The Lunar Codex

Annie O'Connell

Book Cover

GENRE

ADVENTURE YOUNG ADULT FANTASY ACTION FAMILY FUNNY

    Core Theme

    COMING OF AGE, OVERCOMING MONSTER

    TIME PERIOD

    Contemporary

    COMPARABLE TITLES

    TWILIGHT, SHADOWHUNTERS, BLOOD AND CHOCOLATE, SHIVER, TEEN WOLF, CHARMED

    CHARACTER LIST

    JACE: 14-15. LEAD. HEROIC AND EMPATHETIC.

    IZZIE: 15. JACE’S ROMANTIC INTEREST, BONDED TO HIM, MARCUS, AND BRIAN.

    MARCUS:15. CLOSE FRIEND TO JACE, BONDED TO HIM, IZZIE, AND BRIAN.

    ROMAN: LOOKS 45. JACE’S UNCLE WHO RAISED HIM AFTER HIS PARENTS’ ALLEGED DEATH.

    CORA: LOOKS 45. JACE’S AUNT AND ROMAN’S MATE.

    BRIAN: 18. FRIEND TO JACE, IZZIE, AND MARCUS WHO SHARES THE BOND WITH THEM.

    Logline

    Jace Northall is an average 14-year-old whose life is turned upside down when he learns his entire life has been a lie to protect his true identity. As his birthday approaches, strange events start happening. When he accidentally sets off a spell, his Aunt and Uncle are forced to reveal the truth.

    Target Audiences

    Age: 13-17,18-34

    Target Gender: Universal

    Setting

    Starts in Williston, Florida and culminates in Millstone Landing, South Carolina

    Based on a True Story

    No

    Publishing Details

    Status: Yes: self-published

    Publisher: Self-published

    Year Published: 2021

    Starting Description

    Jace Northall had a normal life until he was three, when his parents died, and he was adopted. The next twelve years consisted of frequent moves, which left him lonely. Their most recent move becomes a catalyst to forging strong friendships, learning the truth about his parents and who he truly is.

    Ending Description

    In a cruel twist, Jace learns his parents never died, and he was kidnapped. He discovers his parents are supernatural beings who could not conceive until his Aunt tricked them using fairy magic. Now that fairy is trying to collect, and the race is on to find his parents and defeat the fairy king.

    Group Specific

    Information not completed

    Hard Copy Available

    Yes

    ISBN

    9781737211518

    Mature Audience Themes

    Language/Profanity

    Plot - Other Elements

    Coming of Age,Twist

    Plot - Premise

    Overcoming Monster/Villain,Internal Journey/Rebirth,Quest

    Main Character Details

    Name: Jace Northall

    Age: 15

    Gender: Male

    Role: Protagonist

    Key Traits: Empathetic,Faithful,Gracious,Heartthrob,Heroic,Educated,Selfless,Strong Moral Code,Leader

    Additional Character Details

    Name: Isabelle (Izzie) Lewis

    Age: 15

    Gender: Female

    Role: Emotional

    Key Traits: Aspiring,Confident,Faithful,Gracious,Heroic,Honorable,Selfless,Skillful,Strong Moral Code,Leader

    Additional Character Details

    Name: Marcus Hunter

    Age: 15

    Gender: Male

    Role: sidekick

    Key Traits: Underdog,Charming,Faithful,Heroic,Insecure,Funny,Sarcastic,Strong Moral Code

    Additional Character Details

    Name: Roman Northall

    Age: appears 45 in human years, but is actually over 200 years old

    Gender: Male

    Role: mentor

    Key Traits: Charming,Complex,Empathetic,Engaging,Faithful,Heartthrob,Educated,Skillful,Secretive,Leader

    Development Pitch

    Imagine being an orphaned fourteen-year-old boy and discovering that the world you know is harboring creatures from fairy tales. Now imagine finding out that you are, in fact, one of those creatures! My book is called The Lunar Codex and tells the story of a young man coming to grips with his world being turned upside down after he discovers everything he has been told for the past twelve years, is a lie. With the help of his new friends, he sets out on a quest to discover the truth about his past and to set things right again. Along the way, it is revealed that there is more at stake than he initially believed. He discovers that he is the key to a prophecy, the Lunar Codex, which will allow the fairy king, Elashor, to take over the human world at the cost of our hero’s life. To complicate matters, bonds that have been formed with his friends on the journey would also lead to their death. The race is on to stop Elashor from succeeding in his plan for world domination. It’s Harry Potter meets Shazam. I am a mom of four boys and have always been a fan of fantasy. My love for the genre only grew with my boy’s love for it as well. The nidus for this story began while on my back deck watching my then, three-year-old and fourteen-year-old, playing in the pool. They were wrestling, and I teased that they became wild animals when they are outside. Poof, the seed was planted. Jace became a combination of these two boys while Marcus, his best friend, shares traits of my other two sons

    Genre

    ACTION, DRAMA, FANTASY

    Brief

    As his 15th birthday nears, an orphan learns that magic and fantastical creatures are real and he’s one of them. His fairy uncle and aunt kidnapped him, and his very alive parents have never been able to track him down. He’s a rare witch-werewolf hybrid being hunted by an evil fairy king who wants to take over the mortal realm. With the help of his new friends and real parents, he defeats the king… for now.

    Overall Rating

    GOOD

    Point of View

    FIRST PERSON

    Narrative Elements

    Authors Writing Style: FAIR

    Characterization: FAIR

    Commerciality: GOOD

    Franchise Potential: GOOD

    Pace: FAIR

    Premise: GOOD

    Structure: FAIR

    Theme: EXCELLENT

    Accuracy of Book Profile

    Yes, the Book Profile accurately reflects the book. It leans heavily into the author deciding to create the book after being inspired by her own son and his genre preferences. While this is heartwarming, it’s likely the kind of detail that’s better served to an interview than a pitch. Toning this element down slightly and focusing more on the book itself might be wise.

    Draw of Story

    The story focuses heavily on the teen drama elements for the first half of the book, and it does so really well. Jace’s struggles of feeling like an outsider are relatable, and they’re widely accessible to most audiences. He’s thrilled to finally be making friends, and we want that for him. He’s trying to keep his anger in check while growing into the man he knows his family would be proud of. This is something nearly everyone can connect with on some level, and it deepens his characterization.

    Possible Drawbacks

    The fantasy elements are completely absent for the first half of the book, and it’s not a short book. It’s unclear what the premise of the book is until well over 200 pages in. Jace’s powers show around page 109 with the “ghost,” but it’s not clear he was responsible for the table moving. There are a couple moments where it’s obvious something strange is happening, but Jace isn’t fully aware of it so neither is the audience. Accelerating the first 200 pages will solve this. Getting to the reveal of what Jace is earlier is necessary for the twist to work.

    Use of Special Effects

    THE STORY RELIES HEAVILY ON SPECIAL EFFECTS

    Primary Hook of Story

    The supernatural fantasy elements are unique, and using werewolves, witches, and fairies in this way is great. They’ll hook any fans of fantasy, and balancing it with the young adult elements is a great way to reach out to a wider audience as well. The Fairy Court is really interesting, and it would be great if we spent more time there to really explore it.

    Fanbase Potential

    Yes, it’s easy to see this having a large fanbase thanks to the fact that it’s both young adult and fantasy. Werewolves also tend to be very popular.

    Awards Potential

    Because of the genre and intended audience, it’s unlikely to have traditional awards potential.

    Envisioned Budget

    MEDIUM BUDGET

    Similar Films/TV Series

    TWILIGHT, SHADOWHUNTERS, BLOOD AND CHOCOLATE, SHIVER, TEEN WOLF, CHARMED

    What’s New About the Story

    The fantastical elements are so original, but they’re not being tapped into enough. In addition, the story isn’t progressing in a logical way due to the disconnect between the first and second half of the book. There’s no cause and effect narrative driving the story forward, and while it ends up being entirely about Elashor’s thirst for power, we have no idea Elashor even exists until the last 50 pages of the book. Jace is just living is life day to day as a seemingly normal teen for 200 pages, and then he’s hunted by werewolves, and then suddenly he’s taken to the fairy world. There needs to be an arc that an audience can follow and be invested in to let what’s unique really shine.

    Lead Characters

    Jace is pretty well drawn, and he, Marcus, and Brian are all allowed to have their moments to shine. They’re memorable characters, whereas Izzie is not. She is largely a damsel in distress, and she continuously needs saving and adds very little to the story overall. She’s underutilized in this way, as she’s shown to be smart and kind, but she spends most of her time being attacked and/or hurt by men. She’s even almost hurt in the rescue effort by a collapsing walkway when none of the men seem to be. Cora is also a weaker character than Roman, and seems to be much weaker as a fairy than him. The same goes for Callista in comparison to Luca. Almost none of the female characters have much of an impact on the story, and fewer have agency. Working on the female characters would help to make this feel more rounded. After all, Jace deserves a strong love interest.

    Uniqueness of Story

    There is so much potential in the fantasy elements to help make this a rare gem, but unfortunately they’re not being utilized right now. Getting to those parts of the book faster would help to improve it, and it would help to better join the two halves together. Jace barely has time to live as a werewolf/witch, and we hardly get to see his abilities. Right now this is meeting more genre conventions for YA novels, rather than fantasy and/or supernatural ones.

    Possible Formats

    Film: Studio TV Series:Streaming

    Analyst Recommendation

    CONSIDER

    Justification

    Despite the changes that could be made to both the structure and the characters, this is a really strong contender. What’s on the page is effective, and Jace is a compelling protagonist. Young adult fantasy fare can always find an audience, and it often does well. It’s also a genre that’s adapted quite often, which increases the chances of success tenfold. There are truly unique ideas here, and delving into the magical aspects sooner and in greater way will make this a stronger showing overall. There’s enough of an original hook here to make it well worth a second look.

    Brief

    Since the mysterious death of his parents over a decade before, a teen boy has moved frequently across the country with his aunt and uncle. He begins to make friends for the first time when they arrive in a small Florida town, but as his 15th birthday approaches, his guardians are forced to finally tell him the truth. His parents are alive, his supernatural powers are blossoming, and someone evil is after him.

    What We Liked

    Jace’s adventure is ideal for any younger audience member to see themselves reflected in. Regardless if they’re the heroic lead or the funny sidekick, there’s a little something for everyone in this story, and it’s ripe for an adaptation. The main narrative centers closely on positive themes of friendship and family, and it often engages with both clear communication and forgiveness. These are important lessons for anyone to learn, no matter their age. The story is also so enjoyable, as it errs on the lighter side of supernatural fantasy. Despite having darker elements, it has a positive, relatable message which is heartening.

    Film: The audience of this story is perfect for a feature film, as young people typically make up a sizable percentage of the box office. Given there are so few films aimed at them, it’s easy to imagine a fantasy feature like this garnering a lot of attention. The fact that it’s based on a book is even better, as it allows fans to really sink their teeth into the whole world, enabling a fandom to grow up around it and the characters. These kinds of devoted fans will want to see every sequel, and will be free press as they spread the popularity of the film through word of mouth.

    TV: It’s so easy to see this as a television show. Young adult fantasy and/or supernatural series are prevalent, and they’re prevalent because they’re always popular and often successful. The age of the characters is perfect, because they have several seasons to grow up yet are still mature enough to be relatable to an adult audience. There are a number of compelling characters that can be focused on throughout the series, and they can have their own rich subplots to be explored. This will be the next must-see show on any network or streaming service.

    Synopsis

    JACE moves with his UNCLE ROMAN and AUNT CORA to a small town in Florida. He’s lived in nearly 20 places since his parents died 12 years ago, so he’s never really had friends. Jace quickly befriends IZZIE and MARCUS. Though most of the other teens in town accept Jace, ETHAN is immediately jealous as he has his eye on Izzie. Ethan attacks Jace, and Jace somehow manages to protect himself at lightning speed despite never having any self defense training. Jace and Marcus go to a party that night with Izzie, her older sisters ZOE and ALYSSA, and Zoe’s boyfriend BRIAN. Jace and Marcus later find Ethan trying to sexually assault Izzie in a cavern. They rescue her but realize SOMETHING ELSE is in the cave with them. Despite fighting Ethan, Jace then has to help him get out. Jace is worried Izzie is angry with how aggressive he was, but Izzie kisses him. When Jace wakes up the next morning, SHERIFF POWELL is in their house, interrogating first Roman and Cora, and then Jace himself. Ethan is claiming Jace assaulted a girl at the Grotto.
    After Powell leaves, Jace talks to Marcus on the phone. Jace realizes Marcus has no memory of the previous day. Roman and Cora are forced to tell Jace the truth, as his powers are growing stronger near his 15th birthday. Jace is the son of a witch and a werewolf. This makes him very special, and the reason they’ve moved so often is because people (or rather, creatures) are after him. His parents are still alive, though Roman and Cora don’t know where they are. They ran with Jace as soon as they knew something was wrong to protect him, on his parents’ orders. His dad, LUCA, is a werewolf who was facing down the evil ALPHA of his pack. Roman and Cora are fairies who are hundreds of years old. As Jace has both burgeoning werewolf abilities and witch ones, he accidentally cast a protection spell that wiped all mortal memories for the last 24 hours. With his guardians’ help, Jace is able to psychically reach out to his mom CALLISTA, and astrally she helps them reverse the damage of the spell.

    Marcus, Izzie, and her sisters all see something strange happening in Jace’s house while he performs the counter spell. He comes clean, as he doesn’t want to lie to his new friends. They accept him, and when WEREWOLVES descend on the town to find him with Powell’s help, they help protect him. On Zoe’s orders, Brian drives Jace, Izzie, and Marcus north, trying to find Jace’s parents. The werewolves cause Brian’s truck to crash, and the teens are taken to the werewolf den. Jace is able to channel his powers and heal the other three of their injuries. This binds the four of them together, so that they can sense each other’s emotions, and he can even communicate telepathically with Marcus as he has witch blood. Luca and Callista arrive, and it’s revealed that Luca is actually the alpha of his pack, and they’ve been searching for him.

    They were only able to conceive because Cora snuck a potion to Callista without her knowledge, and this caused a fairy pact to be made which entitles the fairy king ELASHOR ownership over Jace. Trying to protect him from their own kind, Cora and Roman kidnapped Jace. Jace is barely able to come to terms with the survival of his real parents, and the betrayal of his adopted ones, before he’s taken again — this time by Elashor himself. Elashor forces Jace to turn into a wolf for the first time in the fairy realm, and he plans to use Jace to take over the mortal realm. Cora tries to protect Jace and is killed, and Jace barely manages to protect Roman from Elashor’s rage while in wolf form. Luca, Callista, and the rest of the wolf pack and Jace’s friends arrive to save him. Elashor is scared off but not killed, and he escapes with the ring. Luca helps Jace to turn back into a human, and brings him to stay with the pack to get a handle on his powers. Luckily Jace’s psychic bond with his friends remains strong, so he can still connect with them.

    About The Author

    Annie O'Connell is a busy mom of four boys, a family physician in New York City, and now the author of The Lunar Codex. She didn’t know that immersing herself in fantasy audiobooks while on long road trips with her 15-year-old son would make her not just a reader, but also a writer. Ultimately, her passion led to her creating her lead character, Jace Northall. Together, Annie and Jace started off on a journey to discover who he truly was. When she is not saving lives or creating drama for poor Jace, Annie enjoys traveling with her family, listening to audiobooks, watching cheesy rom-coms, and crocheting lopsided blankets.