I don’t know about this crazy world, all I know is I found this guy on lonely street in the midst of summer heat. He was rollin on wheels against the crackling pavement, facing me and my mismatched socks. I was a child of life size arcade games, Tab, phen-fen, the Who and it’s hard. Ragged was my mind and torn were his clothes, chrome tops of lighters he placed strategically clasping the collar so they sparkled in the sun, this kinda fashion statement allured me, I might be yours, I’m done. His military green vest covered with punk patches, Crass and Minor Threat and Bad Brains. Another sign of order versus chaos, or perhaps just a simple taste in music.
Oakland. California. I found home there with our matching lack of tan and lack of plan. The noise all around us, all the cacophony of cell phone signals and street trades happening fifty handshakes at a time and stab you in the back, all the street artists tagging ten walls a time and crazy out there talking themselves into some kinda trouble by pure accident… (Ame and the Tangy Energetic, Book#3)
Hendrix An apparition who blurs around the edges. He dresses like Jimi which is how he got his nickname. Nobody knows much about him, but he shows up rather mysteriously anywhere in Oakland, and Ame (the protagonist) has discovered that if she follows him he will lead her to human fear, which is the element she thirsts for. He has a cheshire cat smile and likes to walk backward. He is transparent so he can be hard to follow.
Bless She is Ame’s best friend. They wear each other’s clothes and do each other’s hair. They hang around Freddy and he protects them on the streets. All three are not exactly human. She has a crush on Ame which becomes more pronounced when her boyfriend dies. She is not happy when Ame begins dating Maze. She is practiced in the dark ways and could not care less for human kind. She gave an amulet to Ame for protection, a scarab of nephrite, in Book One after her first kill.
Everett Not a good man, Everett is Bless’ boyfriend. He was killed in Book One by his friend Freddy because he was physically abusive toward Bless and Ame. He was a junkie and out of control. He does not appear in Book Two. Freddy’s loyalty toward Ame and Bless was proven by doing away with his close friend.
Maze The title character and Ame’s love interest.. he appears briefly in Book One, in a fight which goes down at Uma’s apartment when one of the escorts suggests he was inappropriate with her. Ame gets hurt pulling an escort off of him. Maze remembers this kindness when he sees Ame at a burrito truck on Broadway, and shares his burrito with her. They hit it off right away and soon fall in love. He’s a punk and a skateboarder, and loves ice cream sandwiches. They share the dark gift and hunt together. She stays with him in a boarding house just off of Telegraph Avenue.
Uma An escort. Queen of the escorts, really. She is close to Freddy and mostly concerned with the business of finding men for her women. She has an apartment in West Oakland where Freddy goes sometimes to get the word on the street.
Kell A young woman whom Ame meets inadvertently while hunting fear near Lake Merritt. She is a junkie. She has the dark gift which is inaccessible due to her addiction. She shows up in Book Two and Ame immediately takes to her, wants to help her get out from under. Bless and Freddy are living at the Imperial on Telegraph Ave, and Ame convinces them to make room for Kell, who was living in squalor in a tenement building.
Black A malafide who features prominently in Book Two. He lives next to the boarding house where Ame and Maze take up residence. He sells drugs to anybody and everybody, and this is his front. However, it soon becomes apparent that those who get too close to him, disappear.
Freddy A complicated character, Freddy figures to be at times violent and protective. Ame was abducted by Freddy in Book One and taken from the Green Mountains where she was raised by humans, and brought to Oakland, California to be with her people, Delux. She soon learns that Freddy is not out to harm her, and she can trust him with her life. He is a mechanic and he thrives on the streets. He can communicate with Bless and Ame telepathically. He is calm amidst chaos, like the eye of a hurricane.
Ame Our protagonist and first person narrator. She has come of age and been introduced to her kind and the dark arts they practice. She is independent and likes to hunt alone. But she also loves to be with her friend Bless and Freddy, who is like a father to her. She is conflicted about humans. On one hand, they raised her and sheltered her as a child. But it is in her nature to thirst for human fear. In Book Two she finds herself falling in love with Maze.
Delux Humans once tried to destroy her kind, Delux, hundreds of years ago on the continent. Fear drove them to hunt down the divergent kind, anyone not like themselves. But the Delux adapted quickly and learned how to extract human fear in order to save themselves. Alchemy. The same fear that would have destroyed them all, soon became their sustenance. They followed the humans in the great migration to America, and now live side by side in the underbelly of any city, blending in.
“Sure she had all the latent talents the world might never know, or maybe they would? I know one thing was certain, I would never give up on her. And I would blow out the candle of any old casual conversation in the halls of our great and lively hotel, who might call her a lost cause. Feel my fire. My eyes would go onyx black, and watch your second hand shudder, because your time might be up, my friend.” -K.
“I could feel the fight going on, as we traversed the city streets. From one block to another. There was a great struggle underlying the flow of business and productivity which made up a typical day. Powerful waves of fear crashed up against waves of capitalist free market energies crashed up against the resilience and courage of those who had, and hoped, to survive it all. There was quite an honest intensity hovering over it all.” -K.