Here There Be Spoilers!

2019-11-01 Amazon Best Sellers Best Superhero Science Fiction

Thank you, everyone, who downloaded Repercussions on the first day! Thanks to all of you, Book 8 hit #3 on Amazon’s Superhero Science Fiction list. (Technically it was the #2 superhero book yesterday, because that book hogging the #1 slot ISN’T A SUPERHERO BOOK. In fact, the only other book in the Top 50 which seems to involve actual costumed-and-codenamed superheroes is the one in the #2 slot, Masked by Vengeance–which premiered on Halloween as well.

At least the Top 50 is no longer filled by vampire erotica.

So with that fun brag out of the way, the purpose of this post is to fill a need several readers have expressed: a place to ask questions, throw around theories, point out editing errors (yes, there are always a few), and just talk about Repercussions.

So have at it! I’m working hard on the Archon Files and maybe a Christmas surprise, and will see some of you in Minneapolis next week.


(Note: The price of talking about Repercussions on this post is an amazing Amazon review. I will be checking. 😉 )

91 thoughts on “Here There Be Spoilers!

    1. I really enjoyed seeing Michael, and am curious to see if he plays a part in what’s to come. This book reminded me quite a bit of Adam Warren’s Empowered, in which Elissa discovers she’s a pawn in a game between immeasurably more powerful beings – while Hope’s world seems to be more spiritual than Empowered’s, there’s a distinct sense that she’s becoming Heaven’s champion in a way that I quite liked. The Reading Gaol stuff was quite moving, as was the climactic passage used to defeat it. Well done.

      1. I stole flatinum from somewhere I can’t remember, but it was perfect. And Michael was a lot of fun to write, glad you enjoyed him.

      2. Well no telling yet on the heaven’s champion bit. But Astra basically soloed that Skin Head. With her new maul and all her armor, she is toeing the line with Ultra class status. It’ll be fun to see where this goes.

  1. I like how the Hope & Kitsune “affair” was handled.

    There was something wrong IMO about marrying because of a challenge.

    And I can understand Hope being bothered by Kitsune’s comment about “loving her because he accepted the challenge”.

    Of course, there are Fairie tales where a human traps a fairy woman into marrying him where the only way for him to actually keep her was to free her.

    Hope freed Kitsune by divorcing him but he kept coming back. 😉

    1. Eh, honestly, I was almost more disturbed by the divorce than I was by the initial marriage.

      The marriage was a little weird, but no more so than anything else that happens in this universe. And as arranged marriages go, it was really quite honorable and fairly well negotiated.

      Granted, the initial marriage proposal and agreement was triggered by a clear and present danger from a major external threat, but lots of marriages are established that way. It’s a basic mutual survival strategy through better teamwork. As long as neither party helped or created that threat, nor withheld reasonable levels of material information or assistance from each other against said threat, a mutual decision to marry each other in order to better combat or avoid the threat is perfectly appropriate.

      Likewise, the mind control argument seems a little unfair: Kitsune knew what he was risking when he chose to ask Hope to marry him, and the possibility of any random Kitsune getting caught in that sort of honor-loop when their own games fail on them is pretty much inherent to the Kitsune condition. You Trick, therefore you Are: You Are, and therefore your tricks may backfire. It’s just a fact of life. taking responsibility and living up to honorable commitments afterwards is just what good men are expected to do. Marrying Hope certainly wasn’t DIShonorable.

      The marriage itself, and the preceding courtship, seemed fairly balanced: “Serve my Family”, in the historical kitsune meaning of the term, is an entirely fair and reasonable clause to put into a marriage contract. If you want to live with Hope, sleep with Hope, impregnate Hope, and prevent Hope from marrying other men, then you had better be prepared to provide the same level of service and protection to Hope’s parents and children as you already provide to the parents and children of your native village. And, being Hope, she will certainly reciprocate the favor. In way, she already did, even BEFORE the marriage proposal.

      And Kitsune-Kami might adapt themselves to better conform with deals and contracts, but they are even more notorious for adapting or tricking their ways OUT of contracts, or creatively re-interpreting contracts. If Kitsune REALLY believed that his exchange of promises with Hope was creating an immoral level of mind-control over himself, it would have been entirely easy for him to rationalize that in order to BEST serve Hope’s family tradition of theologically detailed Catholocism, he was required to TELL her that she was exerting an objectionable level of mind control over him, and viola, the problem would have quickly been solved thereafter.

      By contrast…. most of the explanations for why the marriage was an unacceptable form of mind control quickly run into the problem that if that WERE true, then DIVORCE is probably going to create exactly the same sort of mind control in the opposite direction, while Kitsune can honorably be expected to live with the consequences of his voluntary decision to ask Hope to marry him, he CAN’T consent to a divorce which only Hope can make the un-mind-controlled decision on, but he’ll still be mind-controlled afterwards, in the opposite direction… just not with the opportunity to consent this time.

      Bottom line, Hope wasn’t inclined to grant Kitsune responsibility for his own actions, and was talking herself into circles by overthinking things. If she was REALLY concerned about the theological implications of free will with respect to Kami, she would have needed to spend a LOT more time thinking things through, with 3rd party arbitrators and expert testimony. The Divorce option was REALLY rushed.

      1. Your arguments sound very much to me like all the D&D crap about how Paladins have to behave.

      2. @garysjordan
        But Hope telling Kitsune he ‘has’ to get a divorce from her, whether he likes it or not, because she doesn’t believe that he believed that his beliefs were ‘really’ about to suddenly voluntarily change when he asked her to marry him…

        that strikes you as being the normal sort of logical reasoning on which to unilaterally end a relationship?

  2. Love Love: The EU forces low-tech response doctrine showing that someone can think about emergency services that have a chance of working during **an actual freaking emergency**. (We are expected to use web services which get bogged down during a test run, and which will be totally useless during an actual event.)
    Love: Joyeuse Guard’s multinational strike team.

    Now that my squee is out of the way.

    I was sad to see Mal go, but happy with how he left.
    Still have no idea why Kindrake is tagging along. Her one POV scene didn’t address that. Also, since when does Terraflore have a breath weapon?

    1. I assumed that Ozma’s Blue Pearl gave Terraflore a breath weapon (as well as increasing Terraflore’s size).

  3. Continuity glitch, maybe. In Team Ups and Crossovers, Astra says she knows the Portland (Oregon) Guardians “and they don’t have a bunny girl.” But Sif leads the Portland (Main) Protectors …
    Shutting up now.

    1. No glitch, but something a writer wouldn’t normally do. Unfortunately, Sif’s creator put her in Portland Main. If I wanted to use Sif, I couldn’t move her out of Main. So two Portlands, each with their own team, no that’s not going to be confusing at all. . . .

  4. Does this mean the The Sentinels TV series is cancelled and/or Astra is getting a spin-off?

    Her Sentinels Rookie Card is extra valuable now.

    Seems as if Astra has less oversight now or that it’s directly from the DSA.

  5. I like your stuff. I liked the creative ways you came up with to use and abuse powers you’d already introduced. I could tell how much time you put into the book, just because of how many good ideas you crammed into it. I also liked the quiet moments like Hope visiting church and the way she noticed and identified stuff that I would never look at, because that really helped building her identity as a religious person with the artistic appreciation of a high society dame.

    I did think the ending was a bit abrupt, but then if you took any longer to write it, well… at some point you do have to stop writing and publish something. Well done. Overall, very good.

      1. Of course, Watchman’s artificial leg isn’t relevant in his mind so why should he tell people?

        On the other hand, while Mal is retiring, I have to wonder how Mal’s artificial legs would matter in the use of his power. 😀

      2. Paul, if the thrust and bang is created inches from his stumps, blowing his new legs off, he will have to learn to use only his hands OR to sit in lotus and thrust from his butt.

      3. Point.

        However, I’m wondering if his “blast field” would treat his artificial legs as real legs.

        Of course, only Mr Harmon knows for sure. 😉

      4. It might help if the Verne-type who made the legs specialized in the interface, to make legs that feel to the wearer like they are real. If they feel, to Mal, like they are his legs, then his power is more likely to act like they are his legs.

      5. Nod.

        I suspect that he’ll try to find out. After all, he enjoyed flying. 😀

      6. I was wondering if anyone was going to think about this; very cool that you are–it means you’re thinking “realistically” about something that’s really an absurdity, which is awesome.

        To answer your question: Yes, Mal has a problem with his blasting and his prosthesis. He will literally blow his legs off if they remain attached when he blasts for flight. The solution is two-fold. 1) He will learn how to blast for flight from his hands. 2) His prosthesis will be designed to detach. They will have internal gyros that help keep them stable where they stand, so after a lot of practice Mal will be able to lift off from them and return to “dock” with them when he’s done flying rather than having to sit on the ground and reattach them manually. Blasting from the stumps of his legs for flight is still the best option since that leaves his hands free to project blasts for attack.

        Or he could “sit in lotus and thrust from his butt.”

        It’s a good thing I wasn’t drinking anything when I read this; I’d have needed to clean my keyboard.

  6. Love the way this turned out! It was really cool seeing the way the new characters fit into the universe, and I had to set the book down from excitement when the character I helped put into the world got her first moment. I then felt bad about it, cause those powers are almost a curse.

    I’m going to have to read it again to soak it in more, really. Which isn’t really a challenge cause I’ve reread the other ones like you’d watch a movie you like.

    I’m excited for the future of the series, and to see how Hope and the wider world of WtC change.

    Entirely worth the wait. 🙂

    1. Ah, you must be Claire’s mommy. May I say I was severely disappointed when BBG shook off her spear to the chest? Knowing that is (one of the ways) Seif al Din died, I thought we were done with the b*stard.

      1. One of the parents, I suppose. I was just jazzed about something I had a hand in creating getting to be in the books and seeing more of the world. Even if I feel bad for her.

        And yeah, that dude could take a hit. Though, Lugh’s Spear was hardly the only thing hucked at Seif Al Din in that particular brawl if I recall correctly.

        The Triple Augmented Skinhead brick that was the tough guy this book had a /lot/ thrown his way each time he got into a fight, before he got yoinked back via the teleport pads. Megaton turning it up to 11 and blew his armor apart with that point blank shot, and then Lei Zi hit him with a blast of lightening, and her power level isn’t shabby either.

        I don’t know where he would fall on the numerical ratings (Since book world isn’t quite RPG source book world) but for sheer resilience and kit alone he’s got to be up there. After all, B class brick, boosted by the Ascendant, in Verne Tech armor/weapons and being ridden by a force of pure evil…. that’s a lot of buffs to pile on one dude.

        I dunno. That turned into a ramble and I’m not into sitting here for another 10 minutes waffling about the format. I feel like the licks he took were appropriate for the sheer volume of stuff on the dude in terms of augments.

  7. I loved the new book! So many fascinating new characters and ideas. I really loved Morrigan and Malmsturm. It was interesting to see more of the WotC world this time. The latest visit to Oz was exciting as always. I’m just sorry we didn’t get to see the epic battle between Grendel and the giant tic tock!

    1. Morrigan, Malmsturm, Kukkuu, and Sif were all creations of Kickstarter backers and fascinating characters. I enjoyed the opportunity to write them into the stories.

      1. I got a chuckle from Kukkuu’s opening scene where she decides to order a meal to speed up a bureaucrat. 😀

        Of course, it was also a good lead in to the attack.

  8. There seem to be some minor editing mistake concerning Seif-al-din in the end notes. Under the morrigan entry it says she killed him for the second time in the battle of Jerusalem (The first death being mentioned elsewhere as following his breakthrough in Brussels). Under the Seif-al-din entry through it say he was killed for the second time in the Wittier base attack. It seem like you retconned in an extra death during his breakthough in Brussels and didn’t update his death count, though I might have missed something.

    1. That is Death in Rotterdam, I’m assuming that’s the “new” death since people seem suprised that he’s alive during the Wittier base attack, and I don’t recall any mention of him having an established ability to survive death.

  9. Now where is Joyeuse Guard going to be Head-Quartered?

    It’s one thing for the planning of its first mission to take place (over pizza) in Hope’s apartment but IMO it needs a more formal headquarters.

    Of course, another question is “who are its main/permanent members”?

    Hope/Astra is one.

    Galatea/Shelly/Power Chick is likely another.

    Kitsune/Yoshi/Rei, as snerker-in-chief would be another. He may be publicly part of the team as Hope’s husband & financial backer (Apparent Yoshi has plenty of money).

    Jackie would be a likely choice for a permanent member.

    No offense to her but I can’t see Kindrake as a permanent member.

    Unless they’re busy in Oz, Grendel/Brian & Ozma could be permanent members.

    Any other thoughts?

    1. a better question might be, Who will be paying the Joyeuse Guard, and what missions will they be undertaking?

      If they’re planning to live up to the name of Private Military Company, Bounty Hunting, and Privateering, they might be inclined to accept ANY well-paying, duly authorized, and credibly lawful mission from any allied country with a decent human-rights record.

      If they go in that direction, the best place to set up base is somewhere neutral… such as Oz, or maybe Low Earth Orbit.

      Or, if they plan to continue as a semi-deniable, we-don’t-control-their-methods force at the frequent call of the US Federal Government, they’ll probably want to set up on an tiny tropical island somewhere in otherwise international waters, but close enough to America to respond quickly and stop by for supply runs.

      And if they plan to become an official military branch of the Free Oz, either of those two previous scenarios could be made to work.

      1. I suspect that they’ll be a “semi-deniable force” for the League of Democratic States and others (of like ilk).

        I’m not sure about a “Low Earth Orbit” base but an island (artificial or otherwise) is possible. Of course, with Ozma as a member or otherwise associated with them, Ozma’s Travel Dust or “Mirror Travel” would be available for them to “go anywhere on Earth” as needed.

        Of course, with “Mirror Travel” Hope and the others could go home for visits.

      2. By the way, I’m not sure if the Post-Event World is really ready for the public knowledge that Oz really exists.

        Some governments (like the US government) may have that knowledge but not the general public.

        Of course, Mr. Harmon may make it work. 😉

      3. I can wait to see how George handles it. (I would have typed “can’t wait” but that’s one of those expressions that isn’t true, ever. No choice.)
        Possible headquarters? Hopes apartment, because Shell’s brain is next door, under the dome.
        Guantanamo City, Cuba. Would the Tyrant mind? Would he make Upright Men available for some missions?
        Okinawa, because Kitsune is also an actor on the Japanese stage? (Hee-hee-hee!)
        Kansas, for its historical proximity to Oz?
        Brussels, because they’ve got to rebuild it all from scratch, anyway?

      4. My bet?
        Heroes Without Borders. Then when the Foxtrot starts to play, out comes the Letter of Marque and the privateers alternate selves come out of the shadows

        and yes – i will post a review !

      5. Probably bounties, since they operated under a letter of marque and reprisal. Plus, of course, whatever valuables they find while attacking. Privateers lived off the loot.

  10. Fletcher says he’s actually a delusional breakthrough who was suffering from a terminal illness, but didn’t Artemis once say that terminal illnesses couldn’t trigger breakthroughs?

    1. IMO Artemis was talking from “generally accepted knowledge”.

      Max’s case wasn’t “generally accepted knowledge”. IE The DSA did a cover-up of what happened.

    2. He didn’t have a breakthrough from mental Illness I think. He was was physically sick obsessed about the character and had a breakthrough that made him delussional (or made him the character). That’s how I remember it.

    3. Fisher was essentially a drug-induced breakthrough, the drugs interacting with his reader-obsession with the Fisher character to trigger the breakthrough during one of his episodes. So it’s really one of those one-in-a-million things.

  11. The Rotterdam Accord doesn’t forbid its member-states from making official use of their own breakthroughs, and some EU states field groups modeled after the American CAI teams or make them part of their police or national security forces. But the EU does by treaty maintain legal jurisdiction over superhuman crimes and crimes against breakthroughs, and the Continental Guard fields the only superhuman military units.

    Harmon, Marion G.. Repercussions (Wearing the Cape Book 8) . Kindle Edition.

    Wait, if EU states field groups as part of their national security forces, how are those not superhuman military units under non-continental guard control?

    Do you mean Civil Defense forces, instead?

    1. Essentially, yes. In some cases they’re the equivalent of the US National Guard; they are military units directed by their own national governments, and under EU law cannot be mobilized beyond their own borders unless under EU control.

      1. Another way to finagle it might be that only the Continental Guard can field front-line, dedicated, super-human combat teams, but that national militaries can still have supernumeraries attached to regular forces as assistants, such as scouts, healers, or cyber-defense,

    2. What surprised me was that they were all caught in their HQ, or so it seemed from the text.

      Though it occurs to me that they and the Sentinels are different enough that the patrols might not serve the same purpose.

  12. Cracking read. Astra and the gang are now easily my favourite Superheroes, period. Spiderman can finally stand down.

    I have to say this is my favourite WtC in a while. The view of the world, the new characters from the Kickstarter, the fights. I was especially a fan of how you handled Astra/Yoshi and the subversive way you had Michael act.

    My only complaint is not seeing more of my boy, Grendel. Would have loved to see his fight against the tic-tock and the end fight alongside Eric.

    Long live the Sentinals, but bring on more Joyeuse Guard adventures. Keep up the great work.

  13. Blatant speculation here.
    Outing Ceres as The Green Man could break the Hollywood Knights. Watchman might leave the sentinels if he doesn’t like the way things shake out re: CAI-State Guard rules. Even if he does, didn’t Blackstone persuade him to come train Astra?
    Upshot: might Rook come back to Chicago?

    1. Not following you…?

      Ceres was retired from the Knights, right? Why would it break them?

      Why would Watchman leave the sentinels? what’s wrong with the CAI-State Guard rules?

      1. Agree.

        Watchman’s problem with Hope’s situation was likely more with the idiot governor than the rules.

        He was a long term military man so likely sees the values in the rules but likely sees more problems with idiot superiors and idiot politicians.

        Of course, he isn’t likely to criticize publicly a civilian Commander-In-Chief.

      2. My impression is that Ceres was a founding, or at least long-term member of the Knights. Also, recall that the Hollywood Knights are a movie franchise as well. The movies may stop coming, cutting into revenues. PR is very important to the Knights, and this is very bad PR. OTOH, they may weather it just fine. :shrug:

      3. What we have here is a ready-made episode of whatever the Knights call their movie franchise. Betrayal? A popular plot device. The HK will not break because one of them was secretly Plotting the Demise of Humanity… as long as they get parts in that Sentinels/J-Guard movie blockbuster.

      4. You raise an interesting question. Namely, should Hope have included a current Hollywood Knight in the op? If Malmsturm’s host could make it from Brussels, there was certainly time for one of the HK to arrive. Of course they would all be busy with relief efforts, especially Rook, their most mobile member. But preventing a new crisis is much more efficient than cleaning up the old crisis. He could just take a union-mandated break, of course…

  14. Typos & similar, part 1

    A lot of these are IMO. Where I’m wrong, no offence is intended.

    The smiled.
    They smiled.

    a private military company.
    a private military company.”

    danke shoen
    danke schön

    to my straight-jacket.
    to my straitjacket.

    until they bounced on the ground
    (If they’re locked they can’t deform or flex and so won’t bounce, right?)

    the quiet GZMs-
    (probably) the quiet GZSs-

    their own Ais,
    their own AIs

    the edge of shield,
    the edge of the shield,

    (Pararescue is in the epilogue and gets mentioned in the intro to the glossary, but not in the glossary itself.)

    battle axes covered ice.
    battle axes covered with ice.

    1. Part 2

      as easier to fly.
      as easy to fly.
      (though Hope is under the influence here, the original might be intended.)

      already covered in cellulous bits
      already covered in cellulose bits

      I’m covered in cellulous bits
      I’m covered in cellulose bits
      (also, it’s a repeat of what was said a couple of pages earlier)

      waiving in the general direction
      waving in the general direction

      “Kitsune shrugged.
      Kitsune shrugged.

      he’d work on his throat
      he’d worked on his throat

      Even Dr. Humphries’ chuckled
      Even Dr. Humphries chuckled

      1. Part 3

        in different colors the same style,
        (either) in different colors but the same style,
        (or) in different colors of the same style,

        to his naval,
        to his navel,

        metal sheering ended
        metal shearing ended

        you got payed
        you got paid

        The pole sheered
        The pole sheared

        a living metal Gollum
        (probably) a living metal golem

      2. Part 4 (last)


        a discretely armed
        a discreetly armed


        two thee-hour
        two three-hour

        carbon-allow chin.
        carbon-alloy chin.

      3. Thank you for these! I found a few of my own, some overlapping with your list but you found a BUNCH. I’m putting up a revised file before flying out tomorrow, and alerting KDP to the extent of the changes/additions. Hopefully they’ll send out a notice.

  15. I was a little concerned by Veritas…. leaving aside the moral and ethical questions, I’m not entirely certain that the solution they implemented would actually WORK.

    “I have a telepathically implanted desire to do all i can to achieve my goals, which haven’t changed, within the law and framework of my duties and my orders. I’ve been ‘realigned’ for institutional loyalty.”

    Laws, duties, orders, and institutions are surprisingly flexible, and are frequently subject to vastly different interpretations by different followers or supervisors.

    It sounds like all Veritas needs to do in order to break free of his telepathic re-alignment is to arrange for some new, more sympathetic, supervisors to take over his department, who will then issue new orders, new duties, and new legal interpretations of what Veritas is allowed to get away with.

    There’s nothing in the re-alignment that would prevent him from doing that. He’s arguably even free to run for president himself, on an openly fascist platform if he wants to. He can certainly lend wide amounts of subtle political support to other such candidates…. and he still seems free to engage in internal departmental squabbles…

    1. Nod,

      In one of Randall Garrett’s Lord Darcy stories, we met a man who was a complete psychopath.

      To protect others from him, the Healers had him under a complex set of “geas”.

      Part of the complexity was because the Healers didn’t want to leave him any “loopholes” that would allow him to harm others.

      For example, since he might consider killing somebody over an insult as “self-defense”, he could only fight defensively. IE Block the other person’s blows but not strike to harm the other person.

    2. It seems open to subversion or breaking, yes. OTOH his boss and hopefully some of his colleagues would be watching for that, and on yet another hand I sort of hope it does break apart one way or another. A precedent for telepathic brainwashing is a very very bad precedent.

      1. “gosh, I certainly hope that nobody will attempt to assassinate my boss and favoritest ever colleagues when they all get together to attend CapeCon East next month, on August 21st, in Ballroom C. THAT would be HORRIBLE. And if they WERE planning on doing such a thing, they couldn’t POSSIBLY involve ME in their conspiracy, because I’M completely loyal to the institution of the Department of Meta-human affairs”

        or possibly worse….

        “AH-HAH! I must now loyally and lawfully inform all of congress, and the inspector general, and the president, and each state governor, and the whistleblower screener!”
        “I Am SHOCKED to discover that my lawful supervisor, the former President, has engaged in….jaywalking, gambling, rumormongering, discussing US Citizens with overseas interests, leaking intelligence to the media, and leaking intelligence to overseas media about US citizen engaging in rumormongering, gambling, and jaywalking.”

  16. I know this is a silly question but I just reread the last two chapters to see if I could figure it out did they actually catch Ceres? So the last chapter before the epilogue ends with them going to find her so I’m not sure. Also of the big names who did they catch I know they missed the Doctor Who made the teleporting machine, But I’m not 100% sure on everyone else.

    1. Ceres was under a “dome” of her trees at the top of the hill, and yes they caught her. The doctor is the one who shot Artemis and teleported out, so she’s in the wind.

  17. I’ve read and re-read the story but I have one point I’m confused on … why did Shelly pull in Kret ? She had something to do with tunneling for the Bobs, setting up a cave with defenses…. did this take place in Oz? Wasn’t the Ruby Cave an already existing cave system in Oz? Or was all the work taking place on Earth in Portland to develop a secure gateway to Oz that was defensible if the Nome King decided to branch out to Earth? Clarification, please.
    Since the bad guys in Oz now know of Ozma’s presence in Oz, and have sent out forces against her, I take it the War For Oz has begun. Should be interesting to see how that gets shoehorned in.
    I’m intrigued that in the WtC universe there’s robust exploration and even colonization of space. I look forward to stories about that…how long would it take Wifflebat to fly to the moon 250K miles away? As you point out the devastating power of the KEWs, how bad would it hurt for a cape to get hit by an orbiting satellite? You got your work cut out for you, George.

    1. I really should have spelled it out better, but at the end of Astra’s adventures in Neverland, the DSA sealed the Portland side of the rift. Essentially, they entombed it is a solid cube of concrete, “hardened cast stone”–just plugged it up, so to speak.

      Well, now they needed to uncover the Portland end of the rift fast. After Kret created the space for it, Ozma could go into the new chamber and access the Ruby Cave from there.

    1. sprints?

      I don’t remember anybody named “Sprints” as a Sentinel or as a Young Sentinel?

      Now, Tsuris (Reese Lasila), the Young Sentinel Aerokinetic left to join the L.A. Guardians.

      1. Ah, I found (in Young Sentinels) Sprints of the South Side Guardians.

        Some of the South Side Guardians were killed in the Chicago attack so he might be one of them.

  18. Re-reading Repercussions, I found this thought of Hope’s.


    Why couldn’t Michael have given me a flaming sword—it’s traditional!

    End Quote

    It would be interesting if Joyeuse became a Sword (flaming or otherwise) when Hope needed a sword not a maul. 😀

    1. Mhmmm I would find it intriguing if this led her to be covered in Celestial Flames. You can fan the flames of faith or hope. So fan the flames of Hope maybe to increase morale or inspire during darkest moments. Would be intriguing anyway. Loved the book overall. One of the best.

  19. If there is eventually another editing pass, then check for “Wafflebat” in the appendix. It’s in the entry for Sirius in both books 7 and 8.

  20. I will be reviewing the paperback on my blog and then on Goodreads. . . .

    But after the appendix I thought of a third alternative for Ozma. Perhaps other worlds can set up certain psychic resonances with humans. Thus, Oz influenced first Baum, and then “Ozma.”

      1. Then there’s the interesting fact that in Hope’s “cross-universe trip”, she meet another Brian who is associated with another Ozma. (While we don’t see her, Brian doesn’t dispute Hope’s words about the existence of Ozma 2.)

        So is there an Oz for each Ozma?

        For that matter, there may be an Oz where Ozma didn’t get over-thrown.

        Or an Oz where Ozma is the Evil Empress.

        I’m getting a headache. 😉

  21. This is less a comment on a specific part of the book and more general gushing that the book even exists. “Repercussions.” I love love LOVE seeing that word actually get addressed in a superhero setting. That’s the major reason I soured on Marvel comics; something completely nuts happened and it got swept under the rug. Some random Marvel examples (and none of them are older than a year):
    – America’s current government-run superhero team is literally satanic.
    – In the Captain America comic, there’s a vigilante going around killing NYPD officers, and it’s not portrayed as an unambiguously bad thing because said “cops” are the henchmen of an Evil Organisation that’s infiltrating law enforcement.
    – Dario Agger, aka the Minotaur CEO of Roxxon, who helped fricking elves and giants invade the whole world, is walking around with no legal repercussions whatsoever, even though he helped wage war on the United States.
    – The government program ONE hunting down and experimenting on mutants.
    – American black ops programs murdering innocent American civilians in its pursuit of the Hulk.

    And that’s just a random sample. None of these mad things will have real, lasting repercussions because superhero comics are an eternal soap opera. And that’s why I love Wearing the Cape.

  22. Just one thing, you need an editor not just a spell checker, I cringed every time I saw the wrong word spelled correctly, but the worst was “cellulous” when the sorta-correct word would be “cellulose”, the correct word would be “lignin” which is the fibrous material in woody plants.

    Other than that you write compelling stories that keep me enthralled as long as you don’t trigger my CDO (with the letters in alphabetical order AS THEY SHOULD BE 🙂

      1. No I should thank you for creating a universe so compelling I bought 6 of 8 of your books after the taste I got from Grrl Power.It’s just maybe you should get some beta readers who aren’t afraid to upset you by pointing out mistakes. An example would be in the Arsenal series where the author apparently though the dB scale was 0-100 rather than open-ended logarithmic, leading to such “wonders” as describing the destruction wreaked by 50dB jet noise. That is like describing the desolation created by a library in the middle of town.

        And no, I don’t want to be a beta reader for you, I already beta read for 4 other writers I signed NDAs for and don’t have the time. I just want to continue reading and paying for your wonderful books as they come out or as I get the money.

  23. First off, thank you for the amazing story! I’m always excited to read a Wearing the Cape book, it’s one of the big yearly (hopefully? please-please, pretty please!) events for me.

    But there’s a thing I’ve been wondering about for a while. Why does the Ascendant’s power work on Artemis? His touch, so far, only worked on breakthroughs themselves, and not on their powers, so there is no nullifying field around Pellegrini, he needs to touch a breakthrough to temporary neutralize or enhance their abilities. This bothers me in the case of Artemis, because, technically speaking, she isn’t a breakthrough, she’s a twice breakthrough-enhanced paragon. All of her abilities are secondary effects of breakthrough powers, same as actual electric charge of Lei Zi’s lightning is a secondary effect of her electrokinesis. Artemis was first turned by her master, which gave her the vampire package (but not all of it, her master could turn others, and she can’t without him fueling her), then she was transformed into a daywalker by Dr. Conrnelius’s Word of Life. None of those events are her own breakthrough, same as Hope getting blessed by Michael doesn’t give her an unprecedented second breakthrough. Thus, the Ascendant shouldn’t have been able to do anything to Artemis. Just as, I imagine, he would’ve been powerless against a Verne-tech giant robot grabbing him.

    I was actually considering that you might finally give Artemis her own breakthrough as a future plot point (likely not, since she’s very powerful as is, but the possibility was there for me). And I also don’t like the implication that a breakthrough was somehow given her by another breakthrough, that seems to throw away one of the most fundamental restrictions you’ve placed on yourself while writing Wearing the Cape. That is, no breakthroughs for sale.

    But overall, it’s a finicky small detail that takes nothing away from my enjoyment. So thank you again, and Merry Christmas!

    1. My thought on this (and I could be wrong) is the fact that there is an exception for every rule. Maybe Vampire Breakthroughs are the exception to “No breakthrough for sale.” Also if you think about it, that is one painful sale right? Being bit and drained of blood until you die? No thanks…hard pass.

      1. It’s been established that Artemis’s “maker” (and one other) are/were the only Vampire Breakthroughs that can create other Vampires.

        As for the Ascendant’s power, apparently he could see Breakthroughs as Breakthroughs (including Hope after he blocked her powers), so Artemis “registered” in his “sight” as a Breakthrough so he could block her powers.

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