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Literature / Orca Soundings

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Orca Soundings is a series of short, fast-paced novels geared for young teen readersnote . They often focus on issues faced by at-risk youth, whether that be facing abuse at home, the dangers of drugs, street racing, joining a gang, even sex work, the series covers it. It was created by Orca Books, a Canadian-American publisher.

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This series provides examples of the following:

  • Alpha Bitch: Birgit and her Alpha Bastard boyfriend Peter in "Hit Squad." Surprisingly, both are protagonists.
  • Anthology: With an ever-expanding number of authors and works, the majority of them standalone, the series is this.
  • Asskicking Equals Authority: The Hit Squad in the eponymous book.
    • The hardware shop owner in "Zee's Way" also counts
  • Bully Hunter: The protagonists of "Hit Squad" take this upon themselves by forming the titular squad.
  • Canada: Most, if not all of the books in the series take place somewhere in Canada.
  • Coming-of-Age Story: The majority of the books in the series are these. After all, it is Young Adult fiction.
  • The City Narrows: The bulk of "Pain and Wastings" takes place in Vancouver's Downtown Eastside.
  • Dead to Begin With: Logan, the protagonist of "Exit Points." He died in a street racing accident before the events of the book, and thus we follow his ghost.
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  • Driven to Suicide: Shaw's father in "The Hemingway Tradition." Shaw's primary goal throughout is to find out exactly what drove his father to do it.
  • Fille Fatale: The title character in "The Trouble with Liberty." To the point that she frames her school's music teacher for a sexual assault. Yeah.
  • Healing Hands: The title protagonist of "Hannah's Touch" gains these thanks to a bee sting and Logan.
  • He Who Fights Monsters: Something the protagonists of "Hit Squad" grapple with during their period of activity.
  • Knuckle Tattoos: The cover of "Hit Squad" depicts a boy with g-o-o-d and e-v-i-l on his knuckles.
  • My Death Is Just the Beginning: Logan tries for this in "Hannah's Touch."
  • New Transfer Student: Shaw, protagonist of "The Hemingway Tradition" moves to Regina from Vancouver at the beginning of the book. Liberty, of her above-mentioned book, is also this.
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  • Pinball Protagonist: Mickey in "Hit Squad" and the narrator Jojo of "Back."
  • Really Gets Around: Kelly, in "Pain and Wastings." Ethan does not approve
  • Real Place Background: The PNE and the Ovaltine Cafe in "Pain and Wastings." The Downtown Eastside is explored in lavish detail as well
  • Schoolgirl Lesbians: In "Crush," though with the franchise being what it is, this is not played for fanservice.
  • Smug Snake: Again, Liberty
  • Soapbox Sadie: The protagonist of "In Plain Sight" has a reputation for this. Given that she's a poli-sci major, and given who her dad is/was, it's not too difficult to see why.
  • The Sociopath: Explored in "The Trouble with Liberty." One of the protagonists of that book contemplates whether Liberty is or not.
  • Something Completely Different: Three of Laura Langston's contributions to the series ("Exit Point," "Hannah's Touch" and "Last Ride"). Not only do they make up a trilogy among a majority of standalone works, their subject matter is unique as well, dealing with ghosts and seemingly magical healing powers.
    • "Back," by Beth Goobie. Its premise sounds simple enough, (criminal is out on parole, returns to hometown, people react to this in different ways) but what follows could perhaps be best described as Waiting for Godot meets Les Misérables with a narrator who couldn't care less about what's going on. Case in point: The only place the narrator's name appears is in the write-up on the back cover. It's Jojo
  • Straight Gay: Marshall, the manager of the group home where Ethan stays in "Pain and Wastings."
  • Western Terrorists: In another surprise from Laura Langston, the father of the protagonist of "In Plain Sight" is/was a notorious one.
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