Take Warning

Moe Taylor

Book Cover

GENRE

APOCALYPTIC ADVENTURE DETECTIVE DRAMA FANTASY MYSTERY SUSPENSE/THRILLER SCI-FI HORROR

    Core Theme

    PERSEVERANCE

    TIME PERIOD

    2000s

    COMPARABLE TITLES

    THE MIST, A QUIET PLACE, THE CRAZIES

    CHARACTER LIST

    ALEX (M/30S) - LEAD. DETERMINED, PRAGMATIC, AND RESOURCEFUL.

    JACKSON (M/30S) - SUPPORTING. ALEX'S CLIMBING BUDDY. TRANSPARENT, LOOSE, AND FORTHCOMING.

    KENO (M/40S) - SUPPORTING. ALEX'S CELLMATE WHEN IMPRISONED BY THE DOCTOR AND HIS GUARDS. WEARY, GRUFF, AND DESPERATE.

    BROCK (M/20S) -- SUPPORTING. A DESPERATE SOLDIER WHO JOINS ALEX AND JACKSON. HOPEFUL, WEATHERED, AND ALARMED.

    Logline

    Two climbers are caught in a catastrophic storm. They barely escape and fight their way back home through a fog populated by strange creatures and carnage. Along the way they realize the human race is a planetary virus meant to acclimatize Earth and our mastermind species is taking the planet back.

    Target Audiences

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

    Target Gender: Male Leaning

    Setting

    Mt. Rainier, Seattle

    Based on a True Story

    No

    Publishing Details

    Status: Yes: self-published

    Publisher: Booklocker (alternate title, "The Viral Limit")

    Year Published: 2003

    Starting Description

    Two climbers are in the backcountry unplugged from the internet for a week. They have heard no news of the recent downfall of civilization. A catastrophic storm buries their tent and they barely escape to fight their way back to an abandoned hotel buried in snow with no power or radio signal.

    Ending Description

    The fog clears and we see the destruction on a new scale. Alex tries to help an insane bloody man and gets fluids on him. It begins to appear he has contracted the disease that makes you lose your mind (The antidote). Named because it's the antidote to the virus of humanity. Ends on a cliffhanger.

    Group Specific

    Information not completed

    Hard Copy Available

    No

    ISBN

    ASIN โ€ : โ€Ž B01K90VY0U

    Mature Audience Themes

    Extreme Violence, Language/Profanity,Substance Abuse

    Plot - Other Elements

    Philosophical Questions,Twist

    Plot - Premise

    Overcoming Monster/Villain

    Main Character Details

    Name: Alex

    Age: 30s

    Gender: Male

    Role: Protagonist

    Key Traits: Adventurous,Badass,Confident,Desperate,Skillful,Leader,Heroic

    Additional Character Details

    Name: Jackson

    Age: 30s

    Gender: Male

    Role: Sidekick

    Key Traits: Underdog,Clumsy,Obedient,Desperate,Insecure,Secretive,Blunt,Masculine,Adventurous

    Additional Character Details

    The author has not yet written this

    Additional Character Details

    The author has not yet written this

    Development Pitch

    The story begins on the slopes of Mt. Rainier with two climbers on a week-long unplugged backcountry trip. They are unaware the world as they know it is ending all around them due to their remote location. They are caught in a catastrophic storm and buried under an avalanche in their tent. They escape and fight their way back to an abandoned hotel barely visible buried under the snow. They break in to find no electricity or radio signal. With some clues, they come to the conclusion that something very bad is happening in the world and decide after a month of wasting away in the darkness of the hotel to fight their way back to civilization. Along the way, they find blood, carnage, and strange creatures in the deep fog left from the storm. They meet others and encounter abandoned military bases and realize the truth. The human race is a planetary virus meant to acclimatize the planet. We have now pumped enough chemicals into the atmosphere for our mastermind species to thrive. They are returning to take back the planet. The storm is a nuclear winter from humans' last attempt to fight each other through paranoia and desperation. The true "Antidote" to the virus of humanity is a disease that makes people into insane killers and we wiped ourselves out. This is the term the remaining people use to describe the illness of the insane. At the end, the fog clears and we get a better look at the scale of devastation. It appears the lead catches the "Antidote" and ends on a cliffhanger.

    Genre

    ACTION, SUSPENSE, THRILLER, FANTASY

    Brief

    While off the grid, a pair of climbing companions find themselves trapped in the snow. After escaping the perilous snow and cold, they find themselves holed up in an abandoned hotel. There, they soon discover that society has fallen as a result of some kind of otherworldly force. Soon, they must work together to escape the constant threat of an alien foe as they scramble to find some kind--any kind--of sanctuary.

    Overall Rating

    GOOD

    Point of View

    THIRD PERSON

    Narrative Elements

    Authors Writing Style: GOOD

    Characterization: GOOD

    Commerciality: EXCELLENT

    Franchise Potential: GOOD

    Pace: GOOD

    Premise: EXCELLENT

    Structure: GOOD

    Theme: FAIR

    Accuracy of Book Profile

    It's a solid reflection of the book. However, it perhaps leaves too little to the audience's imagination. For instance, the log line iterates the entire set of third act revelations, and the development pitch is quite robust and matter of fact, too, and perhaps to a fault.

    Draw of Story

    There were a couple of things that drew me into the story immediately. First, Alex and Jackson struck as particularly effective everymen-- They are each human and relatable for their realistic temperaments and well-rendered friend/companionship. Neither are without flaws, and it makes them all that much more relatable. Second, the author wastes little time before thrusting his heroes into peril. The ticking clocks of an imminent snow collapse and of a coming storm strike as memorable and effective.

    Possible Drawbacks

    Nothing made me want to put the book down, per se, but one can't help but to notice that perhaps the author expends more verbiage and time than is absolutely necessary to get his points across at times. At the very least, it is worth another look to see what can be condensed and simplified, particularly in the first 30-40 odd pages.

    Use of Special Effects

    THE STORY RELIES HEAVILY ON SPECIAL EFFECTS

    Primary Hook of Story

    The hook is that fans of apocalyptic and creature thrillers will have many boxes checked by this novel. It features an escapist remote environment, constantly high stakes, and it brings to mind some of the best qualities of A QUIET PLACE and THE MIST, especially for its impressive proposed creature designs. Some of the spectacle and effects must be seen on the big screen in order to be best believed.

    Fanbase Potential

    Not a large fanbase, per se, given how non-established IP projects seem to be performing of late. However, a respectable-sized influence and audience could be in the cards for this one, especially considering how works like THE MIST have sustained a loyal fan base for years.

    Awards Potential

    No, candidly, this is not an awards contender. Creature thrillers simply do not fare well in awards season, although this work has a fighting chance to compete for best visual effects is executed to its full potential.

    Envisioned Budget

    MEDIUM BUDGET

    Similar Films/TV Series

    THE MIST, A QUIET PLACE

    Whatโ€™s New About the Story

    What is unique about this story is the environment it carves out for itself-- Mt. Rainier is an underutilized and underseen backdrop for a feature, much less a creature feature. The sublime climate becomes a character in itself-- A perfect ambience for the otherworldly creatures that come to roost (unique in themselves) and a deft juxtaposition of the brutality of our heroes' efforts to survive. However, the idea of humankind being a tool or fuel of some kind for some higher alien power's bidding feels trite, although the global warming commentary is welcome. Perhaps more can be done to preserve the shock or horror value of the late text revelations as well as the freshness of it all.

    Lead Characters

    Alex stands out for his simple humanity. He is anxious, even tormented by his anxiety, which makes him flawed, relatable, and sympathetic. The temperaments of the characters display a range, too-- Their nerves get frayed at times-- and understandably so. This just makes them all that much more human and accessible.

    Uniqueness of Story

    This work is perhaps on the cusp of rare gem territory. Again, it is uplifted by its excellent creature thrills and designs, its relentless stakes and tension, and by its grounded, accessible characters. The violence is gnarly, and the genre elements and spectacle feel refined and well-rendered. Although a bit held back by some of the more familiar, dated sci-fi conceits, this work is a creature feature worth a second look.

    Possible Formats

    Film: Studio, Streaming

    Analyst Recommendation

    CONSIDER

    Justification

    This work sure-handedly earns its 'consider' designation thanks to its relatable, grounded heroes, its relentless life-and-death stakes, for its unique and memorable setting. None of this is to consider its original creature concepts and suspense pieces. All in all, this work has promise, following in the footsteps of beloved genre fare like THE MIST.

    Brief

    After barely escaping an unprecedented snow storm, a pair of climbing buddies must fight their way back home through a fog populated by strange creatures and relentless carnage.

    What We Liked

    This work stands out for its grounded, relatable characters, for its inspired creature designs and genre thrills, and for its rather unique environments, which prove profoundly immersive and transportive for the audience. Fans of works like THE MIST and A QUIET PLACE will be enticed by this work's palpable suspense, its grit, its spectacle, and its all-in creature subgenre fare.

    Film: This would be a solid candidate for adaptation for film in that this work is largely efficient, packing much bang for its buck with its many creature thrills and high-stakes suspense sequences. It is also highly immersive and cinematic, dependent on the spectacle and expansive environment and gargantuan creatures, as opposed to the more traditional coverage that might be afforded by the more limited screen and serialized television format.

    TV: This could be a solid candidate for adaptation for TV in that, aside from the cliffhanger and suggested demise of its lead, there seems to be endless room for expansion and sequels. In essence, the world constructed by the author is richly detailed and highly expansive. In the text, he introduces countless conceits that could prove to be of service to seasons worth of television. There is always a sense that here is more to see, experience, and learn both within and beyond the confines of this text.

    Key points:
    1. The characters-- Grounded, human, and relatable.
    2. The creatures-- Offering spectacle and impressive designs.
    3. The world building-- Expansive and inspired, offering an excellent foundation.
    4. The settings-- Gritty, punishing, and immersive.
    5. The homages to beloved past genre works-- Fans of THE CRAZIES and THE MIST are in for a treat.

    Synopsis

    Alex awakens in a makeshift prison cell. He's suffered a beating, and he grows wary of the weathered man sitting across from him. Soon, Alex begins telling the tale of how he got there-- Alex and Jackson are a pair of friends and climbing companions who are trekking off the grid on Mt. Rainier. The pair soon find themselves encumbered by an avalanche, and they are forced to dig their way out of the snow. With the pressure of the snow mounting on their buried tent, tensions start to flare, but they eventually abandon their camp and make their way out. Finding that their GPS is suspiciously out of commission, the two race against looming frostbite and toward an evacuated mountain hotel. They break in and rush to warm up their frozen extremities. Inside, time passes, as they hope to wait out the storm and snow.

    They spend their time drinking and sleeping, but before long, they begin to suspect that society may have collapsed outside of the hotel given the defunct GPS and on-the-fritz radio stations. A desperate radio call freaks them out, featuring the panicked pleas of a scared man. Outside while trying to recover guns from a ranger's station, they encounter the planet's foes-- An evidently alien, behemoth flying beast followed by a swarm of smaller, winged creatures. They narrowly survive an attack. Soon, the men take in a sick, unconscious man, and they begin to fear for a contagion. They find a note telling them that people are gathering down the mountain in Longmire, and they make plans to rendezvous there by way of a snowmobile.

    The men approach a small compound, but they quickly find themselves overpowered by large goons. Alex is thrown into a cell, where he meets fellow prisoner Keno, while Jackson is experimented on by a fringe doctor, who is seeking to find an antidote to the X-virus that has overtaken the world, causing humankind to go insane with violent rage before dying.

    Time passes, but before long, Alex, Keno, and Jackson band together to ambush the guards and doctor and to flee into the cold, resuming a trek toward friendly faces by way of snowmobile. They are silent as they ride through the icy climate, fearful of attracting an alien threat. Keno gives more context as to the origins of the alien monsters, citing an expert from SETI, which explains the chaotic weather. The trio receives a radio transmission inviting survivors to join a larger group, so they head to the town of Puyallup. The three make due on the journey, periodically having to evade diseased people and alien predators. Keno becomes increasingly abrasive, and eventually, Alex and Jackson decide to part ways with him. In Puyallup, Alex and Jackson trek into an apparent underground military base, where they find a chronicling of the inciting events of the apocalypse-- A huge blast, an onslaught of creatures, and of the lethal disease. The documentation iterates that humans were put on the planet to warm up the atmosphere in order to make it more conducive to the alien species. Their hope for a new normal is increasingly dwindling.

    Soon, a lone soldier named Brock frantically comes to them, seeking protection from the aliens and elements. With that, a new trio is formed. The group treks once again into the cold, and they eventually come to an abandoned cabin. Inside, Alex waits back while the other two head out for supplies. Alex's internal monologue becomes increasingly erratic, and it becomes clear that he is diseased when his nose starts bleeding. As his companions' return becomes imminent, a rabid fury takes over Alex. He wields a knife, prepared to attack his friends upon re-entry...

    About The Author

    Moe Taylor began his career as a broadcast journalist in the United States Navy, where he filmed and wrote news stories in over forty countries. While in the Navy, he also published a sci-fi novel called Take Warning. After a tenure as a producer for NBC, Taylor started a production studio with his wife called BrainDagger Films. Taylor is fascinated by the secrets of the universe and is proud to add his own voice to the sci-fi genre.