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Literature / The Crush

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Madi: Look, Kel, I—I don't want you to take this the wrong way.
Kelly: What's going on?
Madi: I adore you too much. I'm worried you're going to go on some kind of revenge quest to redeem yourself.
Kelly: Sounds like something I might do.

The Crush is an urban fantasy Web Serial Novel by azcetera. It revolves around Kelly Rose and Amber Sorrel, two friends with Elemental Powers who work for a magic-oriented branch of the United Nations.

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Kelly and Amber work for the United Nations Guardian Council (UNGC), which enlists magic-users (called 'chosen') to deal with natural disasters, rogue chosen, and other miscellaneous threats. A year ago, they suffered a devastating defeat which killed three of their rangers and left one paralyzed. A year later, the story kicks off with Kelly and Amber embarking on a Redemption Quest to make things right.

Zero relation to the 1993 film of the same name.

While the author originally intended to continue the story into several books, the work has been completed as a single novella-length piece.


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The Crush contains examples of:

  • Alternate History: The world seems to more-or-less be Earth, but with some changes likely owing to the presence of element-manipulating magic. Among other things, Boston was destroyed at some point in the past, with Peregrine City being built over the ruins.
  • The Baby of the Bunch: Brand is only nineteen, making him the youngest member of Dragon Saffron. He's also the newest recruit. The others tend to make a point of teaching him how to do things, or correcting him on things.
  • Badass Crew: The four fighting members of Dragon Saffron consider each other family, and it's for that reason they're willing to risk their lives and careers to get back at the guy who killed their friends a year before the events of the serial. Plus, each of them is a trained soldier with magical abilities. Kelly, notably, manages to get away with using a katana in modern combat.
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  • Badass Gay: Amber, the tactical and gun-toting professional soldier of the team, confirms this to Juliette.
  • Blade Spam: Essentially McTavish's fighting style. He uses metal-magic to fence with four rapiers at once.
  • Elemental Powers: Magic-users, officially known as divergents, but colloquially called chosen, can manipulate one of five elements: air, earth, fire, metal, or water.
  • Experienced Protagonist: Both Kelly and Amber are experienced and well-known UNGC rangers. Other rangers and UNGC staff have a lot of respect for them. Some people, such as Maxime Vinier's secretary, are even starstruck by them.
  • Five-Man Band: The remaining members of squad Dragon Saffron.
    • The Leader: Kelly, the captain of the team.
    • The Lancer: Brand fits this role, despite not being particularly experienced or seasoned. He contrasts Kelly in several ways: they both wield swords (albeit differently), and Brand is charismatic and outgoing where Kelly is reserved and serious. Brand is also the first person Kelly recruits for going after McTavish after she finds out he's in the city
    • The Smart Guy: Amber serves this role on the team. Other characters, such as Yancy and Mr. Vinier, remark that she "thinks the most like a soldier" out of anyone on the team. She often serves as Kelly's tactical adviser in battles.
    • The Big Guy: Hana, who can create and manipulate fire, can clear a room pretty fast.
    • The Chick: Madi, while no longer in active service due to her disability, is the most emotionally in-tune of the group. She constantly urges caution when the others want to go on their revenge quest against McTavish.
  • Four-Temperament Ensemble: Kelly, Amber, Brand, and Hana—the main gang from Dragon Saffron—form this.
    • Amber is Phlegmatic, Brand is Sanguine, Kelly is Choleric, and Hana is Melancholic.
  • The Gunslinger: Amber, who dual-wields a fictional Walther model, has a lot of feelings about her guns. When she finally picks them up again after being out of service for a while, she feels "electric". She uses her metal-magic to get a lot of mileage out of her guns—even doing things like having them orbit her like defense satellites.
  • Honor Before Reason: This makes up a lot of Kelly's drive for going after McTavish. She's willing to risk life and career to go after the man who killed her friends. To her, it's about restoring her honour and proving she can keep her promises.
  • The Medic: Layla Darwin is a paramedic who occasionally hops in to help out Dragon Saffron. She's friends with Brand, but doesn't know the others as well.
  • Never Bring a Knife to a Gun Fight: Amber calls McTavish on this at St Kilda. He still killed three people with a knife that wasn't even his.
  • Personality Powers: Kelly and Amber, both metal-chosen, are loyal, headstrong, and unyielding. Brand, the team's water-chosen, is much more go-with-the-flow and adaptable. Hana, a fire-chosen, is hotheaded, willful, and spontaneous.
  • Spicy Latina: Played with. Amber is Hispanic, and cultivates a cold, calculating demeanor. She mentions this trope by name, saying she does not want to fall into it.
  • Sword Pointing: A favourite threat of Kelly's.
  • Team Mom: Amber seems to enjoy this role. While outwardly cold, she does things like cooking dinner for the team when they go into hiding, or cleaning and dressing Kelly's wounds after they get into a brawl with Byzantium Black.
  • The "The" Title
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