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YMMV / The Salvation War

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  • Awesome Music: Invoked and justified; music can serve to synchronize the magical power of many beings, so that an individual can draw on it and be empowered thereby. We see this in action when Michael makes his coup against Yahweh, a magical battle in which he's backed up by everyone at the Montmartre Club and the theme from ''The Dambusters''.
  • Heartwarming Moments: Uriel, the Angel of Death, tries to wipe out a human town in California. Using their love for each other to bolster their willpower, the people of the town deny him in a battle of wills until the Navy puts four anti-air missiles into his face.
    • Later, when Uriel starts to raid Los Angeles, several bouncers at a club risk their lives to organize a team to save the animals at a nearby pet store.
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    • When Lemuel-lan has to bring Maion to Earth for treatment, he is shocked at how compassionate the humans are in treating their enemies' wounded. It comes to a peak when he figures that the only reason the humans are helping them is because he is useful to them. Doctor Zinder's response is to explode in anger at him for daring to suggest that a human hospital would let politics or even an existential war interfere; they have a patient, and they will save her... after which Lemuel gives the first genuine, sincere apology by an angel to a human in (unknown to him) about four thousand years.
    • In an odd way, Michael advising his archangel allies of the best way to survive if his plan fails. Seeing that he does genuinely care about some things after ruthlessly manipulating everyone around him for so long can be pretty touching.
      • Which is then topped when they ignore his advice and play the Big Damn Heroes when Yahweh proves too powerful for Michael alone.
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    • A Chinese man, describing how ten ageing Korean War veterans took down a baldrick with bayonets, but not before he had been blinded by a lightning bolt. His finishing lines were the CMOH to crown the veterans' CMOA.
      “So, you see Doctor, my blindness is nothing to be sorry for. What finer sight could I, Party Leader of Mai Xiao Village, treasure as my last than those ten old men saving our children by bringing down the monster with their bayonets?”
  • He's Just Hiding!: Happened to one particular angel, and turned out to be correct.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight:
    • There is a bumper sticker that said, "Marines don't die. They go to Hell and regroup." While this joke is older then the story, with this context it is hilarious.
    • With that in mind, there is also the Marine's Hymn to consider. And in the end of Patheocide, they made it a reality.
    If the Army and the Navy
    Ever look on Heaven's scenes,
    They will find the streets are guarded
    By United States Marines.
    • Depending on how you look at it, it's revealed in this story that no human has made it to Heaven for almost a whole millennium. In the third season of The Good Place, the heroes discover a similar situation has unfolded.
  • Ho Yay: Ori and Aeneas. One is Japanese and the other is Spartan. They bond over the old ways and are now teaching Baldricks together.
  • Magnificent Bastard: Michael-lan. The plot of the second book is largely the result of a massive Batman Gambit by Micheal to depose Yahweh, take over Heaven, and save the angelic race from what he believes would be total destruction at the hands (or guns) of humans.
    • And then Elhmas completely shows him up in one shrewd scene at the end.
    • The North Koreans, specifically Kim-Jong Il and Kim-Jong Un, manage to outwit Michael-Lan by proxy (through Gabriel-Lan). When Gabriel-Lan points out how South Korea is vulnerable to invasion, the North Koreans are smart enough to stonewall the angels long enough to figure out that trying to backstab the HEA was a monumentally bad idea - and while it's likely that Michael-Lan, who knows humans much better than Gabriel, would probably have figured it out, it's still pretty impressive.
  • Memetic Mutation: "BALLS" Said Lt. Micheal Wong.
  • Moral Event Horizon: Michael-lan gets a young female angel hooked on heroin. Then he gets her to be an exotic dancer to feed her addiction. Then it's on to prostitution. And that's before he has her become the mistress of the subverted chief investigator of Yahweh's "secret police," get kidnapped, then sent to a concentration camp and tortured... and is largely unfazed by it. The last part, somewhat, and he Pets the Dog and ensures she gets a Happily Ever After, but even still.
  • Tear Jerker:
    • Gloria sacrificing herself to save her grandchildren when the portal opens in Detroit.
    • The final human casualty in the War on Hell. Simplicus and his crew of rebel-deceased humans are waiting to ambush a demon when living human soldiers come to the rescue. However, Simplicus barely has time to push Sgt. Voight out of the way of his own crude rock-fall trap. Publius mourns the death of his best friend, but Sgt. Voight gives an order that Simplicus be carried out in full honor guard.
    • At the end of Armageddon?, General Petraeus receives a letter from Robert E. Lee, requesting permission to join the forces of humanity in their upcoming struggle against Heaven. A combination of factors is responsible for this one: firstly, the reputation of the person involved; secondly, the date on which the letter was penned.
    • In Pantheocide, a soldier mentions having adopted a dog who had belonged to some humans who'd lain down and died when The Message hit. The dog was so traumatized, it shivered every time someone had a nap.
  • The Woobie: Maion. Michael gets her hooked on heroin, then turns her into a prostitute, and then has her seduce Lemuel to the point that Lemuel falls in love with her. Then Michael has Maion kidnapped, accused of treason, and handed over to Belial's "detainment camp" where she's tortured and crippled - all to simultaneously turn Lemuel, the head of heaven's secret police, against Yahweh, and to give humanity convincing albeit arguably false evidence that the Host were as much victims of Yahweh as humans themselves.
    • The billions who have languished in Hell after centuries of torture.
    • Abigor, for some, going from sinister, powerful general and leader of Hell's greatest fighting forces to a Shell-Shocked Veteran near-traumatized by the carnage the humans inflict on his men, with Memnon noting that his previous haughtiness and arrogance was gone. It only gets worse for him when Satan tells him to throw the lives of himself, his kin, and whatever soldiers are left away on a suicide mission for his failure.


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