the Kaijujin as the main antagonist and a playable character in the roster, prior to Jeremy Robinson's contract with Sunstone Games expiring in January 2017.

In 2022, it was announced that Project Nemesis would be getting a TV adaptation produced by Original Film and Sony Pictures Television, and directed by Chad Stahelski.

On November 21, 2023, a stand-alone spinoff simply titled Nemesis was released; set in an alternate universe where the FCP wasn't able to stop Nemesis from destroying Boston.

This book series provides examples of:

  • Action Girl:
    • Ashley Collins is a much more capable fighter than Hudson. After her domestic abuse by her ex-husband, she joined the police and took martial arts training to make sure that never happens again.
    • Island 731 introduces Lilly, a panther-human chimera who is strong and fast enough to go toe-to-toe with Gordon in Project Maigo.
    • Project Maigo introduces Alessi, Endo's partner, half-sister and equal in combat.
    • Nemesis herself isn't afraid to get her talons dirty during her pursuit for vengeance. Even after being disconnected from Nemesis, Maigo retains superhuman strength, durability, and speed that surpass those of Lilly.
  • Adaptation Distillation: The comic book has so far trimmed down about two days of story, almost half the pages of book, to one afternoon over two issues so far.
  • Alien Blood: Most of the kaiju bleed brown blood. Nemesis on the other hand, bleeds red blood like a human.
  • And Now for Someone Completely Different: The books tend to switch perspectives to various other characters, usually soon-to-be victims of the kaiju rampage. Occasionally we see the world through the eyes of Nemesis herself.
  • Arc Welding:
    • As stated above, the sequels establish Island 731 as being part of the Nemesis-verse by having the surviving characters join the FC-P team, having the Tsuchi serve as the main threat in the third book, and also establishing that the supposed DARPA experiments on the island were actually a subprogram of GOD.
    • The third book also establishes Robinson's earlier novel, Raising The Past, as part of the same universe, when it reveals that Nemesis-Prime was created by the Aeros as part of their proxy war with the Ferox on Earth.
    • The fourth book links the saga to the SecondWorld duology, bringing in the protagonist of Nazi Hunter: Atlantis/I Am Cowboy.
    • The fifth book brings in characters from MirrorWorld, the Chesspocalypse series, and the Antarktos Saga.
  • Ascended Fanboy: Ever since he was a kid, Endo was a huge fan of kaiju. When he gets the opportunity to partake in the creation of Nemesis, he is willing to kill to make his dream of seeing a real life kaiju come true. When he watches the kaiju fight in the sequel, he is absolutely overflowing excitement, and at the end of the third book, he is assimilated into Nemesis and becomes her "soul".
  • Asshole Victim: A lot of Nemesis's kills in the first book revolve around this trope.
  • Atlantis: Is brought into the series mythology in the third book, as its revealed that it was an outpost on Earth of the Alantide, a race of Human Aliens allied with the Ferox in their Forever War with the Aeros. The city was destroyed by Nemesis Prime, and the survivors scattered around the world, where they eventually bred into the human population.
  • Attack! Attack! Attack!!: In Project Hyperion Jon quickly realizes why the Ferox can't gain a victory despite being a race with stronger focus on technology than the Aeros. They can't seem to figure out tactics other than rushing forward into danger.
  • Attack Its Weak Point: Subverted. You would think the glowing orange spots on the kaiju would be their weak spots. Puncture one and you'll be met with an explosive retaliation. Upon learning this, Hudson has to order the military to not aim for the orange parts, and even then they have to learn that lesson the hard way.
  • Awful Truth: In Project Hyperion there's a few nasty revelations. Not only was the FCP actually a creation of the Ferox and not something created out of dumb luck, but they were also influencing Zoomb, GOD, and even Endo. Alessi was a real person once but the one seen in the books was in fact a decoy interacting with Endo and Hudson. All was to help prepare for the Aeros war.
  • Beethoven Was an Alien Spy: Project Hyperion reveals that several prominent historical figures were either being manipulated by the Ferox, or were Ferox themselves.
  • Bears Are Bad News: When Hudson reaches his old cabin, he finds a big angry grizzly bear that doesn't like her and her babies being disturbed. He barely escapes being bear chow.
  • Body Horror: Gordon transforms into a half-human, half-Kaiju hybrid in the first two books. It's even speculated that he could have grown into a full-blown Kaiju in time.
    • In the third book Project 731, we are reintroduced to the Tsuchi from Island 731, spider/turtle/scorpion hybrids who breed by injecting a host with their worm-like larvae who feed on you from the inside out before bursting out of you a la Alien.
  • Breath Weapon: In the sequel, Nemesis figures out how to spit globs of orange liquid that explode when they hit something.
  • Brawler Lock: Happens twice in Hyperion. Once during an ancient battle and then again in modern time between Hyperion and Lovecraft.
  • Clone Army:
    • In Project Hyperion the Ferox reveal that they created clones of Karkinos, Typhon, Scylla, Drakon, and Scrion to fight Lovecraft and Giger. Giger shreds all of them except Karkinos, who it delivers to Nemesis Prime's Voice.
    • Project Legion has more clones of Karkinos, Typhon, Scylla, Drakon, and Scrion made to fight alongside Nemesis and repel the Aeros' invasion. It also reveals that the Aeros have an army of Gigers, Lovecrafts, and at least one clone of Nemesis Prime, as well as Ashtaroth, a truly enormous monster that combines traits of all three of them.
  • Crossover:
    • Nemesis was planned to be a playable character and main antagonist in the upcoming game Colossal Kaiju Combat! Fall of Nemesis.
    • The sequels feature characters and elements from several of Robinson's other novels, Island 731, Raising the Past, and Nazi Hunter: Atlantis, meaning these novels take place in the same universe or parallel universes.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: Scrion vs. Nemesis in the second book. Nemesis is over four times Scrion's size and the former has no special powers.
    • In Project Hyperion, GOD sends clones of Typhon, Karkinos, and Scylla against Giger, likely expecting an easy victory against the smaller and outnumbered Kaiju...who proceeds to kill Typhon and Scylla, then disable Karkinos and drag him away to be placed under Aeros control. This is all achieved in less than a single minute.
  • Developing Doomed Characters: Several of the chapters in each book are told from the perspectives of people who are relatable... but who end up dying horribly by the end of the chapter.
  • Downer Ending: In Project Hyperion — sure Maigo has a super cool mech, Nemesis survived and Hudon's family is safe. Yet it turns out the FC-P has been manipulated a long time by the lesser of two evil Ferox. Alessi was actually a Ferox, the other side wins by destroying a portal that would have through much needed reinforcements and Lovecraft survived the battle to fight another day.
  • Elaborate Underground Base: A chunk of Project 731 is set in GOD's main headquarters beneath Area 51.
  • Enemy Mine:
    • Jon and Endo have to work together in Project Maigo.
    • In Project 731, Project Hyperion, and Project Legion the FC-P reluctantly agrees to work together with GOD.
  • Fun with Acronyms: The third book introduces us to the Genetic Offensive Directive - GOD for short - the secret DARPA organization behind the events of Island 731.
  • Giant Equals Invincible: Zigzagged. The natural black armor on the kaiju - which is actually a symbiotic fungus - defends them from anything the military throws at them, including a M.O.A.B. However, their armor is not completely impenetrable and if removed, their soft, pale skin underneath is susceptible to conventional military fire.
  • Giant Spider: The Tsuchi, which resemble spiders with turtle shells and scorpion tails.
  • Greater-Scope Villain: All the kaiju are derived (one way or another) from Nemesis-Prime, who in turn was only a monster because the Aeros tortured and experimented on her, in order to turn her into a living deterrent against the Ferox's influence on Earth.
  • Half-Human Hybrid:
    • Nemesis was created from the DNA of an ancient kaiju and a little girl named Maigo.
    • Lilly and several other characters of Island 731 are chimeras of various animals, including humans.
    • General Gordon was fully human, but gradually became for kaiju-like after his heart was replaced with Nemesis' heart while she was still small.
  • Incompatible Orientation: A drugged-out-of-her-mind Lilly makes a joke about not being a lesbian. This occurs after "Nems" tries to assimilate her, which is what she was trying to communicate.
  • Interchangeable Asian Cultures: Hudson makes this mistake a few times. First he compares Alessi, who is Japanese, to Lucy Liu, who is Chinese-American. Then he sets his phone to having Endo's - who is Japanese - ringtone be Gangnam Style by Psy, a Korean artist. Both Endo and Collins call him out on it.
  • It Can Think:
    • Nemesis's human DNA and Genetic Memory give her a conscience that constantly clashes with her kaiju side's urge to kill. She can focus her vengeance on specific targets and responds to her human name, Maigo.
    • Typhon not only looks human, he thinks like one too.
  • Kaiju: In the first book, there's Nemesis herself. The second book also has Scylla, Scrion, Drakon, Typhon, and Karkinos. The third book gives us the Nemesis-Tsuchi hybrids. The fourth book introduces Lovecraft and Giger, as well as the original name of the Kaiju: Gestorumque.
  • Kill It with Fire:
    • The orange spots on the kaiju are full of an explosive fluid that reacts on contact with the air. If the spots are punctured, expect a flash of orange light and everywhere the light touches to be burnt to a crisp.
    • Nemesis' exoskeleton houses a set of massive wings with reflective feathers. Her wings are useless for flight, but can be uses to reflect and focus sunlight or energy-based attacks into a devastating heat ray. She uses this on Alexander Tilly, Maigo's father and murderer, on Karkinos, and on Giger.
  • Lawyer-Friendly Cameo: The comic had to get a little creative to include a few easter eggs from the novel. Maigo's Hello Kitty backpack became a generic brown cat backpack. Hudson is a Trekkie and a poster in his room shows the lower portion of the Starfleet insignia.
  • Lensman Arms Race: Each book gradually ups the ante of technology the protagonists have for new threats. The first book was very grounded with a helicopter and high quality gliding suits for one monster. The second book brought in Zoomb produced missiles that can mind control kaiju against six kaiju. The third has a super jet with cloaking and bacteria bombs for monsters that can potentially make more and the threats of aliens. Project Hyperion brings in lasers, giant robots, and stronger kaiju being "piloted" as just a warning wave.
  • Lightning Bruiser:
    • Nemesis may be a 350 ft tall kaiju, but she's no slowpoke. As she grows to her full height she never loses her speed.
    • By the sequel General Gordon becomes an eight foot tall juggernaut that is as fast as he is strong and durable. The only one who can take him head on is Lilly, who is just as strong, but even faster.
    • Giger is the fastest and most agile Kaiju so far, and still tough enough to manhandle larger opponents and survive a direct nuclear strike
  • Living Weapon: Project Hyperion reveals that Nemesis and her ilk are these. The Gestorumque are essentially organic Humongous Mecha created by the Aeros to hunt and exterminate the Ferox and Atlantide.
  • Meaningful Appearance: Nemesis has the same brown eyes as Maigo, her human side. By looking at them, Hudson can see the piece of humanity that's in her.
  • MegaCorp: Zoomb started out as a Internet search engine company, but now has their hooks in just about everything, enabling them to be able to secretly run programs like the experiments on Nemesis-Prime. The end of the third book reveals that Endo had been secretly buying up controlling interest in the company, and upon his "death" by merging with Nemesis, leaves it to Hudson.
  • Mundane Utility: Zoomb merged human and kaiju DNA in order to make viable clones that can be used for organ transplants. They didn't know just how powerful the kaiju DNA was.
  • Nebulous Evil Organization: The Genetic Offensive Directive (GOD, for short), revealed to have been behind the events of Island 731, and instigating the events of Project 731, all in their search for developing genetically engineered superweapons. It turns out that they're actually Well-Intentioned Extremists trying to prepare for when Earth is inevitably drawn into the Ferox/Aeros war. And then Project Hyperion reveals that they are Ferox, manipulating Earth's governments from within to improve the planet's chances.
  • Never Found the Body: In the first book's finale, General Gordon falls off the roof of a high-rise apartment, but is nowhere to be found. The epilogue reveals what happened to him.
  • No Celebrities Were Harmed: In the first book, one of Nemesis's victims was a corrupt mayor seeking reelection. He shows up in the second issue of the comic and looks suspiciously similiar to Donald Trump.
  • Obstructive Bureaucrat: A military response has to go through bureaucracy, and Jurisdiction Friction often hinders effective responses. The result of this is that the town of Ashton doesn't get an evacuation order, and nearly a thousand people are killed when Nemesis arrives.
  • Pater Familicide: Maigo was killed when she walked in on her father shooting her mother for adultery. Her father then shoots her to eliminate any witnesses. When Nemesis escapes, she makes her way to Boston to exact vengeance on her human side's murderer. It's later revealed that Hudson narrowly avoided being shot and killed by his own father, an experience which is the source of his empathic bond with Maigo.
  • Perspective Flip: Several of the chapters are told from Gordon's, Endo's, and Nemesis' POV's, as well as characters who are quickly killed off in horrific fashions.
  • Real After All: There are other creatures out there aside from the kaiju.
    • Hudson begins the first book searching for the existence of Sasquatch. The epilogue shows him and Collins finding Sasquatch, but keeping it a secret.
    • The second book begins with them in Colorado investigating reports of strange creature sightings. The creature turns out to be Lilly, a young cat-woman under the protection of Hudson's old friend, Mark Hawkins - both of whom debuted in Island 731.
    • Project Legion implies that God exists and is manipulating events and probability to ensure the main characters succeed in their endeavour to save the multiverse.
  • Religious Bruiser: In keeping with the author's own religious beliefs, a number of characters have strong Christian beliefs. Solomon and Fiona in particular possess supernatural powers that are indicated to have been bestowed upon them by God Himself. Even Endo is implied to be Christian in Project Legion, when explaining the concept of a soul to Nemesis.
  • Religious and Mythological Theme Naming:
    • Nemesis is named after the Greek goddess of vengeance, and it is later revealed that Nemesis-Prime was inspiration for the goddess.
    • GOD is the unsubtly-named clandestine DARPA splinter group, in charge of developing bioweapons.
    • Several of the characters introduced or named in Project Legion draw from Christianity, such as Solomon (the main character of the the Antarktos Saga), Ashtaroth (the Aeros' ultimate kaiju), and Mephos (the leader of the Ferox).
  • Self-Deprecation: In Project Hyperion Hudson and Collins encounter an author who wrote a series of novels about Nemesis and secured the rights to a comic book adaptation, hanging with a bunch of kaiju groupies. Hudson is less than impressed with the group.
  • Sensitive Guy and Manly Man: Hudson, being empathic to everyone on the team, from bad ass martial artists, hunters, a cat girl, a super strong teenager, a computer wiz and a bad ass beuracrat is often the sensitive one. Hawkins is an old fashioned manly man ranger, Endo is a stoic special ops while his girl friend is a fiery kick boxing former cop. He's the manly man to Watson's nonaction role of computer support and had to be rough talked a few times during Project Nemesis.
  • Series Fauxnale: Project Maigo was the original ending for the Nemesis duology, trilogy if Island 731 is added in since everything seems wrapped up.
  • Shared Universe: The Kaiju series is set in the same universe as Island 731 and Raising the Past. And is the next universe over from the SecondWorld duology.
  • Shout-Out: Being a series about kaiju, there's of course going to be references to Godzilla and King Kong.
    • During the fight between Nemesis and Scylla, they tear through the Capitol building to get at each other. Endo and Hudson remark that its like a similar scene from King Kong vs. Godzilla.
    • When Nemesis and the Megatsuchi are about to face off in Project 731, it is repeatedly suggested that the FC-P just "Let them fight." until an exasperated Jon - worried about the death toll a kaiju battle in the middle of a crowded city would cause - asks if everyone is quoting a movie.
  • The Smurfette Principle: Averted along much of the book series. Even in the first Nemesis book it had two girls to a team with Collins and Cooper. With another book Alessi, Lilly and Maigo would be added. This even extends to the Kaiju with Nemesis and Prime being female followed by Drakkon, Scylla and Lovecraft with Giger and Tsuchi being gender neutral.
  • Spared by the Adaptation: In the Nemesis comic, the hunt for Hudson and Collins is cut short so Mr. Johnson has not been sniped so for the moment he's safe.
  • Super Drowning Skills: The Tsuchi's main weakness is that they cannot swim.
  • Switching P.O.V.: Each chapter or so is told from a different POV. Jon's chapters are first-person, but the rest are third-person narratives.
  • The Multiverse: Project Hyperion reveals that the there is a multidimensional war going on in the background, with the Nemesis Saga taking place in dimension 204,091.0008932.
  • Took a Level in Badass: In Island 731, Joliet is closer to being The Load and a Faux Action Girl — after a promising start, diving into a trash pile to get a specimen in shark-infested waters, she ends up being more of a Damsel in Distress and can't even shoot. By Project 731, she seems to have been taking target practice, and helps save Mark and Lilly after being shoved aside into the attic for safe keeping during an assault.
  • To Serve Man: All of the kaiju feed on humans, though they also feed on other animals too, preferably big ones like whales. Nemesis starts refraining from eating humans because her human side thinks eating people is wrong, and the other kaiju because they need more sustenance to grow faster.
  • Two Lines, No Waiting: Project Hyperion has two plots up until the finale. Hudson, Collins and Woodstock deal with Lovecraft while on the other side of the world Maigo and Lilly investigate something in Russia until Maigo joins Hudson and Hawkins joins Lilly. The latter two go follow Giger and Zach Cole.
  • Tragic Monster: Once Hudson finds out about Maigo, he can't stop seeing Nemesis as one. Nemesis may be a terrifying man-eating monster, but deep inside her is Maigo, an unfortunate little girl who met a terrible end.
  • Undressing the Unconscious: In Project Hyperion, Maigo was caught in a dynamite explosion when she was infiltrating Big Diomede to retrieve the hidden weapon there. She woke up in her undergarments and strapped down to a stretcher, with her DNA sample had been taken.
  • Villainous Lineage: Project Hyperion reveals the all of the traits mankind considers "evil" are due to interbreeding with the warlike Atlantide in the distant past, with greater concentrations of Atlantide DNA resulting in a greater proclivity towards "violence, crime, and foulness."
  • Wings Do Nothing:
    • Subverted. Nemesis's wings aren't meant for her to fly, they are used as giant mirrors that weaponize the sunlight to fry her enemies.
    • Likewise, Lovecraft's wings are used to shield himself from attacks, as he is far too massive to fly. It turns out he can void a tremendous amount of organic matter, instantly shrinking down to become flight-capable. He does this twice to flee Nemesis by air..

Alternative Title(s): Project Nemesis