Girl in the Box Series

RELEASE DATES ARE TENTATIVE
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The Girl in the Box
Contemporary Urban Fantasy

Sienna Nealon was a 17 year-old girl who had been held prisoner in her own house by her mother for twelve years. Then one day her mother vanished, and Sienna woke up to find two strange men in her home. On the run, unsure of who to turn to and discovering she possesses mysterious powers, Sienna finds herself pursued by a shadowy agency known as the Directorate and hunted by a vicious, bloodthirsty psychopath named Wolfe, each of which is determined to capture her for their own purposes...


Alone: The Girl in the Box, Book 1
Untouched: The Girl in the Box, Book 2
Soulless: The Girl in the Box, Book 3
Family: The Girl in the Box, Book 4
Omega: The Girl in the Box, Book 5
Broken: The Girl in the Box, Book 6
Enemies: The Girl in the Box, Book 7
Legacy: The Girl in the Box, Book 8
Destiny: The Girl in the Box, Book 9
Power: The Girl in the Box, Book 10

Limitless: Out of the Box, Book 1
In the Wind: Out of the Box, Book 2
Ruthless: Out of the Box, Book 3
Grounded: Out of the Box, Book 4
Tormented: Out of the Box, Book 5
Vengeful: Out of the Box, Book 6
Sea Change: Out of the Box, Book 7
Painkiller: Out of the Box, Book 8
Masks: Out of the Box, Book 9
Prisoners: Out of the Box, Book 10
Unyielding: Out of the Box, Book 11
Hollow: Out of the Box, Book 12
Toxicity: Out of the Box, Book 13
Small Things: Out of the Box,  Book 14
Hunters: Out of the Box, Book 15* (Coming July 25, 2017!)
Badder: Out of the Box, Book 16* (Coming September 2017!)

 *Forthcoming - and possibly subject to wild, artistic scheduling changes.

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WARNING: SPOILERS AND SPECULATION BELOW! DO NOT PROCEED BEYOND THIS POINT UNLESS YOU'VE READ UP TO THE MOST RECENT OUT OF THE BOX RELEASE!

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Rules for discussion page:

1. Be courteous. No name calling, no nastiness.

2. This page will be culled every 30 days or so for ease of reading. Older posts may be deleted at any time, but I'll try and leave them up as long as possible. If someone asks a really awesome question (subject to staff opinion on what makes up a "really awesome question") then it may stay.

Discuss, question and speculate away!

64 comments:

  1. I absolutely love this series. Can you please tell me when the rest of the series will be available on audio? I drive about 20 hours a week for work and I am dying to finish the series. Please help!!!!

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    1. Sadly, it probably won't be, Audry. When last I checked a month or so ago, book four had only sold something like 300 copies, total, over the last year and a half of release. Unfortunately, that's just not enough to justify the cost of continuing the series in audiobook, as it does not even make enough to pay the narrator for her time. Sorry. :(

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    2. Geeky as it sounds (and IS) I've 'read' at least 30% of the 20 books out so far via my iPhones "voiceover" feature.

      It's not very expressive, but after 100 or so pages you really don't notice anymore as you're so 'into the story' the manner it's reaching your language center and transferring into your imagination becomes irrelevant 🤓

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  2. This series reminds me of the syfy show I used to watch until it got more graphic sexually and less action. I am late to the party. I recently finished the first 10 novels and now "Limitless." I just love Sienna with her sarcastic wit. I also cried like a baby after I read I think book 5 and shouted with joy after Sienna surprised and clocked Phillip (with his smug self) on the roof...that's what his behind gets for being so ruthless. Your writing is so descriptive and I am truly happy I came upon your series through the online BookBub. This ol' lady (51 yrs old) will keep on reading to catch up and to remain informed on the happenings of Sienna Nealon.

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    1. Thank you, Judy! Glad you're enjoying them!

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  3. I love these books and can't wait to start the next 1. Because I love the character so much I've just named my daughter after sienna

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    1. That's quite the honor! I don't know what my Sienna would say to that...probably blush and turn away...

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  4. So, small things finished, and now it's time for my questions... firstly, I like that you poked hints about greg's power while he was playing with Eddie; did those play out as you had hoped, or did you want more/less hinting? Secondly, with greg and Morgan out of the life, will we be seeing them again as a part of sienna's agency? Thirdly, with genetics; will Eddie be a naturally stronger Atlas, or does strengthening the bloodline do nothing?

    Now, in regards to revelen. Firstly, is Vlad the Watcher? Omar, a seemingly low level (totem pole, not power) person in his organization, knew the Awakening, and seemed almost forthcoming with his gloat, until he died, so... Was he originally a Relevenite, or actually higher up? Thirdly, every other middle man we've seen, cavanaugh, harmon, and omega, have had awe inspiring powers and supervising complexes, so why was mark such a pushover?

    Now, three power questions: the Stat boost and the skill tree; are those one use and done situations, or could someone keep juicing for more power? If sienna were to take either of them, would it only boost her powers, or would the soul squad grow as well? Lastly, chicken and egg question... when cavanaugh developed suppressex, he stated that he was given the formulas for both. Was he also given the formula for the skill tree unlocker, and... is this the first Awakening the world has had?

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    1. 1. The hints played out fine, IMO, but the readers' opinions are the ones that matter. If you knew who Hank Pym was, maybe you got the hint. If not, (most of my audience probably falls into this category) then probably not so much.

      2. We will likely see them again, but no promises. Not as part of the agency, though. They're straight up murderers, and however we feel about them at the end of the book (cuz I softpedaled them pretty hard), Sienna would be reluctant to hire them on that basis. She might not voice it, and we might be empathetic to their situation, but I promise you she does not forget what they've done.

      3. Ehhh, it's kinda tough to judge the "strength" of an Atlas in these terms. They can shrink or grow within a range, and once you get past a certain point, it's a pretty insignificant delta. I mean, who would notice if Eddie is capable of going to two microns in size smaller than Greg?

      4. Vlad has many names. The Watcher is not one of them.

      5. The Awakening is probably not what you think it is.

      6. McGarry hadn't juiced, or had done so and was found incapable of meta powers. HIs skill was setting up the logistics of a criminal organization, and as nice as it might have been for him to have powers to draw on, he fell into the portion of the population that had no genetic ability for it, so...they just used him for what he was good at and overlooked his powerlessness.

      7. Yes, the Stat boost and Skill Tree Unlocker are one and done concoctions.

      8. It will only boost her natural succubus powers, because they're in her DNA.

      9. No, he was not given the formulas for those. They were developed later, the fruit of his organizations' various experiments with those formulas.

      10. Based on your questions, the Awakening is not what you think it is. And it will probably not come to fruition until 2019, so...you're going to have to wait on those questions.

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    2. I love your speediness and how you keep the mystery going. Here I was, thinking the awakening is in relation to the humanity as a whole gaining power, so since that's not the case, it must mean when the Sleeper stirs.

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    3. Correct. That's what the Awakening is. (Though thematically it has dual meanings, because...well, you'll see.)

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  5. History question; hades was obliterated, but what happened to persephone?

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    1. Good question. I'm not sure. And I'll remain unsure until I come up with a good reason for her to have disappeared or died.

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  6. Please note I am writing this before reading small things,
    I really hope Janus is behind this massive arch, it makes lots of sense seeming as Harmon would not be able to control him and he is an empath, also he killed manipulated Maruis into killing Jupiter then Sienna into killing him. It makes lots of sense that he would try to kill of all his rivals and also why this group really wants to kill her. I am aware that it is very possible that Janus was a character only introduced for the Prequels then quickly phased out but it would be a really cool thing to happen!

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    1. I actually didn't mean to phase him out! He was supposed to be back by now, Out of the Box was meant to have a much tighter story arc, but it keeps growing as I come up with more ideas.

      Janus is definitely up to something. Much like Senator Foreman, though, I'd intended to bring him back before now, but because of the growth of the series, I keep putting him off and putting him off. Foreman was meant to play a big role in last year's story with Harmon and crew, but by the time I got around to settling things in book 11, it had been seven books since we'd seen him, I figured out how to do it without him, so...I just sort of let it go on without him. It's been a similar thing with Janus. That said, he will be back eventually, because he truly is up to something with reviving Omega. I just don't know exactly when he's coming back. But he's not the big, overarching evil behind the scenes, sorry. :(

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    2. Well, given how small things ended, would we be seeing Janus and karthic soon?

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    3. I have thought about inserting them into the next book, almost the way Marvel does some of their movie tie-ins. But I'm presently leaning toward a No on that because it wouldn't really be germane to the plot at hand. And because Omega is more or less a criminal organization at heart, and Janus and Karthik are restarting it, I almost feel like Sienna would unconsciously or consciously avoid them for fear she'd be obliged to bust them for doing wrong. Janus would know this, too, and probably know she's in the area, and might shift locations to avoid dealing with her. Plus, the two of them don't really fit into the Scotland trilogy...so I may just glaze over them other than a few mentions. I just don't think they fit what I'm trying to do, story-wise, other than if I squeezed in a scene where Sienna awkwardly dropped by Omega HQ and Karthik and Janus even more awkwardly entertained her in the way you do with that old acquaintance that you haven't see in forever who stops by unexpectedly and kinda unwelcomely.

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    4. There could be some contention over the Omega fortune that Sienna is using because to be honest no-one alive has a real claim to it and Janus did have access to it before it was moved into Liechtenstein.
      (Sorry about the deleted message, I forgot to reply,)

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    5. He doesn't know about that. As far as he's concerned, it's gone and he was all about building a new one for the challenge, anyway.

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  7. Theoreticals here; if sienna absorbed a skill tree and/or power up infused meta, would she get the base, or increased power?

    Andromeda is proof that omega isn't afraid to reprise a succubus, so what's stopping Janus from creating a new succubus, and supercharging her with power boosted metas? Or anyone, for that matter?

    Also,the b (reed) and c (veronika) squads have been pretty cozy... if you had to get rid of two characters, how would you do it, and would you pick minor, major, or one of each?

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    1. 1. Base.

      2. Why would he need to? They did it against his advice, in order to defeat Sovereign. I mean, unless Sienna goes nuts or some other 'bus does, what need does he have of kidnapping a fellow human being, imprisoning them, and then murdering dozens and dozens of additional human beings against their skin? I mean, Janus has some weird ideas, but committing mass murder in order to create a being that could destroy him for no specific, defined purpose? Not really his cuppa tea.

      3. Meh. Killing minor characters is mostly pointless, because you don't get much emotional oomph from it, so unless you're desperately trying to emphasize the stakes at hand, I tend not to do it. So it'd be a major character or two, and it'd be in the most emotionally painful way possible, because otherwise why do it?

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    2. Had a feeling on 1, but asked 2 in the case of an "x to catch y" scenario. 3, I'm glad that if there's going to be a death, that it hits home hard, hopefully like vara, zach, or ms. Darlington Sr.

      If you could pick any visual medium, such as syndicated tv, premium tv (such as HBO or netflix) or a movie, which would you pick for your books, and would you pick differently for sanctuary vs sienna?

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    3. Argh. I would have said movies for Sanctuary up until Game of Thrones, but now...TV for all, I think. CGI has just come so far, it's now possible, with the right production budget, to make amazing, epic battle scenes on the small screen. The Battle of the Bastards last year, for instance...probably one of the most amazing battles ever put to film. Ever.

      That said, I do tend to try and come up with stuff that makes me think, "Yeah, they'll never be able to film this!" But I hear George R.R. Martin did that, too, and now with the current tech...they can. So something similar will probably happen to me by the time anything actually happens for my series.

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    4. Truth be told, I'm surprised Netflix hasn't tried anything. If an indie book called 'Blame!' Can make a feature length movie courtesy of Netflix funding, I'm shocked they haven't said hi yet.

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    5. Well, there are a lot of indie books out there. I hadn't heard of this, "Blame!" though I would be more interested if it was called, "BLAM! The Incredible True Story of the Sound Effects Editor for the 1960's Batman Series."

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    6. Come on Luecien! I'm sure more deaths of beloved characters are coming, but... *Whispers* (don't encourage him)

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    7. Well, I think it's safe to say that since I'm writing a whole trilogy in Scotland, something important must happen there, from which Sienna might not emerge entirely unscathed...so...probably brace yourselves.

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    8. Good news, guys. Janus is definitely in HUNTERS, and much more than I though he would be, for very natural story reasons.

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    9. Oooh, yay; I wonder how he's recovered from Phillips torture

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    10. It doesn't really play much role in this, but he's doing about as well as you might expect after something like that.

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  8. Omg! I love these books. In and out! I can't believe theyre not the best selling novels EVER yet! I recommend them to everyone I know! I always binge on the latest book THE DAY it is released and then stay lost for another 3 months counting down to the next release. Dont let the lavk of sales now, dampen your spirit RJ!! You are amazing and Sienna and the team/not team are amazing and people will eventually discover you! I have a few questions?! Will you push for a tv series to be made? How many more ' out of the box' books are you planning? And where the heck did you get such a KITTENS imagination! Hands down, fave series EVER. and biggest fan ever. Thankyou, for all that you do!

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    1. So, first of all - sales of Out of the Box are still pretty solid, if a little off the peak of the hey day of Girl in the Box, when I was sitting pretty high in the Amazon store upon the release of Girl in the Box #10. I can't complain about those, though obviously it would be really nice if more people got into the series, so thank you for spreading the word!

      Well, pushing for a TV series isn't the sort of thing that an author can really do...that's typically up to Hollywood, and while I've had a couple nods of interest, it hasn't resulted in the sort of series result I'd be looking for.

      How many more Out of the Box books will I write? Honestly, I still love writing them, and will write them as long as I am able and it's fresh. Right now the series is plotted up to forty books (that's in Out of the Box, so plus the ten from Girl in the Box, that'd be fifty Sienna books in total). If I'm still rocking along at that point, I'll keep going. If not, I'll write our girl out to the happy ending she deserves. All good things have to eventually come to an end, so we'll see how it all shakes out, but there's not an immediate end in sight, so you should be good to go for a while yet.

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  9. Actually, Im going to write to Netflix about you!! We all should! Though I cant bare to think what and who and when they would cut out of the story- its all so important and kittens. Lol I am gonna do that right now!

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    1. Yeah, they'd probably make some changes. That's just what they do.

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  10. I would just like to point out that Harmon seems to be becoming Guildmaster of Sienna's head. He's already teaching a familiar story of redemption, and I holding back secrets from Sienna so she can find them out in the fullness of time

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    1. As long as she doesn't name him The Ghost, she's good. Only a total hack of a writer named someone The Ghost, yknow.

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    2. Lol, Leucien. Using my own words against me...

      As for Harmon, I dunno about him becoming Guildmaster, but he might be leading a little more than any of the others, as you would hope someone of his persuasive background could.

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    3. On the topic of Easter eggs for your other series, is Sienna's internal comment of 'battles more epic than that book reed keeps trying to get me go read about warriors and paladins' in girl in the box 9 or 10 a reference to sanctuary, or that erotic novel that vara and fortin read?

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    4. If you ever saw the first draft of CRUSADER, you'd think, "Oh, it's both." But yeah, it's a reference to Sanctuary, not any sort of elven erotica. And then Girl in the Box is referenced in Southern Watch. My next series will have to reference Southern Watch, if possible, which will, in turn, set up a crazy set of referential dominos that I will tip over with my very final book by somehow writing a Sanctuary, Part 800 revival and referencing my very last series. At which point the Crane-verse will implode on itself or maybe become a real thing, I dunno. I just work here.

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    5. So, what's slated to come out in June? That mystery series you talked about once?

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    6. Mira Brand Adventures, maybe, yeah. The first two books are basically done, in need of the last pass by me and a couple of proofreader rounds, but the third is still being written (from a detailed outline by me) and I want to release all three at once. I'm going to start editing those in the afternoons as I work on HUNTERS and (very slowly) STARLING. So they may make it out in June, they may not. I'm leaning toward not, just because the logistics of finishing final prep on them is a bit more involved and time-consuming than the books I totally write myself.

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    7. Regarding guy Friday, when did you decide to have him be blood to sienna?

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    8. i would guess from the start, there are lots coincidences, such as Simon Nealon being a hercules (this is in the box, not out) that would otherwise be irrelevant details.

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    9. No, it was only a few books ago, actually, as Friday outlived my original plan to kill him during the Harmon story arc, because I was kinda enjoying his brand of stupid as comic relief. Once he survived that debacle without becoming a miniboss in need of killing to satisfy the story, I started to make some connections about what to do with him in the future, which led to including him as the sidekick in SMALL THINGS, and, obviously, this revelation.

      As for Simon being a Hercules, that's just because the way I've kinda structured the meta world, it's just about the most ubiquitous power. They are, as J.J. or somebody said, the Rattatas of the metahuman community, my go-to when I'm needing a physical threat to throw at Sienna or whoever. Vanilla metas.

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    10. So what you're saying is... it wasn't just Zeus sticking his junk into everything in that family, eh?

      So, is there any godly pantheon you haven't touched yet, that you want to?

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    11. I think Sienna is going to visit Norway in a few years. You'll be seeing a little more Norse myth trickle into the series in the next book, I think, though that's not written yet (and thus could change).

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  11. Loving the books! Quick question re. Small Things. I understand why Sam took out contracts to kill people (because he was a sadistic lunatic).. but I'm not sure why the lack of payment would annoy him so much. Couldn't he just sit at home and enlarge diamonds/gold to his hearts content and become as rich as he wanted. Likewise, Greg was contemplating having to become a criminal who stole things for a living, couldn't he have just done the same and provided the dream life for Eddie and Morgan?

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    1. That's a really good point. He might have just been using it as an excuse, since Sam struck me as kind of a psychotic SOB, frankly. As for enlarging diamonds and gold, that wouldn't really work since anyone examining them would be able to tell that the molecules had been expanded (which is kinda how the power works). So you could only enlarge, say, a brick of gold a tiny bit before it became obvious to any jeweler that something was really wrong with this specimen. Just shrinking and cleaning out a high class jewelry shop would have been a much more practical option, or hitting a bank - any number of other things Sam could have done for cash, since he didn't have a moral thing against it like Greg did. So...I guess that's kind of a plot hole, unless we just assume, as above, that he was a psycho and the money was sort of an excuse for him acting like one. I dunno about you, but that's my plan.

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    2. I don't want to be that guy but, in that case the min-concord's fuel would explode to to a high surface area to volume ratio. God! some writers do no background research XD. (To be extra sure, that was sarcastic)

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    3. Well, it wasn't really possible to do the practical research on this for some reason... XD

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    4. Yeah, there's a lot of those "but...wait..." moments when dealing with anything Ant-Man-like. Makes a fun story though, so I suspend my inner-physicist as well as I can.

      It also opens up for some killer speed options though, since mass appears to change relative to their size (unless somehow it's just their weight, not their mass?). If that's the case, a 100kg object moving at 10m/s that suddenly shrinks to 1kg would immediately rocket up to 1000 m/s if I understand conservation of momentum correctly. Guy could probably throw a baseball through a steel wall, albeit a very, very small baseball :-)

      Of course, that brings up some other issues, but I'm going to stop now. Great story though!

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    5. "What're ya gonna do, shoot me with a baseball?", quote, from man shot with baseball.

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  12. Also, I like how this story shows how different meta's of the same type can have different power and skill levels. Perhaps more powerful atlas's can increase/decrease their size more, whereas maybe more skilled and/or powerful ones can change objects in their environment to a greater or lesser radius.

    Is Greg a more powerful atlas's than most, or just more clever, or both?

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    1. Definitely he's just cleverer. I always assumed that metas of the same type were as innately powerful as each other within a +/- 10% threshold (absent the various serums), so there's not a HUGE variance. Experience is the thing that tends to win the ballgame, though, as it gives someone who's been using, say, lightning powers, for a hundred years an advantage in raw strength, etc, over a newb. It's winner take all in the one most obviously applicable to our stories (incubi/succubi), though...

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  13. In all seriousness atlas types would suck as dungeons and dragons. "What do you mean, I can't be a fighter that knows enlarge person? This game is so unfair." Though, now that I think about it, a dnd campaign where metas try to play themselves would be pretty hilarious...

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    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    2. Please ignore this mess of spelling mistakes that made no sense and read my real answer below :)

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  14. It would certainly have a different dynamic as "Garvikov" and Incubs/Succubs metas that are limited also by morals (Sienna could totally fly supersonic over all of the world's cites and nuke them before they could respond) would be more free in a fake world. That would be pretty cool, also it would be just as easy to have real people playing as metas. I am not a big fan personally but if enough fans joined together I'm sure you could. Anyway I have excuse because statistically speaking 1/5 people (ignoring other anglosphere and non-english speaking countries) would be on the wrong side of the atlantic to play with them...

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  15. Love the series! Always finish the newest book in a day and then wait patiently for the next one. XD

    Do have a question about this world. I notice that there seems to be neat genetic enhancements (like the booster serum, anti meta serum, meta activator and the tree serum). My question is it possible to use the Meta genes of one person and give it to another (meta and/or not meta)? For example you are a Titan meta/normal human and you take the genes of another meta like fire, animal transformation, luck, etc and put it into your genes. Could this be possible? If not could a more adaptive meta or possibly even incubus/succubus work (as their powers technically absorb them but in this case their "soul" would not come with it). Love making my own fan story (don't worry they're horrible XD) and kind of came across this idea.

    Thanks for taking the time to reading this.

    A Cool Fan (seriously it's like 26Celsius and need one stat)
    DemonEarth

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    1. Some sort of gene therapy to activate/steal metahuman powers? Probably in theory, but that level of grafting is beyond us (for now), and beyond Sienna's world as well, mostly for reasons of story convenience. ;)

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    2. Truth be told, I thought this was what you were going with, when veronika's powers coincided with the villain in the book she appeared in. I thought the activation serum was reliant on the metas involved in its creation, til you explained it to me.

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    3. No, I think I was pretty wiped out by the end of Painkiller, and coming up with new meta powers on the fly is one of the toughest things for me to do, so I figured I'd just go with something simple, because the villain needed to be a physical threat to Sienna and co. but also work well in the framework of that final battle, so...I don't really have the energy to have regrets or second thoughts about what I write (because I'm always lunging forward to work on the next thing) but that was probably a little too coincidental for the world, given how many meta powers are out there.

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