Breach of Contract (Book 2 in The Data Collectors Trilogy)

Danielle Palli

Book Cover

GENRE

SCI-FI/FANTASY

    Core Theme

    FAMILY/FRIENDSHIP, GOOD VS. EVIL, SELF DISCOVERY

    TIME PERIOD

    2000s,Future

    COMPARABLE TITLES

    ENDER'S GAME

    CHARACTER LIST

    LUCENE. LEAD. A NATURAL-BORN DATA COLLECTOR WITH EMPATHETIC POWERS. LUCENE IS CLEVER AND SELF SUFFICIENT, WITH LOVE FOR HER FRIENDS AND CHOSEN FAMILY.

    CEPHEUS – AN ERDE SCHOLAR AND FORMER ROYAL WHO HELPS GUIDE LUCENE. HE HAS TRAGEDY IN HIS PAST, BUT HAS FOUND A NEW CHOSEN FAMILY THROUGH HIS CLOSE FRIENDS.

    TANAGER – AN ERDE PROFESSOR WHO CARES DEEPLY FOR LUCENE AND FORMS A ROMANTIC RELATIONSHIP WITH HER.

    FAR – ROMAN’S PARTNER WHO HAS BEEN CORRUPTED BY THE ROYALS AND BY HAMISH.

    FATIMA – LUCENE’S EARTH-BORN BEST FRIEND WHO BECOMES ENGAGED TO IVAN AND PREGNANT WITH HIS CHILD.

    DALLEN – A VITRUVIAN LEADER WHO LUCENE HAS A BRIEF RELATIONSHIP WITH BEFORE HE DEEMS HER UNWORTHY OF BEING HIS PARTNER AND LEAVES ERDE.

    Logline

    Lucene is now on Erde, and the Peace-Keepers are forced into an uneasy alliance with the Vitruvians when they discover that the nomadic Royals may have skipped out on a deal. Namely, they failed to deliver the one natural-born empath to a restless demon named Jasper Set.

    Target Audiences

    Age: 35-54

    Target Gender: Universal,Female Leaning

    Setting

    Erde (an Earth-like planet)

    Based on a True Story

    No

    Publishing Details

    Status: Yes: with a Publisher

    Publisher: Skinny Leopard Media

    Year Published: 2020

    Starting Description

    When Lucene returns to Erde with Tanager, Cepheus, and Roman, she voluntarily undergoes a battery of tests at TARA (The Terrestrial Academy of Research and Awareness) to aid Data Collectors in understanding how their empathic skills work.

    Ending Description

    Reverend Isabella helps save Lucene from the demon Jasper Set after Lucene's powers are "short-circuited." In doing so, Isabella also accidentally opens a portal to an alternate realm of reality, letting out all manner of creatures.

    Group Specific

    Information not completed

    Hard Copy Available

    No

    ISBN

    ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 0990335283

    Mature Audience Themes

    Information not completed

    Plot - Other Elements

    Happy Ending,Meaningful Message,Philosophical Questions,Twist

    Plot - Premise

    Overcoming Monster/Villain,Internal Journey/Rebirth,Quest

    Main Character Details

    Name: Lucene Jones

    Age: 33

    Gender: Female

    Role: Protagonist

    Key Traits: Clumsy,Complex,Empathetic,Crazy,Insecure,Outspoken,Funny,Sarcastic,Educated,Naive

    Additional Character Details

    Name: Tanager Blackletter

    Age: 57 (In Erde Years)

    Gender: Male

    Role: Protagonist

    Key Traits: Charming,Empathetic,Faithful,Educated,Honorable,Selfless,Skillful,Sophisticated

    Additional Character Details

    Name: Cepheus Baruch

    Age: 67 (In Royal Years)

    Gender: Male

    Role: mentor

    Key Traits: Complex,Empathetic,Faithful,Honorable,Leader,Selfless,Visionary,Secretive

    Additional Character Details

    Name: Jasper Set

    Age: Ancient (He's a demon, after all.)

    Gender: Male

    Role: antagonist

    Key Traits: Aggressive,Badass,Criminal,Crazy,Villainous,Narcisstic,Blunt,Power Hungry,Outspoken,Skillful,Sarcastic,Funny,Unapologetic,Lone Wolf

    Development Pitch

    The Data Collectors Trilogy has been called a "Political Space Opera with Touches of Magic Realism” with “Shapeshifting Aliens, Endangered Earthlings and a Sci-Fi Adventure Full of Whimsy." The series follows the misadventures of Lucene Jones, a natural-born empath of two genetically-enhanced Data Collectors as she attempts to uncover her past and rebuild her life with the Peace-Keepers on Erde. The story is filled with quirky characters like Jasper Set, a power-hungry demon, Reverend Isabella, a priestess with questionable powers, Morphinae, a shape-shifting Balance-Keeper, and Cepheus Baruch, a former reptile-like Royal who abandoned the Training Grounds and the throne at a young age. The trilogy is easily adaptable as an anime or cartoon series, TV or streaming service series, a graphic novel collection, or a 3-part movie series. The trilogy draws awareness on cultural and social themes including climate change, challenging stereotypical age and gender roles, relationships, and sexual orientation, immigration, segregation, and class systems—cleverly disguised as entertainment. It is sci-fi, romance, and adventure, with a comedic element that leaves the audience not knowing whether to laugh, cry or get angry.

    Genre

    ACTION, ROMANCE, LGBT, DRAMA, RELIGION, POLITICS, WAR, FANTASY

    Brief

    After finally arriving on Erde, Lucene, Cepheus, and Tanager face new problems when they lean that the Royals have teamed up with the dangerous and volatile Null. The Vitruvians and the Erde people are forced to form an unlikely partnership in an attempt to save Earth from certain destruction. Lucene continues to form close relationships with Cepheus, Tanager, Fatima, Roman, and Ivan as they work together to ensure Erde and Earth’s protection. Reverend Isabella is able to contain Jasper, the Null threat, in a space between dimensions, but she doesn’t know how long she’s staved off the inevitable.

    Overall Rating

    GOOD

    Point of View

    THIRD PERSON

    Narrative Elements

    Authors Writing Style: EXCELLENT

    Characterization: GOOD

    Commerciality: GOOD

    Franchise Potential: EXCELLENT

    Pace: FAIR

    Premise: GOOD

    Structure: GOOD

    Theme: FAIR

    Accuracy of Book Profile

    It is accurate.

    Draw of Story

    The highly visual and engaging writing style drew me into this story immediately. The writer does a wonderful job of juggling a lot of characters and storylines, but for the most part, they’re all equally riveting. Lucene is such an empathetic and likable character. From the very start, it’s easy to root for her and care about her fate.

    Possible Drawbacks

    Certain storylines are less compelling than others in this project. Isabella and Odessa’s chapters, for example, don’t hook readers the same way that other storylines do. Developing these characters in more detail from the start would make it easier for readers to engage with them. The plot also sometimes skips past details that feel very important. An example can be found on the top of page 267, when Jasper has suddenly rounded up Ivan, Roman, Far, Lucene, Tanager, Moksha, and Cepheus. If Jasper could simply do this from the beginning, why did he wait until now? Explaining these logical questions would benefit the book. Fatima’s presence is also sorely missed in this book. She’s such a bright and vivid character with a distinct voice, but she doesn’t get to do much in this sequel. Weaving her into the story in a more meaningful way would be beneficial.

    Use of Special Effects

    THE STORY RELIES HEAVILY ON SPECIAL EFFECTS

    Primary Hook of Story

    Lucene’s ultimate fate is the greatest hook for this sequel. Readers of the first book will already love Lucene, and knowing that she’s in danger (alongside Erde and the Earth) will hook readers immediately. On a larger scale, the vivid world that this story transports readers to also serves as a wonderful hook. Erde is wonderfully described and original. It’s a fun place to escape to.

    Fanbase Potential

    There’s no question that fans of the fantasy/sci-fi genre will take interest in this film if it’s adapted. There’s also something here for viewers looking for some romance, as well as fans of the more dramatic political genre. Because this project offers something for just about everyone, it will likely inspire a large fanbase.

    Awards Potential

    While it’s no criticism to say that this film feels more like a summer blockbuster than an indie drama, this fact does mean that it probably won’t have Awards potential.

    Envisioned Budget

    MEDIUM BUDGET (MEDIUM TO LARGE BUDGET)

    Similar Films/TV Series

    ENDER'S GAME, VALERIAN, ELYSIUM

    What’s New About the Story

    The humanization of the characters in this story makes the story automatically feel unique for a sci-fi piece. While the world is well crafted, the characters don’t suffer as a result. The different alien races in this project also feel completely original and interesting. The plot feels both familiar and classic in a way, yet it’s totally original and impressive in how unique it is. The writer has truly imagined a vivid and well crafted world for this story.

    Lead Characters

    Lucene’s powers automatically make this story stand out in its genre. She feels deeply human and flawed, despite being extremely powerful.

    Uniqueness of Story

    For fans of the sci-fi/fantasy genre, this project absolutely feels like a rare gem. There are some inconsistencies when it comes to the plot and the characters though, and further development would make this project an even stronger pitch.

    Possible Formats

    Film: Studio, Streaming TV Series: Network, Cable

    Analyst Recommendation

    CONSIDER

    Justification

    There’s so much to love about this project. The writing is strong, the world is easy to get lost in, and the characters are brilliant. This is an incredibly strong sequel, and it succeeds both in building the stakes of the greater story, and in building the relationships between the characters.

    Brief

    When the Royals team up with the dangerous and volatile Null, the Vitruvians and the Erde people are forced to form an unlikely partnership in an attempt to save Earth from certain destruction. Lucene, a Data Collected with empathetic powers beyond what she even knows, continues to form close relationships with Cepheus, Tanager, Fatima, Roman, and Ivan as they work together to ensure Erde and Earth’s protection.

    What We Liked

    With vivid characters, riveting socio-political conflict, and a well crafted fantasy/sci-fi world, this script provides readers with a well-written read that is engaging from start to finish. The story progresses forward in an organic way, and the tension builds steadily and naturally. Lucene, the protagonist, is a well formed character. She has a nuanced personality, interesting and unique powers, and romantic entanglements that make for strong drama and intrigue. Above all else, this book is confidently written. It juggles complex storylines, numerous notable characters, and a world that feels completely authentic and believable.

    Film: With a clear beginning, middle, and end and a great setup for another film, this project would be ideal as a sci-fi franchise. This project (and the first novel) clearly set up a cinematic universe that would dazzle and delight viewers. The visuals are punchy and well written. Because the writing is already very visual, it’s easy to see how well this story would work on the big screen.

    Key points: Vivid and intriguing world. Fantastic characters with nuanced personalities and clear motivations. A strong structure and impressive handling of countless storylines. Dramatic tension and a cathartic release as the characters finally reach the New Assembly. A plot that feels totally original and fresh.

    Synopsis

    The prelude reminds readers of the events of the first book. Tanager and Cepheus, professors at TARA are returning to Erde’s home planet in Section 1 with Lucene Jones and Roman Aurelius from Earth. TARA sent Data Collectors to Earth to try and save humanity, but their initiative is still threatened by those who would rather auction off Earth to the highest bidder. Lucene is a
    special Data Collector who appears to have her skills naturally. The Royals want her for her powers. The Vitruvians also want Lucene, but their intentions are unclear. Now there will be a New Assembly in which Erdelings and Vitruvians must form an uneasy alliance.

    September. Four Months before the New Assembly: Ivan and Cepheus touch base. The government is continuing to harass Ivan and Fatima, and Cepheus feels it is his fault because he showed Ivan how to build a vessel that will take he and Fatima to Erde.

    26 Years Ago. Just After the Contrast was Signed: Jasper Set and the Null, black hole dwellers that exist to survive and to destroy anything in their paths, move through the universe, seeking chaos. Thanks to Jasper’s recent contract with the Royals, he was his next target in mind.

    26 Years Ago. Before the Original Assembly: Sabrina and Hamish, the sovereigns assigned to the Training Grounds, meet with Jasper. Hamish and Sabrina seek to redirect Jasper and the Null so that they can claim Earth. They tell Jasper he can have Lucene in exchange for his help. He agrees to a 30-year contract in exchange for Lucene, and he gives Sabrina the power to control the weather on Earth.

    August. Five Months Before the New Assembly: Fredo recalls how Hamish lashed out and killed his wife due to her cruelty towards their son, Cepheus. Fredo tells Hamish that the baby is awake and in good health. He also tells Hamish that Moksha has been found living on Erde, but she has claimed sanctuary. They decide to send Far, a prophesier who escaped from his home planet, to claim sanctuary on the same preserve and try to learn more about Moksha.

    May. Eight Months Before the New Assembly. Tanager, Roman, and Cepheus describe their fears about Lucene. She’s been exhibiting strange behaviors, and they fear the trauma she’s been through may have caused a mental illness. For the next month, her behavior becomes worse, until everyone agrees that it’s best to keep her in a sleeping dormant state until they arrive at Erde.

    September. Four Months before the New Assembly: Tanager, Lucene, Roman, and Cepheus arrive at the Western Cross. Cepheus meets and connects with Moksha, the Royal in hiding. Tanager and Royal run into Far, who has arrived to investigate Moksha. Meanwhile, Lucene is feeling much better on Erde. She’s calmer and feeling free. She goes out to buy clothes and groceries.

    October. Three Months Before the New Assembly: Commander Royce, the head of Erde’s Planetary Defense League, meets with Representative Dallen, a Vitruvian representative, and Lucene, Cepheus, and Tanager. Dallen tells the others about the deal the Royals made with the Null. For this reason, Vitruvia and Erde need to work together in order to save Earth and each other. Reverend Isabella and Odessa talk and Odessa tells Isabella that she should consider becoming a Virtuvian IPP member. Odessa also reveals that she knows Isabella is more than 700 years old based on an old photograph. Isabella finally agrees to help Odessa and the Vitruvians.

    August. Five Months Before the New Assembly: With Sabrina dead, Hamish renegotiates the terms of his contract with Jasper. If Jasper can redirect the Null and roll over Hamish’s Royal superiors, he’ll give Jasper Lucene as well as Far, who has the ability to jump between worlds.
    The contract will add five years and will declare that Jasper must try his best not to hurt Hamish’s son, Cepheus.

    October. Three Months Before the New Assembly: Lucene, Cepheus, and Tanager show Dallen to the Makerspace. After taking a tour, Dallen asks Lucene to dinner and she accepts. Lucene also meets with Tanager’s students to try and figure her enhanced empathy out through a series of tests. After class, Tanager asks Lucene to dinner, but it’s the night of her date with Dallen. Lucene’s date with Dallen has mixed results. At times he’s condescending, but she also finding him cultured and polite in ways. On her way home, the Circuit is shut down, so Lucene stays the night in Dallen’s hotel room. The next morning, Tanager informs her that the Circuit was shut down because Mallory, the very same costume maker that Lucene bought clothes from, had been murdered. After 100 years of no conflict, something has changed. Constable Melokuhle investigates the murder. He speaks to Roman and Far, and believes Lucene must be considered a suspect. It is Moksha who ends up being implicated though, but Cepheus, Tanager, and one of his students believe it may be a set up. After Odessa and Isabella’s conversation, Isabella has managed to pack her sanctuary and draw crowds. And Lucene and Dallen have been dating for weeks. During an assembly meeting, Dallen reveals the existence of the baby to the people. He also “fudges” the truth for the greater good. Afterwards, he pushes Lucene to have a “spa day” in order to look the part of his partner. She does, but all of it makes her miserable.

    November. Before the New Assembly: Cepheus touches base with Fatima and Ivan, who have nearly reached Erde. During a vitals check, Fatima learns she is two months pregnant with Ivan’s baby. They head to Erde. At TARA, Lucene continues the tests of her powers. Neroni, the student who solved Mallory’s murder, uses a coin from Mallory’s shop, which sets off red flags.
    During a mishap with one of the tests, Lucene intercepts a stone after it hits a student in the head and it drags her into the lake.

    57 Years Ago. Before Everything: A memory from the past reveals the Moksha saved Cepheus’ life when she was just a child.

    November. Before the New Assembly: Tanager checks on Lucene in her cottage. He tells her that what happened wasn’t her fault, and that she deserves better than Dallen. She doesn’t agree.

    August. Before the Death at the Eastern Cross: Jasper meets with Far and tells him he’ve come to help him achieve his objective. He tells Far he needs him to kill someone for he and Hamish.

    November. Before the New Assembly: Roman tells Far the he seems distant, and Far comforts him. Roman asks why the Constable might have traced Mallory’s death to Far, but Far avoids the question. Moksha visits Cepheus despite her house arrest. She tells him that they burned her house down and she has nowhere to go. Cepheus tells her he can stay with her at the
    school where he’s currently living. Lucene and Fatima chat, catch up, and eagerly await when they finally reunite. They discuss the baby happily, but when Fatima asks Lucene about her love life, she logs off quickly. Lucene, it seems, is right to be unsure about Dallen, because he essentially ghosts her when he hears about the incident at the school. He leaves her without an explanation.

    January. One Week Before the New Assembly: Tanager and Lucene finally go on a date together. It’s lovely and Tanager is obviously far more considerate than Dallen ever was.

    Today. January. The day of the new assembly: During the assembly, Jasper Set unexpectedly takes the floor. He uses his powers to manipulate the meeting and sway decisions. The vote comes in and the assembly votes not to band together against the Royals and the Null.

    In the meeting, Jasper made it clear that he knew more about Data Collectors than he should.
    Afterwards, Tanager scolds Roman for sharing too much with Far. Roman argues that he has a right to talk to his partner. Dallen walks Lucene home after the altercation. The next morning, Dallen leaves, commanding Morphinae and Odessa to leave with him.

    February. One Month After the New Assembly: Odessa and Morphinae talk to Isabella. After being told to return to Vitruvia immediately, Odessa told her superiors she wasn’t feeling well and couldn’t return yet. Morphinae, surprisingly, backed the story. Jasper unexpectedly appears at the Sanctuary, and Odessa, Isabella, and Morphinae realize that the greatest weapon against him is love. When they direct love in his direction, he leaves. With Jasper gone, Odessa confesses that she likes Morphinae. She swims away before he can tell her, but he likes her too. Fatima and Ivan finally arrive at Erde, but they immediately have to go into quarantine for their own safety, and for the safety of the baby. All the while, Jasper contemplates how he can win over love, and he realizes he may have to destroy the one thing he truly loves: himself. Jasper uses his supernatural powers to round up Ivan, Roman, Far, Lucene, Tanager, Moksha, and Cepheus and attach bomb vests to each of them. He’s unable to get Fatima, who remains safe.
    Jasper tells them that if anyone leaves the circle, the vests will all explode. If no one leaves, time will run out and they will still explode. If, however, one person chooses to shoot themselves, the others may live. Ivan picks up the gun and shoots at Far, who disappears. The others take the opportunity to run. After escaping, Lucene fears something has happened to her powers. The world seems suspiciously quiet. Though the Vitruvians have mostly left, Odessa and Morphinae agree to try and secretly gain support. They fear that if they don’t stop the Royals from taking over Earth, then Hamish will come for Erde next. The Peace-Makers decide that after 100 years of peace, they must prepare for a war.

    March. Two Months After the Assembly: A doctor tells Tanager and Lucene that their loss of powers might be permanent. They’re not harmed in any other way, but they’re normal. Jasper talks to Lucene and tries to get her to send him to another dimension, where he can find other, potentially more powerful versions of Lucene. She isn’t able to do it because of her issues with her powers, but Isabella opens a portal and sends Lucene away.

    June. Five Months After the New Assembly: Cepheus and Moksha grow closer, and Far returns to the Military Training Grounds. He tells Hamish that Jasper is gone. Far, who is a prophet, tells Hamish that he sees he and his baby ruling the galaxy. He also believes that Jasper will return. Far encourages Hamish to turn his sights onto Erde, a planet that will be easier to overtake than Earth. Ivan asks Fatima to marry him, and she giddily agrees. They decide, with Cepheus’ permission, to name their daughter after his daughter who died. Cepheus is touched.

    July. Six Months after the Assembly: Tanager builds a house for Lucene and they decide to live together.

    About The Author

    Danielle Palli is a writer, business owner, and podcast host living in Southwest Florida. She finds joy in nature, travel, the arts, and singing and dancing.