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Literature / The Leonard Regime

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The Leonard Regime is a Dystopian novel by Alex Henderson published in 2013. It takes place in the near future where President Leonard has taken over the United States. While most submit under his rule, there are those that are still willing to fight. Daniel Ruffino has spent most of his life in this world, and is now one of the people fighting to restore it. With a combination of strategy, violence, and burritos, they might just prevail.


Provides Examples Of:

  • After-Action Healing Drama: Subverted when Brandon is shot at. It turns out he was only scratched on the arm and passed out from pure fright.
  • Ambiguous Disorder: Brandon displays traits that simply can't be justified by anything short of a serious mental condition. Many of the characters even hint that this is so. It is not addressed, however, what this condition is.
  • Artistic License – Economics: Money has become a currency for use solely within the black market, making it even more valuble than before.
  • Beware the Quiet Ones: Ben is the most subtle of the group, but also the most dangerous.
  • Big Bad: President Leonard
  • Big Badass Battle Sequence: Everything leads to a huge battle on the coast of Seattle.
  • Big Brother Is Watching: People across the country are tracked constantly.
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  • Black-and-Gray Morality: The heroes regularly kill soldiers and agents of the other side, even when unprovoked.
  • Black Market Produce: Referenced several times throughout the book. The heroes have a regular supply of weapons and food, most of which would be a lot harder to come by.
  • Brief Accent Imitation: Daniel imitated Sam's British accent to discuss fish and chips.
  • Bunny-Ears Lawyer: Brandon has his weirder moments (sometimes to the point of everyone wondering why they let him stay), but he is still a very efficient soldier when the need arises.
  • Calling Your Bathroom Breaks: Brandon does this regularly during any form of car ride, nearly to the point of absurdity.
  • Cardboard Prison: The prisons national (known as DERSO Correctional Facilities) are run by idiots and have insufficient security. There are not one, but two prison breaks during the course of the book.
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  • Chaotic Stupid: Brandon's antics.
  • Chemistry Can Do Anything: When Ben and Daniel are breaking out of prison, they stumble across a lab full of chemicals. Ben, knowing what the chemicals were, managed to create a mixture that could kill all of the guards when breathed in.
  • The Chick: Madison
  • Cloudcuckoolander: Brandon is found frequently oblivious to the most obvious things around him.
  • Cloudcuckoolander's Minder: Everyone finds themselves in this position at some point, but Nick is the main person to fulfill this role.
  • Comm Links: The characters carry around radios to communicate with each other.
  • Conveniently an Orphan: With his parents having died a few years ago, Daniel is able to go off and fight. It later turns out his parents died after founding the same rebellion he is fighting for.
  • Crapsack World
  • Death from Above: Bomber planes are used during the final battle.
  • Demolitions Expert: Ben has had training with explosives, and is the one trusted to use them when needed.
  • Dumbass Has a Point: When Brandon delivers a speech in San Francisco.
  • Dumb Is Good: Nick and Brandon fighting is a common occurrence. Nick, the smarter of the two, is always the one to start the fight. Brandon, meanwhile, doesn't always realize a fight is even taking place.
  • Dynamic Character: In the beginning, Daniel is young and rather immature. But as the story moves on, his outlook on things becomes darker and more mature.
  • Dysfunction Junction: The entire team demonstrate their own flaws, from Brandon's inability to shut up to Daniel's tendency to spit out sarcastic comments.
  • Dystopia
  • EMP: It is mentioned that the west coast of the United States had been hit by an EMP attack during a previous war. It is functional by the time the story takes place.
  • Enraged by Idiocy: Nick demonstrates this whenever Brandon says or does something stupid.
  • FBI Agent: The Department of Economic Regulation and Social Order is the result of the FBI's merge with the IRS.
  • Final Battle: The entire rebellion fights for its survival in Seattle.
  • Flanderization: Both Brandon's ignorance and Nick's rage towards it are flanderized throughout the book.
  • The Fool: Brandon
  • Fugitive Arc: Much of the story is spent with the main characters being wanted. This ultimately escalates into all out war.
  • Genius Bruiser: Ben is the typical genius bruiser.
  • Gentleman and a Scholar: Ben is both the most intelligent member of the team and the most sophisticated.
  • Good Is Not Soft: True throughout the book. There are several characters who are entirely selfless, but regularly kill their enemies.
  • The Guards Must Be Crazy: The secret police force known as DERSO is supposed to be an elite organization of specially trained agents. In reality, they are often stupid, incompetent, or simply indifferent.
  • The Hero: Daniel fits the mold of a traditional hero. He holds good morals and is overall rather balanced.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Madison veers her damaged plane into that of an enemy plane, saving everyone below from an air strike. Also played to a lesser but still significant scale when Sam takes a bullet for Nick.
  • Houseboat Hero: Most of the rebellion, by the end of the book.
  • Imperial Stormtrooper Marksmanship Academy
  • Infinite Supplies: The characters always have needed equipment, often illegal to possess. Justified due to the ease of purchasing on the blackmarket and the government's inability to stop it.
  • Insecurity System: Government facilities overall have lackluster security. There is little problem for the main characters to break into a meeting of government officials and get out of prison two different times. However, it should be noted that some of them are trained to do exactly this, and they often manage to get their hands on necessary equipment.
  • Jack-of-All-Trades: Ben has had extensive military and espionage training. He continuously demonstrates skills in a variety of different areas.
  • Jerkass: Nick is regularly shouting at his own friends and arguing about everything. The warden from the Los Angeles DERSO Correctional Facility also possesses a jerkass personality.
  • La Résistance: The reason everyone is fighting.
  • The Lancer: Despite being the most experienced and capable, Ben prefers to be the lancer of the team.
  • The Leader: Nick is the de facto but usually unquestioned leader of the team.
  • The Load: Brandon is a liability as much as a teammate.
  • The Medic: Ben's training has given him the opportunity to play medic multiple times. Madison is also mentioned to be capable in this area.
  • Mildly Military: The heroes are basically part of an unofficial military.
  • The Mole: Twice during the book. First it's Tino, and then Seth.
  • Mole in Charge: The mole also happens to be the second in command of the whole rebellion. Due to the secret nature of the organization, even he only knows so much.
  • The Napoleon: Oscar. He is described as "couldn't be taller than four feet", but was rather mean. This was not elaborated on, however, because he died the very same chapter he was introduced.
  • The Nicknamer: Nick, ironically enough.
  • Oddly Overtrained Security: Averted. DERSO is supposed to be the best, but they have simply taken over the jobs of average policemen.
  • Only Sane Man: Ben feels the consequences of this regularly. Combining the idiocy, rage, sarcasm, and sometimes downright annoyingness of his team, he is often grieving over his surroundings.
  • President Evil: President Leonard
  • The Quiet One: Ben does not speak often, but people usually listen when he does.
  • Red Herring Mole: Oscar is at first suspected to be a mole.
  • Reluctant Warrior: Discussed by the characters. Daniel in particular is at first uncomfortable about killing the enemy.
  • Rousing Speech: Brandon's speech in San Francisco.
  • Running Gag: Burritos are mentioned extensively, especially when relating to Brandon. Brandon also makes it very clear he needs to use the bathroom any time they are in a car.
  • Screens Are Cameras: Mentioned by Daniel when President Leonard contacts him through a video call.
  • Secret Police: DERSO is supposed to be the secret police force of the United States. However, they seem to do little more than the job of the normal police.
  • Sixth Ranger: Though he appears about the same time as the "fifth" ranger, he still acts the role of the sixth ranger.
  • Sixth Ranger Traitor: Subverted by Tristan. He is accused of being a sixth ranger traitor by Nick, but is eventually shown to be telling the truth about his loyalty.
  • The Smart Guy: Ben is the intellectual one of the group.
  • The Smurfette Principle: Madison is the only major female character.
  • The Sneaky Guy: Ben is often planning things out far before anyone else. He is the one that goes ahead and takes note of everything.
  • The Stoic: Ben rarely shows his emotions.
  • Surveillance Station Slacker: While in the car, Daniel notices one of the men assigned to a checkpoint is sleeping on the job. To make it worse, his partner is reading a book.
  • Taking You with Me: When Madison's plane is coming down, she crashes it into an enemy plane threatening to bomb the city, killing both of them.
  • Tank Goodness: When Daniel and Ben break out of prison, a tank is sent in to search for them. Then during the final battle in Seattle, Leonard's forces send a tank onto the streets.
  • Teeth-Clenched Teamwork: Arguing is a regular part of the team's routine, even during combat.
  • Tired of Running: Underlying throughout the whole story. Most specifically when the people of San Francisco rise up to fight.
  • Took a Level in Dumbass: When Brandon is first introduced, he comes off as mildly annoying and ignorant. By the end of the book, he is a Cloudcuckoolander.
  • Tracking Device: Tracking devices are mentioned to be in all cell phones and cars by the time the story takes place. Subverted when the heroes used old fashion phones and radios to avoid cell phones, and use custom built or official government vehicles to avoid tracked cars.
  • 20 Minutes into the Future: The story takes place in the 2040s, but technology has not advanced quite as far as one would expect it to.
  • Urban Warfare: All of the fighting takes place in urban areas.
  • The War Has Just Begun: Pointed out when Leonard threatens Daniel.
  • The War Room: By the end of the book, the main characters operate in a war room in the USS Paige Corral.
  • We Hardly Knew Ye: Several characters die shortly after being introduced, sometimes in the same chapter. Offenders include Sam, Oscar, Tino, and Kendrick.


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