The Big Idea: Dan Rice
Posted on February 1, 2023 Posted by Athena Scalzi
It’s been said that fame isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. Author Dan Rice is exploring the topic of unwanted notoriety in his newest novel, and the second installment in his Allison Lee Chronicles, The Blood of Faeries.
Allison Lee, the eponymous protagonist of The Allison Lee Chronicles, has her first brush with fame in Dragons Walk Among Us after being blinded during an unprovoked assault and having her eyesight restored by an experimental medical procedure. She didn’t like the notoriety one bit. All she wanted was to fly under the radar, although she didn’t mind being recognized as a brilliant photographer.
Little did Allison realize being known as the girl with the robotic eyes would be only her first brush with fame. Allison becomes caught up in an adventure to save the planet from an invasion of aliens after having her abilities as a shapeshifter unlocked. In a world where 90% of the population has a recording device in the palm of their hand, she becomes first an Internet sensation and then a global celebrity in The Blood of Faeries. Websites track her movements, and the press hounds her for sound bites. Protesters stalk her, some celebrating her as a savior while others condemn her as the daughter of Satan.
Allison doesn’t want anything to do with fame. She wants to survive high school and be a teenager, like how Jennifer Walters wants to be a high-powered lawyer, not a super-powered one in She-Hulk: Attorney at Law. However, that’s the conundrum. Allison’s supernatural abilities are out in the open and inseparable from her public identity. Like the Hollywood actors of today, she can try going out in public incognito. But no disguise is foolproof, and constantly worrying about being recognized is exhausting.
Unsurprisingly, the government takes an interest in Allison for her paranormal talents. She is followed by a security detail she doesn’t feel she needs. She’s far stronger than ordinary humans, after all. But she is told the bodyguards are more to protect the crazies from her than the other way around. Still, she chafes at being followed everywhere. Sometimes she wants nothing more than to ditch the security, but she can’t. Not if she wants to live in a civilized society and attend high school. She is tempted to tell the government, the protesters, and everyone else in her business to go to hell, but that’s the stuff of dreams. That is unless she’s willing to live as a hermit on a deserted island like Hulk does in an episode of She-Hulk. Allison most definitely does not desire that.
The side effects are some of the most fascinating aspects of a character gaining superhuman abilities. Fame is just one of many possible outcomes. Of course, one could always try to keep a low profile and hide their skills but is that really possible in a world obsessed with social media, where virtually anyone can be recording anybody at any time? I argue not easily. That is unless you’re willing to live off the grid as a recluse, and most people are not.
The Blood of Faeries: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iBooks
Read an excerpt. Visit the author’s website. Follow him on Twitter.
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