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Notes on The Killing Saga

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Geography

The Killing Saga takes places across several locations in Europe.

In The Killing Complex, the location isn’t stipulated, and that’s for a reason. Firstly, Cassie doesn’t know where she is, so why should the reader? Secondly, it doesn’t really matter. She’s indoors, in a cage, for the entire novel. Thirdly, she is lost – literally, spiritually, mentally – so pinning her to somewhere in the world is contradictory.

In the Killing Shield, Cassie begins to find her humanity again, so she becomes a little less lost and finds out that Stefan’s home is on a new Scandi island, which was formed “after the floods”. With rising temperatures, I felt that the super rich would start to set up further north, where temperatures were more bearable. This is a fun bit of dystopian climate change, alongside the evacuation of “hot-spots” in Australia and the “heat storms” in England that Cassie was hoping to proof her house against. Again, some of these points started to feel less creative as the years went on and the world seemed to crumble.

Finally, Redemption takes Cassie to Bavaria. This specific location is for two reasons. Firstly, so that she and Thomas can have their beers in Germany. And secondly, because I have been there. Indeed, I have photographs of myself up a particular mountain during my own European travelling adventure in my early twenties. The mountain was called “Wank” and most photos feature my friends and I grinning like the English idiots we were in front of all of the signs. To place Cassie amid Wank mountain was utterly irrelevant to the plot, but a source of great and personal amusement.

The nationalities of her companions might feel a little… vague. Thomas is American. Esme is Australian. But many others have “local accents”. What the hell does this really mean? Well, the narrative is anchored to Cassie, and she has a painfully English knowledge of geography. She can pinpoint the obvious (although – fun fact – she thinks Hank is Australian when actually he’s from New Zealand) but is inept at the countries she has limited experience with. Natasha is a mystery (her mother is from Ethiopia, her father India), Stefan and Dana an unknown (and this is undefined – I don’t want to piss off a specific dictator but there’s plenty to base them off). And other languages are simply ones “that Cassie doesn’t understand”.

So the vague geography of the series is simply a clever literary choice, and in no way a reflection of my own very limited knowledge.

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