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Literature / The Fell of Dark

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"Why are the cute ones always undead?"

The Fell of Dark is a 2020 YA novel by Caleb Roehrig.

In a world where vampires live openly among humans, August "Auggie" Pfeiffer has been born with special psychic abilities.

Auggie comes into contact with a vampire boy whom he becomes smitten with, which leads to disastrous consequences.

Auggie has been born to host the ancient and monstrous progenitor of all vampires, The Corrupter. Auggie finds himself hunted by various groups who wish to either stop or allow Azazel domain of the world.

The Fell of Dark provides examples of:

  • And Show It to You: How Vivian kills Rasputin: ripping his heart out from his back and piercing it directly with a stake.
  • Betty and Veronica: Gunnar and Jude, to August's Archie. Gunnar is a sweet and gentle man, romantic at heart and is dressed like a surfer boy; Jude is dark and mysterious, a never-ending flirt, and dressed like a bad boy.
  • Bittersweet Ending: The ritual only partly works: Azazel isn't destroyed, but Auguste is still alive and well. Vivian and her league no longer want anything to do with Azazel and she makes up with Auguste after killing Rasputin, ending the Mystic Order, a much more dangerous cult. However, Auguste's parents are permanently traumatized from the experience under Rasputin's hands, and one of the witches that could go against Azazel the next time he comes back are dead. The bittersweet tone also expands to Auguste's relationship with Jude and Gunnar: None of them get together, but they are now permanently connected, and bound to meet each other someday, where they can pick up where they left off.
  • The Corrupter: Rasputin runs a corrupter cult called the The Mystic Order of the Northern Wolf. The Order brings in disenfranchised people and has them turned into evil vampires who serve Rasputin.
  • Enemy Mine: Subverted. The villains of the story compose multiple factions all interested in Auguste and The Corrupter for different reasons, none of which seem to have his best interests in mind. Auguste does try to make use of this trope only to realize they're all terrible options of an ally, and eventually deciding that the way to finish off the three vampire groups and the Brotherhood was by making the four of them fight amongst themselves while he dealt with Azazel.
  • Enlightened Self-Interest: The Syndicate works very hard to keep vampires on their best behavior, not out of any regard for mortals, but because human governments now have the technology to wipe their previously unassailable Carpathian stronghold off the map if they start being more trouble than they're worth. The humans, in turn, allow the Syndicate to run their own affairs without interference because a strong central authority that's willing to talk and negotiate is vastly preferable to the chaos that would otherwise ensue.
  • Greater-Scope Villain: The book centers on various factions attempting to stop or hasten the arrival of the first vampire Azazel. Azazel himself just stays in the background and flashbacks but is indicated to be far more dangerous then any of the various competing factions.
  • Historical Domain Character:
  • Love Triangle: Auggie finds himself caught in between having to romantically chose between two vampires, Jude Marlow and Gunnar.
  • Magic Knight: Vivian Duclos is both a formidable sword fighter and a powerful magician.
  • Maybe Ever After: The ending is very ambiguous about Auguste's prospects with Jude and Gunnar. Gunnar skips town without saying goodbye, but Jude comes to say his farewells, having to return to Europe, and says that Gunnar is likely to regret within a year and come back looking for Auguste. Jude says that he is also likely to come back someday, saying the three are likely to never be able to say goodbye properly, as they are now forever bound by their blood oath, hinting at the fact the three might spend the rest of their lives finiding each other multiple times.
  • Monster Progenitor: Azazel is the creator of all of vampirekind. Azazel is shown to have created vampires before the series begins to act as his personal army.
  • The Necrocracy: The Syndicate of Vampires is theoretically the governing body for all vampires worldwide. In practice, their actual hold on power is much looser than they'd like.
  • Playing Both Sides: In the epilgoue, Vivian talks about how this was Azazel was up to all along. He convinced her to help him and she always believed she was the only one, but by the time she turns to Auguste's side, she realizes he probably sweet talked all vampire factions at one point or another, and Rasputin was maybe telling the truth about meeting him. He really only ever cared about ascending, no matter who did it for him.
  • Pre-Climax Climax: On the day before Azazel's rising, Auguste makes Jude and Gunnar swear a blood oath to him. When it turns out his blood, due to Azazel's influence has turned incredibly alluring to vampires, Gunnar and Jude feed on him in a safe way that is clearly meant to be basically sex.
  • Rank Scales with Asskicking: Vivian Duclos, the head of a group of vampires called The League of the Dark Star, is also their most formidable fighter and magician.
  • Red Herring: Auguste has a vision of Jude apparently about to have sex with him. He later has a similar vision of Gunnar and assumes he must have been able to change the future somehow by getting closer to Gunnar instead. It turns out they weren't mutually exclusive: Auguste saw different parts of the same night when he has a threesome with both.
  • Quantity vs. Quality: Both the Syndicate and the League of the Dark Star are pretty picky about who they allow to join up. Rasputin, on the other hand, will turn just about anybody who's available. The Order of the Northern Wolf is comparatively large, but its members are undisciplined, poorly trained, and can't rely on anything but numbers.
  • The Reveal:
    • Jude is Gunnar's ex boyfriend, and the one that turned him.
    • Daphne is actually a vampire and her real identity is Vivian Duclos, leader of the League of the Dark Star.
  • Telepathy:
    • August develops a very deep form of telepathy with the continuous awakening of Azazel. He can't seem to read their exact thought, but he gets a complete understanding of someone's feelings and actions, as well as a peek into their past.
    • Water Sorcerers get this power among others, and Hope can use this to read other minds in a more classic sense.
  • Threesome Subtext: During the rave, when an upset August uses his powers on the crowd, he involves both Gunnar and Jude in the bliss feeling, making out with both at the same time, while they hold each other's hands. While both are interested in August, the two do have a lot of unresolved things with each other. It turns into just text by the time they have a sort-of-threesome. The ending implies that the three will always be entangled together in that way.
  • Utopia Justifies the Means: Vivian Duclos is determined to create a better world for vampires and humans alike and save the environment. It's to the point she's prepared to help unleash Azazel on the world to make her utopia a reality.
  • Who Wants to Live Forever?: Supposedly, The Corruptor will make vampires live forever. Jude explains that it is likely a much worse deal than it sounds, as that means that even as the world stop existing, they might be trapped in eternal life in the void of space or as the Earth becomes uninhabitable.
  • Your Head Asplode: Ximena kills vampire by punching him in the face so hard his head explodes, as she has Super-Strength as an earth sorceress.