Here are the points of comparison that struck me:
- They're both young girls, mysterious and wild, yet with uncanny powers to perceive the truth in others' characters.
- They both provoke both either admiration or fear in the hearts of others - depending on the states of those hearts.
- Both unintentionally cause trouble for the communities in which they reside, Auralia for the Gatherers and River for the crew of the Firefly starship, Serenity.
- Physically they're both slender and fit with long dark hair that sometimes tangles around their faces and hides their expressions.
- They also both engender fierce feelings from male siblings - Simon Tam, who actually is River's brother, and Maugam the Jailer, who spares Auralia because she reminds him so of his little sister.
I realize both my posts have talked about what Auralia's Colors is similar to, but I am not trying to suggest that Jeffrey Overstreet's work is only derivative. On the contrary, he takes standard fantasy settings, characters, and set-ups, and gives them his own touch in his own world of The Expanse.
Fantasy is a genre just like mystery, romance, or suspense, and thus has its certain familiar characteristics that appeal to fantasy readers. As with any other good genre author, Overstreet takes these set pieces and runs with them.