Follow TV Tropes


Literature / The Ultra Violets

Go To
Center-clockwise: Iris, Cheri, Scarlet, and Opal

The Fuschia is Now!

The Ultra Violets is a book series by Sophie Bell, following the adventures of superpowered middle-school student quartet, Iris, Cheri, Scarlet, and Opaline. Illustrations are by Chris Battle, and Ethan Beavers.)

The four were just regular girls until a sleepover at the Fascination Lab (FLab, for short) on the 42nd floor of the Highly Questionable Tower ended up triggering a chain reaction that culminated in the four best friends getting covered in a mysterious purple goo, Heliotropium.

Four years later, after unintentionally exposing themselves to the chemical once more, the girls discover the stuff gave them more than the need for a decontamination shower—it had given them superpowers!

  • Iris gained superheated rainbow beams and the ability to create art anywhere she chooses,
  • Cheri super-math skills and the ability to talk to animals,
  • Advertisement:
  • Scarlet wicked dancing skills (and later, when her skills evolve, super-strength),
  • And Opaline electric and weather manipulation powers.

Together, the four form the Ultra Violets, a superhero team dedicated to protecting Sync City from the evil schemes of BeauTek, from mind-controlling perfumes to evil mutants manufactured at the Mall of No Returns!

Books in the series:

  1. The Ultra Violets
  2. Power to the Purple
  3. Lilac Attack


The series provides examples of:

  • Absent-Minded Professor: Candace, though the book justifies this as her being so busy things naturally slip through the cracks.
  • Affectionate Parody: Of the superhero genre. The girls are genuinely heroic and deal with some very serious threats, what with BeauTek having so many questionable science experiments and projects for world domination. However, before Book 2, Iris's powers are limited to changing the colors of things and making disguises, Scarlet is a Dance Battler, and their mascot is a skunk who can change the odors he releases. The villains they fight are also incredibly comedic, ridiculous, and hard to take seriously until they finally put up a fight or get up to some serious, unquestionable evil.
  • Ambiguously Brown: Cheri. Her skin color is much, much darker than the rest of the primarily light-skinned cast but it's never mentioned what race she is nor does it become that important.
  • And the Adventure Continues: All 3 books end this way, even the Grand Finale.
  • Angrish: Develon Louder, CEO of BeauTek, is fond of this. Though she already has no volume control and has it constantly on 11, she devolves into unintelligible gibberish when she's furious.
  • Bad Liar / Suspiciously Specific Denial: Doctors Jones, Tyler, and Henderson deny the existence of Helitropium, and fail miserably.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: Opaline. Book 1 has her as a Shrinking Violet and trying to be the kind, polite girl the others have always known her as until The Kiss That Changed Everything where she quickly gains better control of her powers, a much more assertive but evil personality.
  • Big Bad: Develon Louder, as the CEO of BeauTek, is personally responsible or has overseen much of her company's incredibly ethically questionable to outright morally evil projects, such as the genetically augmented monster minions.
  • Bio-Augmentation:
    • Helitropium is capable of genetically modifying any living being on earth.
    • This is BeauTek's shtick, from mind controlling perfume to evil mutants through largely biological processes and means, rather than robots.
  • Bland-Name Product: Obviously, as the actual copyrighted names would cost too much for a passing joke.
    • Smashface, (Facebook) Sync City's social networking site of choice, alongside Tweeker (Twitter).
    • Furi (Apple's Siri) is the voiced assistant in Cheri's phone
    • Game-Boi for the Nintendo Gameboy.
    • XY-Box for the Microsoft XBox
    • Ikipedia for Wikipedia.
    • Iris uses an iCan(Apple iPad) for drawing.
  • Bully Hunter: Scarlet targets other bullies, constantly getting into fights with students who start them first against others who can't fight back.
  • Bumbling Sidekick: Agent Sydney Bristow to Agent Jack Baxter. While Baxter is as professional and competent as he can get despite his age, Bristow acts more realistically in that he keeps getting stuck, exposing his cover, and otherwise bumbling about.
  • Chekhov's Gunman / Chekhov's Gun: The Clown performing the raging saxophone solo comes back to distract Opal's brainwashed army. His saxophone also comes in handy for saving Iris and the students of Chronic Prep.
  • Colorful Theme Naming: All four Ultra Violets are named after colours.
  • Continuity Nod: Sebastian refers to the "Wolfman in a top-hat" Iris painted with him in the subway, in book 1.
    • Scarlet does indeed audition for the school musical in book 2.
  • Cool Pet: Darth Odor, an intelligent mutant skunk who can control the scent of his sprays.
  • Corrupt Corporate Executive: Develon Louder, CEO of BeauTek. She's loud, driven, and insane. She's also one of the most talented and powerful businesswomen in Sync City.
  • Cute Bruiser: Scarlet. She's one of the shortest, most conventionally adorable members of the cast but she can and will kick your ass, especially those of the people that bully weaker students.
  • Dance Battler: Scarlet, most especially when she gets her super-strength.
  • Dark-Skinned Redhead: Cheri, having deep red hair and dark brown skin, though whatever her race or country of origin are never mentioned nor become that important to the story.
  • Did You Think I Can't Feel?: A big gripe of Opal, and the reason behind her defecting to the Dark Side.
  • Double Agent / Defecting for Love: Jack Baxter becomes this for the Ultra Violets and BeauTek. His motivation? Scarlet. It probably also helps his mother is Devon Louder, who isn't the most sterling example of being a good human being at the best of times.
  • Does Not Know Her Own Strength: Scarlet frequently destroys things and the scenery in book 2, as she has yet to master her newfound super-strength.
  • Evil, Inc.: BeauTek, under the guise of a biocosmetics company, works on various ethically questionable and outright evil experiments like their army of mutants.
  • Expy: The Lemony Narrator is a gender-flipped version of the one from The Powerpuff Girls.
  • Face–Heel Turn: Opal.
  • The Faceless: As with classic cartoons, the faces of the Ultra Violets' mothers are never seen.
    • An interesting example with Opal's mom, who plays a fairly large part in some scenes but never shows up in any illustrations.
  • The Fashionista: Despite Iris's powers being the most useful for make-up and changing appearances, Cheri is the most competent when it comes to fashion, make-up, and looking good.
  • Foil: Agents Bristow and Baxter. One is well-trained, professional, and unyielding as a mountain, the other is unfit, incompetent, and a push-over at the slightest discomfort.
  • Foreshadowing: After Scarlet mentions that she danced both the male and female roles in Swan Lake, a ballet she hadn't even seen, Cheri asks if she was in a tutu when she did, and that they could use ones for their outfits. Cut to book 2 and Scarlet is now wearing a tutu alongside her usual get-up.
    • Karyn has what appears to be a lizard tail poking out of her shorts. In the next book, she's now K-Liz, a human-lizard mutant.
    • Opal's powers are foreshadowed early when the static electricity in their hairbrush causes their hair to frizz up.
  • Four-Girl Ensemble: The Ultra Violets are composed of 4 superpowered girls and one skunk mascot.
  • Girliness Upgrade: Scarlet gets a minor one in book 2, where she dons a tutu, comfortably wears ballerina slippers, and auditions for school plays.
  • Green Aesop: Sync City is very eco-friendly, and booming with all organic and sustainable techniques, actively endorsed by the characters.
  • Groin Attack: After miscalculating her speed and trajectory, Cheri accidentally hits Mantis Man in the crotch with her lacrosse stick with stiletto point.
  • Gosh Dang It to Heck!: As the series is aimed at children, actual cursing is forbidden.
    • "Oh swell no."
    • OMV, for "Oh My Violet."
  • Greasy Spoon: Tom's Diner. It is described as stereotypical as you can get, with the pot of coffee, the waitress, and serving classics like pie.
  • Hash House Lingo: Prevalent in Tom's Diner, of course. When ordering something normal, expect the waitress to relay it to the kitchen with the strangest language you can think of.
  • Heel–Face Revolving Door: Between all three books, Opal goes from a friend of the Ultra Violets, to the second book’s main antagonist, then finally becoming a hero.
  • Heel–Face Turn: Opal, again. After turning against the group at the end of Book 1 and becoming the antagonist for almost all of Book 2, she eventually comes back to being a hero by Book 3.
  • Hope Spot: Several with Opal during the entirety of Book 2, when the group ''seems' like they're finally getting through to her and convince her to stop being evil and return to being their friend only to ultimately fail.
  • Hover Board: Sebastian and his boys ride them, as part of the setting's futuristic, environmentally-friendly bent.
  • Idiosyncratic Episode Naming: Colourful Theme Naming, focused on variants of purple: The Ultra Violets, Power to the Purple, Lilac Attack.
  • I Just Want to Be Special: For most of book 1, Opal is without her powers—or, at least, she hasn't figured out how to activate them.
  • Improvised Weapon / Blade on a Stick: During Mantis Man's attack at the park, Cheri builds a lacrosse stick with a stilleto point as a weapon.
  • In Medias Res: Book 2 starts with a BANG!, so much that it begins at chapter 2.
  • In-Series Nickname: Iris is occasionally referred to as "Riri", Cheri as "Cher", and Scarlet as "Scar".
  • Last Episode, New Character: Felippe, Cheri's potential Love Interest, doesn't appear until abput halfway through the final book.
  • Late-Arrival Spoiler: Those who are just arriving will learn that Opal defects to BeauTek and back again, alongside many of the past book's major events being discussed and used extensively as jumping points for the later book's events.
  • Lemony Narrator: The author is fond of pointing things out, explicitly mentioning this was an event earlier in the story or the last book, and oftentimes playing around with the chapter names.
  • Love Makes You Evil / Rage-Breaking Point: Opal’s breaking point is seeing Cheri kissing Albert (though it really was the other way around), and joins BeauTek soon after.
  • Mad Scientist: Candace has shades of this. She laments that she can't erase the girls memories after the Helitropium incident because her Neuoranalyser was still in beta testing.
    The girls, grabbing each other's hands, took a step backward as one.
    • Fascination Lab and BeauTek seem to hire them by the batch. Though the latter is explicitly evil, FLab does not exactly shy away from some strange, questionable experiments.
  • The Makeover: Cheri subtly gets Albert to change his appearance through social media, thinking Opal would like him better with a new appearance.
  • Most Writers Are Adults: Despite being ostensibly a children's series, the entire series has a number of extremely outdated references that would only be gotten by audiences at around the same age range as the author. The young, pre-10's demographic wouldn't even catch what "Helter Skelter" is. It's gotten to the point that aging up the characters a bit may have actually benefited the story.
  • Mutants: Beautek has an entire army of them, manufactured in the Mall Of No Returns.
  • Named After Someone Famous: Albert Feinstein, mathlete.
  • Nerds Are Sexy: Opaline's crush on Albert. It's surprisingly (and refreshingly) not Played for Laughs.
  • Not What It Looks Like: The Kiss That Changed Everything.
  • One of the Boys: Scarlet was sidekick to the toughest boys in school in the 4 years between the incident and the first chapter of book 1.
  • Parents as People: All four of the Ultra Violets’ mothers are brilliant scientists, with schedules so busy, they rarely, if ever, have time for their kids. They pretty much left them to their own devices, in the care of their siblings, or in Iris’s and Opal's case, sent them off to Astronaut Offspring Boarding School and an All-Girls Boarding School, respectively.
  • Personality Powers: Zig-zagged between this and Power Stereotype Flip, depending on the person:
    • Iris is an imaginative and artistic person who has the power to create art anywhere.
    • Cheri’s love for animals makes her perfect for her animal-communicating powers, but her math-based powers are at complete odds with her role as the fashionista.
    • Scarlet’s Dance Battler powers don’t fit her tomboyish personality but her Super Strength gained in the second book sure does.
    • Opal’s Shock and Awe powers only truly manifest themselves after she’s become a much more aggressive and volatile person.
  • Power Incontinence: When Iris gets flustered, she begins to “rainbow,” shooting out random drawings, with her face breaking out in colourful patterns.
    • Opal has a more dramatic example in book 1, when her powers manifest and she quits the team after The Kiss That Changed Everything.
  • The Power of Friendship: The Ultra Violets activate their powers by joining their pinkies together, and later on amplify them by that same gesture.
  • Puberty Superpower: The girls only develop their superpowers when they are re-exposed to Heliotropium, at age 11-12. Opal being powerless (or so she thinks) for most of book 1 is suspiciously similar to a girl watching her friends develop quickly and noticeably while she's still the same.
  • Punny Name:
    • The food district of Sync City is called the Kitchen Sync.
    • The girl's favourite hangout, a gourmet ice-cream parlor, is named Gellato Be Kidding Me.
    • A recurring theme with the animals Cheri smuggles from the shelter. The Daschund is named Salami. The Chihuahua Dogiego.
  • Puppy Love: The series is full of youthful romances between the pre-teens/teen cast. Ironically enough for the one you'd most expect to be interested in romance, due to being The Fashionista and The Chick of the group, Cheri is the only girl yet to be paired up with anyone.
  • Purple Is Powerful: Done frequently, especially pertaining to Iris:
    • What’s the first sign that the girls are developing super powers? Iris’ hair becoming purple almost overnight.
    • Alongside her art-based powers, Iris can also shoot out purple rays of light.
    • This is invoked when going by their superhero group name: The Ultraviolets.
    • The chemical that gave the girls their powers was purple. Even the name of it, "heliotropium", is based on a plant where the most commonly-found species grows purple flowers.
  • Raised by Dudes: Scarlet and her three older brothers, which explains her incredibly tomboyish behavior and propensity for the most stereotypically male manner of solving problems: violence.
  • The Reveal: Jack Baxter is actually Devon Louder's son.
  • Saved for the Sequel: Lampshaded by the author. What is going on in the sub-sub-parking lot of the Mall Of No Returns?
    • Who's sabotaging the FLab?
  • Sequel Hook: Opal has samples of the other Ultra Violet's hair, and her mother has them stored at BeautTek.
  • Shipper on Deck: Cheri. She considers being an agent for their arch-nemesis as a minor speed bump on the road of Romance.
  • Shock and Awe: Opaline. Though initially she's only able to cause static electricity, by Book 2, she realizes she can cause thunderclouds and electric weather disturbances.
  • Shout-Out: The author is incredibly fond of making pop-culture references, even ones that reach WAY before the target audience was even born.
    • At one point, Scarlet mounts a pretend-pony and rides it Gangnam Style.
    • The girls just happened to get turned into superheroes on the 42nd floor of the Highly Questionable Tower.
    • Sync City's animal shelter is called Helter Shelter.
    • Upon having an epiphany, the girls suddenly start singing about it to the tune of Call Me Maybe.
    • Scarlet enjoys Butterbeer a lot. The Tom's Diner waitress even calls it the Harry Classic!
    • Cheri points out that Scarlet has a Batman lunchbox. Scarlet retorts that not everyone is obsessed with My Little Pony. Iris then exclaims "But Friendship IS Magic!"
    • To cooldown Opal after her powers manifest during her major meltdown, Iris summons a Triple Rainbow and some unicorns.
    • Scarlet begins singing "Just Dance" to herself during the disastrous ballet recital. A helpful cellist sings the male parts.
    • Scarlet knows that hips don't lie.
    • Cheri once shouts "Go Dogiego, go!"
    • During their practicing for the "talent show" at the sleepover 4 years ago, Iris is described as going into a "tiger crouch" looking for "hidden dragons."
    • In the second novel, Opal says "O na na, what's my name?" when brainwashing the students.
  • Shout-Out Theme Naming: Darth Odor sound familiar to you?
  • Shower of Angst: After discovering her hair has mysteriously turned purple, Iris spends a traumatic couple of hours in the shower, trying to wash it off—only to discover it's permanent.
  • Shrinking Violet: Opaline. She's incredibly shy and reserved throughout Book 1, but breaks out of her shell and falls into villainy by Book 2.
  • Significant Green Eyed Red Head: Cheri has the rare combination of red hair and green eyes, and is one of the protagonists of the book and oftentimes helps move the plot when social graces and extroversion are needed to solve a problem.
  • Speaks Fluent Animal: Cheri. Hilariously, "animal talk" is lolspeak.
  • Spy Catsuit: Really just leotards and tights, but “catsuit” sounds so much cooler.
  • Super Strength: Scarlet, in Book 2, realizes she can now lift up furniture, people, and many other heavy objects with little to no effort.
  • Sweet Tooth: Iris is fond of fruity lollipops.
  • Team Mom: As she was mostly responsible for the girls being exposed to Helitropium, Candace takes it upon herself to be the girls guardian, mission control, and well-intentioned Big Sister.
    • Lampshaded and used as a joke frequently. Whenever the girls meet at Tom's Diner, the waitress always mistakes Candace for the girls' mother.
  • Team Pet: Darth Odor acts one for the group, being their shared pet and acting as an additional head when the girls are unable to act or are hampered by their size or the limits of their powers.
  • Teen Genius: Candace is one, being half the age of the other adult professionals in FLAB or even younger, is just as capable a scientist and even acts as the primary support for the Ultra Violets, studying their powers, inventing gadgets, and doing research for them while they're busy with school.
  • Theme Naming: The four main characters are named after colors.
  • This Looks Like a Job for Aquaman: Where would superhuman math skills come in handy, you might ask? A poker game.
  • Time Skip: The prologue begins four years ago, when the girls were first exposed to Helitropium, then jumps forward to the present day by chapter 1.
  • Toilet Humour: Very, very literally when the girls discover the Black Swans, Agents Baxter and Bristow, spying on them in the boy's bathroom after the secret poker game, and Bristow really, really has to go.
  • Tomboyish Ponytail: Scarlet, one of the most physically active and tomboyish of the group, wears her hair in a ponytail.
  • Tomboy with a Girly Streak: Scarlet, come book 2. She wears a tutu now and makes it work.
  • Trailers Always Spoil: The cover and back summary of book 2 reveals that Opal has turned evil, and now commands an army of BeauTek mutants. Book 3 reveals she flip-flops straight back to the heroes.
    • If one isn't careful with opening the book (and one probably isn't), the climactic scenes of each book is illustrated on the inside of the back cover.
  • True Companions: The Ultra Violets swear to bring Opal back to the good side.
  • 20 Minutes into the Future/Next Sunday A.D.: Heavily implied, if not outright stated.
  • Unintentional Period Piece: Due to all the pop-culture references.
  • Unrequited Love Switcheroo: In the second book, Opal’s crush Albert Feinstein falls in love with her. However, she doesn’t reciprocate anymore due to seeing his post-makeover self as fake.
  • Visual Pun: Book 2, Cheri is wearing a catsuit, with a tail, ears, and a Hello Kitty Bling Ring.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: The second book ends with Beau Tek obtaining the Ultra Violets' hair samples, presumably for experiments or cloning. This is never brought up in the third book.