Percivious Insomnia

JJ Cook & AJ Cook, MD

Book Cover

GENRE

SCI-FI SUSPENSE/THRILLER ADVENTURE EPIC ACTION

    Core Theme

    THE EVOLUTION OF MANKIND VS. THE PROBABLE TOLL ON THOSE WHO ARE CHOSEN TO EVOLVE AND THE POWERS HUNGRY TO CONTROL THEM.

    TIME PERIOD

    Future

    COMPARABLE TITLES

    MICHAEL CLAYTON, SIDE EFFECTS

    CHARACTER LIST

    COOPER: 30-35. INTELLIGENT, MASCULINE, DRIVEN, LONE WOLF, BADASS.

    MANDOLIN: 30-35. A REPORTER EAGER TO FIND OUT WHAT COOPER AND HIS COLLEAGUES ARE UP TO.

    OPHELIA SASKI: 25-35. TRANSGENDER. A TOP SCIENTIST IN HER FIELD TRYING TO ADVANCE MANKIND WHO NEEDS THE RESOURCES OF COOPER'S COMPANY.

    KHALID: 35-45. A SHADY, EXTREMELY WEALTHY SAUDI WHO'S BANKROLLED A LOT OF THE RESEARCH THAT'S DISCOVERED THE NEW GENE. HE WANTS TO REAP ANY BENEFITS FOR HIMSELF.

    MALCOLM: 60S-70S. THE HEAD OF A GIANT PHARMA COMPANY WHO IS ENTHRALLED BY THE POSSIBILITY OF A NEW BREED OF HUMA.

    JAKE: 35-45. COOPER'S CHILDHOOD BEST FRIEND WHO IS EMBROILED IN THE WHOLE AFFAIR AND ENDS UP MURDERED BY KHALID FOR WHAT HE KNOWS.

    Logline

    Dr. Cooper Delaney, believes he has discovered a new sleep aid that will combat a sweeping pandemic of insomnia, but the drug's inexplicable failure after showing signs of being 100% effective throws into question humanity's place in the universe.

    Target Audiences

    Age: 18-34,35-54,55+

    Target Gender: Universal

    Setting

    New York, Paris, Whistler, BC, Victoria, BC

    Based on a True Story

    No

    Publishing Details

    Status: Yes: self-published

    Publisher: Friesen Press

    Year Published: 2020

    Starting Description

    An insomnia pandemic is sweeping the globe, leaving people unable to function and society on the brink of collapse... Dr. Cooper Delaney believes he has the answer: Noctural, a new sleep-aid—one with absolutely no side-effects—which in early testing shows 100% effectiveness. 

    Ending Description

    Unable to accept the drug’s failure and unwilling to concede to the competition, lines are crossed, ethical boundaries are pushed to the breaking point, and disturbing realizations come to light that unravel civilization as we know it… and throw into question humanity’s place in the universe.

    Group Specific

    Information not completed

    Hard Copy Available

    No

    ISBN

    978-1-5255-6544-1 (Hardcover) 978-1-5255-6545-8 (Paperback) 978-1-5255-6546-5 (eBook)

    Mature Audience Themes

    Nudity, Language/Profanity

    Plot - Other Elements

    Twist

    Plot - Premise

    Voyage and Return

    Main Character Details

    Name: Dr. Cooper Delaney

    Age: 30-35

    Gender: Male

    Role: Protagonist

    Key Traits: Masculine,Badass,Aggressive,Complex,Sexy,Confident,Aspiring,Heartthrob,Educated,Leader,Unapologetic,Sophisticated,Lone Wolf

    Additional Character Details

    Name: Mandolin Grace

    Age: 30-35

    Gender: Female

    Role: Protagonist

    Key Traits: Aspiring,Aggressive,Charming,Confident,Complex,Educated,Sexy,Outspoken,Insecure

    Additional Character Details

    Name: Ophelia Sasaki

    Age: 25 - 35

    Gender: Lgbt

    Role: logical

    Key Traits: Aggressive,Complex,Secretive,Leader,Decisive,Educated,Sophisticated,Unapologetic,Visionary,Outspoken,Confident

    Additional Character Details

    Name: Khalid Al Gamdi

    Age: 35 - 45

    Gender: Male

    Role: antagonist

    Key Traits: Charming,Crazy,Criminal,Narcisstic,Villainous,Unapologetic,Manipulative,Sophisticated,Secretive,Seductive,Power Hungry

    Development Pitch

    For eight years, Cooper Delaney has been a bankable and industrious doctor for pharmaceutical giant Proteus. Now, he is frustrated that his surefire sleep-aid medication Noctural is not working on test subjects. As he risks his career to salvage the project, a parallel plotline brings into his life reporter Mandolin Grace, whose latest story may be crackpot science or may just alter humankind’s destiny. A few leading geneticists are proposing that the human race has literally evolved as far as it can go and has reached a stagnating plateau of physical/intellectual achievement. There’s a corollary: Homo sapiens were preceded on prehistoric Earth by an advanced species that was able to sense approaching extinctions and fled into outer space, leaving DNA traces behind in an attempt to perpetuate the species. Thus, “aliens” exist—and may still be around, on and off the planet. Key evidence is a rare “Z” chromosome, supplementing the typical XY genetic markers. The US government takes the theory seriously, making it the subject of a legendary “File 710.” The dissolute and wealthy Saudi Khalid Al Gamdi will stop at nothing to learn more about it—and he is the secret investor funding Proteus. A sudden, global epidemic of insomnia, connected to all of this, raises the stakes. Disparate strands and players take time to come together in the authors’ double (maybe triple) helix weave of international locales and capers. An intelligent SF tale with a high-stakes big pharma backdrop.

    Genre

    SUSPENSE, ROMANCE, DRAMA, POLITICS, MATURE AUDIENCE

    Brief

    Cooper oversees a drug that promises to end the insomnia epidemic but it stops working. Consulting the world's top scientists, he stumbles on to a theory that humankind has stopped evolving, but some ancestors have left a few select people with an extra chromosome that allows telepathic communication. Becoming embroiled in this new adventure, Cooper and his allies hone in on these new superhumans in an effort to propel mankind into a new type of person.

    Overall Rating

    GOOD

    Point of View

    THIRD PERSON

    Narrative Elements

    Authors Writing Style: EXCELLENT

    Characterization: EXCELLENT

    Commerciality: GOOD

    Franchise Potential: EXCELLENT

    Pace: GOOD

    Premise: EXCELLENT

    Structure: GOOD

    Theme: GOOD

    Accuracy of Book Profile

    Yes, the profile does depict the book properly.

    Draw of Story

    A strong lead and a mystery.

    Possible Drawbacks

    No

    Use of Special Effects

    THE STORY DOES NOT RELY ON SPECIAL EFFECTS

    Primary Hook of Story

    The inner workings of pharmaceutical companies and the promise of sci-fi

    Fanbase Potential

    Not really. There's a lot of drama that needs to be condensed and expedited to get to the fun sci-fi stuff.

    Awards Potential

    Maybe for acting since the roles are meaty.

    Envisioned Budget

    MEDIUM BUDGET

    Similar Films/TV Series

    MICHAEL CLAYTON, SIDE EFFECTS

    What’s New About the Story

    The originality stems from the small percentage of the population that has an extra chromosome that gives them powers. This is minimized in the movie and should be brought forward and become more of the story.

    Lead Characters

    They're all very intelligent yet have flaws, and it's fun to see their interactions in the high stakes of the plot.

    Uniqueness of Story

    It could be a rare gem if there was more about the alien infused chromosome that gives people extraordinary powers.

    Possible Formats

    Film - Studio, Film - Streaming, TV Series - Cable, TV Series - Streaming

    Analyst Recommendation

    CONSIDER

    Justification

    It's unique at its core, but needs to bring forward the main part of the plot that makes it unique. It's very well-written and cinematic, and although it's the first in a series, the real interesting parts need to happen earlier.

    Brief

    Dr. Cooper Delaney, believes he has discovered a new sleep aid that will combat a sweeping pandemic of insomnia, but the drug's inexplicable failure after showing signs of being 100% effective throws into question humanity's place in the universe.

    What We Liked

    There is a strong "need to know" built in to the story. Will the sleep drug work? What is happening to the few people who have "alien" DNA that gives them powers? Happening around all this are Machiavellian corporate machinations that may jeopardize what could be mankind's greatest discovery to date. The characters are intelligent, capable, and fun to watch interact because of this. The mystery of the new humans begs to keep an audience enthralled.

    Film: There is enough excitement, even in the corporate world, to create well-structured and engaging film. The characters are compelling, as is the work they are engaged in. The supernatural element, while it would need to be increased in the story, is a big draw - as is the original concept behind it.

    TV: The vast story and number of characters, with the conflicts that could create cliffhangers, would make great episodic television. The hint of the supernatural would keep viewers tuning in to see the progress.

    Key points: Corporate intrigue; Intelligent characters; High stakes drama; Preternatural people; Fast pace

    Synopsis

    Cooper, tall and good looking, gets to his office at the pharmaceutical company Proteus he works at and is called into (Jon) his boss’s office. He’s told his new wonder insomnia drug didn’t work for an important person, Malcolm, who works for another pharmaceutical company. Cooper insists it works. Jon tells him to call the man. He visits him, and gets the intimidating older man to agree to a sleep test to assess his issue. At Mt. Sinai hospital, Catherine and Will discuss the possibility of an epidemic. At an AMA conference, Dr. Sean Irwin holds a press conference. Will finds a child named Albert at the playground of his school and asks him if he would continue their work together. Albert says he'll think about it. Malcolm is surprised to find Cooper personally supervising his sleep study as he gets into bed at the hospital. Sean takes a question from a reporter asking if his theory that mankind had reached its evolutionary peak holds water. Sean promises to email him all of his research. Ray silently stands at the back of the room. Will wonders why the insomnia drug (Nocturnal) isn’t working. He tried it on children with ADHD and it makes no sense to him that it wasn't working. With the sleep trial on his mind - apparently Malcolm has a super-human metabolism - Cooper goes skiing with his friend from college. Skiing into the woods, an avalanche buries him. He’s rescued after a few grueling minutes. Jon reminisces about his tough childhood, not fitting into any foster homes when a kid named Will befriended him and he ended up living with his family. Mandolin, a journalist, left the ballet for a bar where she was meeting a leading scientist. Another man, Camberg, shows up and she almost leaves but decides to hear him out. He tells her the best source of energy on the planet comes from the human mind and indicates that aliens have already figured this out. She gets up and leaves.

    Cooper, with a broken leg and ribs, is at his family home on the ocean in Canada. He plays chess with his mom and works remotely from his laptop. He’s determined to find out what was going on with Malcolm and his bizarre sleep test. Jack runs into Cooper at a cafe. Old best friends, they catch up. Jack was top of his class at Harvard Law then was implicated in a scandal at his law firm and was fired. He reluctantly went into journalism, going to Harvard again where he met Mandolin. Cooper got his PhD then another degree in pharmacology and had his pick of pharmaceutical companies but was set on Proteus. Mandolin joins them, and Cooper gets bored with her and Jack talking about energy. Mandolin gives him a ride home.

    Cooper is on a conference call with Jon and Will and learns about Will’s trial of Nocturna on children that had mixed results. Jon is going to shut down the drug. Cooper laughs loudly and claps his hands, telling Will not to listen to his stupid boss and his bullshit. The next day, Mandolin returns Cooper’s wallet from the ride home last night and he says Jack wants to see them both. Mandolin reveals her notes from an interview with a Dr. Sasaki, whose enigmatic findings could change the world.

    Ray Garland, FBI, sits in a meeting thinking about the legendary file labeled 710. It alleges that we had relatives way before our primate ancestors and they were wiped out by a cataclysmic event but left a capsule buried under the Baltic and were responsible for a Z chromosome in the DNA of a few modern humans. Dr. Armand Price came up with the theory that the human brain is the future of energy and some high level world players have expressed interest. He also gets death threats. Cooper, back in NYC, goes up to face Jon. Will enters, and Cooper whisks him off to talk about the Nocturna trial. Mandolin, also back in NYC, ruminates on Dr. Sasaki’s research into natural selection. She thinks about Cooper and how she’d never date him, then about the scientist, Camberg, who brought up aliens. Cooper kidnaps Will into taking him to his lab where he demands that Will make all the children from his study come to Proteus for a study Cooper would oversee. Will is not happy, neither is Jon, and neither is Will’s partner Catherine - but they have no choice since what they did with the children could get them in big trouble if Cooper makes good on his blackmail and it comes out. In Paris, Ray meets his new recruit, Jaxxson, and they are after Camberg, who fled the US after he became a security threat with his crazy ideas. They go to a posh hotel where he is hiding out, but find him recently murdered. They notice a strange bellman and chase him down to the street where he gets on his motorcycle and Jaxxson commandeers one from a citizen. Ray gets his car and Interpol contacts him and follows the chase with satellites. They race all through Paris and Asad, the assassin, tries for the Saudi embassy but is blocked by Interpol cars and heads for the airport with Jaxxson on his tail. In a tunnel, Asad wrecks, and Interpol officers are on him but he takes a cyanide capsule and dies.

    Cooper hosts the children and parents for the testing in the Proteus building. Will and Catherine show up and they assuage concerned parents. Cooper meets Dr. Ophelia Sasaki and Mandolin at The Plaza and they talk shop and flirt. Back at the office, Cooper calls Malcolm who grills him over his test results and wonders why Cooper is committing career suicide by still supporting this drug Nocturna. Prince Khalid, who employs Jack for information, is in NYC and Jack happened to be there at Mandolin’s request. Jack goes to Khalid’s enormous penthouse where a veritable orgy is taking place. He relays to Khalid what happened with the assassination in Paris, then Khalid tells him to go have fun. On her research vessel in the Galapagos Islands, Dr. Sasaki thinks about when she showed Malcolm proof of the Z chromosome and blew his mind. Dr. Sasaki ruminates on our ancestors and how they were able to use brain energy and communicate telepathically. Jack, Mandolin, and Dr. Sasaki go to see Malcolm. Sasaki informs him that the FBI is shutting down Sasaki’s research vessel “The Beagle.” They were the ones who originally found the Z chromosome and they consider the research on “The Beagle” a security risk. Khalid visits Jon, who must assuage him since his money is invested in Proteus. Cooper finds one of his children in the test has the Z chromosome and he’s anxious to talk to Malcolm about it, but he is surprised to find Jack, Mandolin, and Sasaki in Malcolm’s office. He finds out that XYs with the super rare Z chromosomes have already been discovered.

    Jack and Cooper meet at a restaurant. Jack tells Cooper everything he’s heard about aliens already harvesting brain energy and how the scientist who proposed this theory was assassinated in Paris. Cooper is incredulous. Cooper confesses he found a child in his study who happens to have the Z chromosome. Khalid is furious with an underling because he hasn’t wrangled Sasaki yet. Ray is wondering which people with the Z chromosome the FBI will be after next. Khalid calls Jack, and they take a private plane to Canada, then he is put on a seaplane to get to the island where he lives. The pilot dives out of the plane and Jack and the co-pilot are locked in their seats. The plane crashes into the ocean, killing them. Mandolin deals with Jack’s death by cutting herself. Cooper comes over and tells her to stay strong for Jack. They make love. The FBI investigates Jack’s death. Mandolin goes to Jack’s mother’s house where she gives her a box he’d left for her - with bank information inside. At the lab, two boys with the Z chromosome, Albert and Jasper, are able to communicate with each other from thousands of miles away.

    Pascale is a woman who works for the European Space Agency. At 67, she regrets a bit how her career has left her friendless but she calls her friend Malcolm. Khalid has surveillance on Cooper and watches him go on a run from his plane. He wonders what Cooper can do for him. Ray is investigating Cooper over Jack’s death and keeping track of the “Genetically Advanced Species” (GAS), or Zs, that the bureau is all crazy about now. Zs are under FBI protection (except Albert) and all communicate with each other telepathically, forming a little family. Albert has a dream where a faceless figure makes him perform tasks. The others have had similar dreams.

    Salim, Khalid’s assassin, is given an unusual task. He goes to the FBI and uses fake credentials to get to the Zs and is to take them all somewhere. They’re all suspicious, and one named Emily escapes to the lobby. Pascale flies to NYC and she and Malcolm make love in a hotel room. She doesn’t tell him about the interstellar object she’s aware of on the other side of the moon. Mandolin meets with Armand Price, the father of these theories. Jack left Mandolin a key to a safety deposit box that has a hard drive that is for his eyes only. She tells him everything that’s been discovered. He is in disbelief. Khalid funds Dr. Sean Irwin’s research and Sean has trouble believing, after meeting with Mandolin and Armand, that we were all victims to a higher power using intelligent-energy accumulation and as a result have plateaued as a species. He would ask Khalid, and Khalid agrees it’s ridiculous. Khalid decides to speed up the testing on the Z’s he’s kidnapped and must find out all he can about intelligent energy.

    Cooper runs a test with 250 participants this time, and while the rest of the world seems to be suffering insomnia, although benzodiazepines seem to do the trick on their test patients. Cooper notices that they are all losing energy, like they’re all part of the same dream - all but Albert. The energy not consumed could power NYC. Malcolm and Pascale are aware, and Pascale, the only one privy to their involvement, calls the FBI. In Florida, the only place big enough for his following, Sean Irwin ruminates on the insomnia epidemic and how it seems to go along with his theory that evolution has plateaued. Cooper and Malcolm sit next to Mandolin in the audience, all feeling betrayed by Sean. Also in attendance are Ray, Jaxxson, Sasaki and Khalid. Sean introduces Jon, who leads with the introduction of their new drug Nocturna - and Cooper jumps on stage and punches him. After being detained by the cops, Cooper asks Jon what this is all about and Jon tells him he doesn’t really want to know. Back in NYC, Will asks Jon how he could sell Cooper out and how he could get Nocturna to market without FDA approval. Khalid interrogates Jon about Cooper and his cohorts, and Jon loses his temper which he quickly regrets. Khalid has one mission now: get to Cooper, Malcolm, and Sasaki. Albert’s transmissions with the other Zs are constantly being monitored and although they can only follow the ebb and flow of EKGs, Sasaki feels like she can understand some things that Jasper, Albert and the others seem to communicate to each other. Albert mentioned hearing mass singing and Sasaski wants to get to the bottom of this with him.

    Pascale can’t get a hold of Malcolm and wonders about the second Chinese probe landing on the other side of the moon. Cooper returns to his home to find Salin, Khalid’s assassin, sitting in a chair. A terrified Cooper picks up Malcolm and Albert from the lab, courtesy of Salim’s waiting car.

    Herridan’s spacecraft splashes down in a lake and he’s thrilled to see the home planet of his ancestors.

    About The Author

    JJ COOK & AJ COOK, MD attribute the creation of this novel— the first volume in the Percivious Trilogy—to the marriage of their unique skills and perspectives. JJ Cook’s background in marketing across a spectrum of industries (including technology, finance, and the arts) brings insight and depth to characters spanning an array of disciplines, ages, countries, and cultures. AJ Cook, MD’s current role as chief of pediatric urology at the Alberta Children’s Hospital has allowed him the opportunity to author and contribute to numerous published studies, honing his writing skills, while his experience as a surgeon -- as well as the relationships he’s developed with his young patients and their guardians -- has contributed credibility and realism to the narrative. They hope this novel—and trilogy—shines a light on something the world seems to have forgotten: altruism, and its impact on society. “Something that needs a voice now more than ever but also a platform where it will be heard.”