Asha Anderson: The Dragon

Dustin Archibald

Book Cover

GENRE

ACTION SCI-FI YOUNG ADULT

    Core Theme

    GOOD VERSUS EVIL, FRIENDSHIP

    TIME PERIOD

    Future,Contemporary

    COMPARABLE TITLES

    FALLEN, GIFTED

    CHARACTER LIST

    ASHA ANDERSON: 14. LEAD. BRAVE AND LOYAL GIRL WITH SUPERPOWERS.

    LILY DONOVAN: 14. ASHA'S BEST FRIEND. VERY INTELLIGENT.

    MICK GALLOWS: 14. ASHA'S FRIEND. STRANGE, HAPPY, AND CURIOUS.

    KERI SHAW: 14. BULLIES ASHA, LILY, AND MICK. HEARTLESS.

    TOM ANDERSON: ASHA'S FATHER. STRUGGLES TO BE THERE FOR HIS DAUGHTER AFTER HIS WIFE'S DEATH BUT GRADUALLY LEARNS.

    ATHENA: ANTAGONIST WHO WAS A LEADER OF THE DRAGON. TRIES TO CONVINCE ASHA TO JOIN.

    Logline

    A broken girl. An unstoppable evil. Can she rise up to defeat a deadly criminal organization or will she be destroyed along with her city?

    Target Audiences

    Age: 13-17

    Target Gender: Universal

    Setting

    Fictional City: Ascension's Cross

    Based on a True Story

    No

    Publishing Details

    Status: Yes: self-published

    Publisher: Self-Published

    Year Published: 2018

    Starting Description

    14-year-old Asha Anderson's birthday trip to the metropolis of Ascension's Cross was supposed to be the best ever. Instead, it ended in her mother's death at the hands of the criminal organization called The Dragon and Asha being cursed with terrifying abilities.

    Ending Description

    Despite her rage at her mother's death and her life becoming a terrible mess, Asha learns what it means to be a hero. In epic battle, she takes the fight to The Dragon and defeats them once and for all.

    Group Specific

    Information not completed

    Hard Copy Available

    Yes

    ISBN

    978-1-7751889-0-2

    Mature Audience Themes

    Information not completed

    Plot - Other Elements

    Coming of Age,Happy Ending,Meaningful Message,Philosophical Questions

    Plot - Premise

    Overcoming Monster/Villain,Other

    Main Character Details

    Name: Asha Anderson

    Age: 14

    Gender: Female

    Role: Protagonist

    Key Traits: Adventurous,Complex,Empathetic,Faithful,Gracious,Heroic,Leader,Naive,Underdog,Modest,Selfless

    Additional Character Details

    Name: Lily Donovan

    Age: 14

    Gender: Female

    Role: Sidekick

    Key Traits: Decisive,Educated,Skillful,Outspoken

    Additional Character Details

    Name: Mick Gallows

    Age: 14

    Gender: Male

    Role: sidekick

    Key Traits: Adventurous,Charming,Clumsy,Sarcastic,Funny

    Additional Character Details

    Name: Athena

    Age: 30

    Gender: Female

    Role: antagonist

    Key Traits: Leader,Manipulative,Sophisticated,Secretive,Visionary,Power Hungry,Charming,Confident,Criminal,Engaging,Educated

    Development Pitch

    With the superhero genre now solidified in movies, TV, shows, and streaming, this story is ready to be taken to the next level. How would an average teen actually react if they were given powers? What if they were the only person in the world to have special abilities? Asha’s story takes a girl who’s lost everything - her mother, her home, her school - and gives her amazing, terrifying abilities. Its fight scenes, which grow from minor skirmishes to epic battles, highlight the power and desperation of the world’s first superhero. Standing in her way is The Dragon, a criminal organization bent on destroying the city. They use everything in their power to terrorize the populace. When all Asha wants is a normal life, they push her to act, despite her fears. This story explores themes of friendship, loss, family, and what it truly means to be a hero. Set in the not too distant future, technologically advanced city of Ascension’s Cross, this first story in a series promises an engaging new take on the superhero genre. I envision a city of lights, tormented by a group of criminals, and a lonely, lost teen girl trying to make her way in the world. Ideally a movie, it would feature heartfelt moments interspersed with epic battle scenes, intricate camera work, and a moving score.

    Genre

    ACTION, SUSPENSE, THRILLER, DRAMA, FANTASY

    Brief

    A 14-year-old girl's mother dies in an accident that leaves the girl with a strange medical condition. Soon that condition evolves into super powers, and the girl must use her powers to help protect her city and her new best friends from a criminal organization called the Dragon.

    Overall Rating

    GOOD

    Point of View

    THIRD PERSON

    Narrative Elements

    Authors Writing Style: EXCELLENT

    Characterization: GOOD

    Commerciality: GOOD

    Franchise Potential: EXCELLENT

    Pace: GOOD

    Premise: GOOD

    Structure: GOOD

    Theme: GOOD

    Accuracy of Book Profile

    The short summary makes the book seem like it is for a younger audience than the book is actually for, especially the first sentence. The additional character details should include Lily and Mick as well, not just Asha, since they are very important characters as well. The rest of the profile is accurate.

    Draw of Story

    The story starts off with a flashback to Asha's 14th birthday, the day when her mother was killed by The Dragon and the day when she accidentally got her superpowers. It is an exciting opening scene, and the pacing continues to be quick and exciting as the story progresses; the action doesn't let up until the very end. The world-building is also intriguing and draws the reader in. This is a world in the not-too-distant-future where everything is similar to our own world but more high-tech, and we see these exciting technological advancements right off the bat.

    Possible Drawbacks

    At times the bullying felt a bit too extreme. The kids are obviously brutal and mean, and kids can be like that sometimes, but I think there needs to be some redeeming factor or admirable factor about the bullies that allows them to have the kind of power and popularity that they have in the school. If they were just openly terrible people who never did any good to anyone, they wouldn't have the respect of the student body. Or maybe we see something that explains their behavior or humanizes them a bit – are they secretly insecure? Do they have issues at home? etc.

    Use of Special Effects

    THE STORY RELIES HEAVILY ON SPECIAL EFFECTS

    Primary Hook of Story

    The world that the author has created is unique and intriguing. The characters are also easy to root for – Asha isn't perfect and can be impulsive and reckless, but she is brave and loyal, and she has strong friendships with Lily and Mick. In addition, this book has great action sequences. As Asha comes into her powers, the battles evolve from little arguments with bullies at school to life-or death fights with people flying out windows and dodging bullets.

    Fanbase Potential

    If adapted, this could potentially have a solid fanbase. Fans of science fiction and young adult fiction would enjoy this concept as a film, and this is a story that could appeal to people of any gender.

    Awards Potential

    No, I do not see this having awards potential since young adult fiction is rarely recognized with awards.

    Envisioned Budget

    MEDIUM BUDGET

    Similar Films/TV Series

    SPIDER-MAN, ARROW, FALLEN

    What’s New About the Story

    There are very few stories about female superheroes who are only 14 and live in a science-fiction world. This makes the story stand out from the thousands of other superhero stories out there. While the premise is already quite unique, to make it more unique, maybe take out tropes like Asha not needing her glasses when her powers start evolving.

    Lead Characters

    Asha is a stand-out protagonist. She is only 14, and yet she has suffered tremendous loss, since she watched her mother die on her 14th birthday. She refuses to open up to her dad and isolates herself in her misery until Lily and Mick come along. The steady growth of her friendship with them and her relationship with her father help characterize her as a loyal, caring friend and daughter. Asha is impulsive and reckless, but it is because she is brave and selfless like her mother. She isn't afraid to stand up for herself and others, and it is exciting to watch her fight the bullies and criminals who try to attack her.

    Uniqueness of Story

    I would say this is a rare gem. The characters, pacing, and action are all strong, and there is plenty of conflict. In terms of what can be improved, I would suggest making the opening flashback a bit clearer, since I wasn't entirely sure what went down in that scene until later in the book. I would also try to give the bad guys more human sides and clearer motivations. We never see what makes Keri and the others how they are or why Athena, Toro, and the others are wreaking havoc on the city besides the insight that they enjoy hurting people.

    Possible Formats

    Film - Indie, Film - Streaming, Film - Studio, TV Series - Cable, TV Series - Network, TV Series - Streaming, Unscripted

    Analyst Recommendation

    CONSIDER

    Justification

    People love superhero stories, and there are very few that focus on a 14-year-old female protagonist. Asha is a unique protagonist for a story like this, and her friendship with Lily and Mick will appeal to viewers. The writing, pacing, and world-building are strong. I think the antagonists could be better characterized which is why this is a consider and not a recommend at this point.

    Brief

    14-year-old Asha Anderson's mother dies in a fiery explosion that leaves Asha with an unexplainable medical condition. Several months later, Asha and her father move to Ascension's Cross, a futuristic city with advanced technology everywhere. As Asha deals with bullies at her new school and befriends two other outcasts, she realizes that her condition has developed into superpowers. She uses her powers to fight The Dragon, a criminal organization intent on wreaking havoc on the city.

    What We Liked

    Asha Anderson: The Dragon is an exciting sci-fi young adult novel with a courageous protagonist, tons of action, and franchise potential. Asha isn't your typical superhero – she is a 14-year-old girl who accidentally develops powers after being in a fiery explosion that kills her mother. While Asha can be brave and strong, it's a good thing she has her two best friends, Lily and Mick, to rein her in, since she tends to occasionally act recklessly or impulsively. The core trio demonstrates the power of outcasts coming together to combat oppressive figures and helps convey the central themes about good versus evil and standing up to bullies. Audiences will enjoy the originality and creativity of this futuristic world, and they will be entertained by the never-ending action and conflict.

    Film: Superhero stories generally lend themselves well to film, and this story is no exception. In fact, Asha's story would be a refreshing superhero film, since there are very few 14-year-old female superheroes whose stories have made it to the big screen. This book is action-packed and filled with suspense, and the plot is structured into acts that would easily translate to film. The story has franchise potential, since we see at the end of the book that Athena isn't done wreaking havoc on the city or coming after Asha quite yet. The battle scenes would be extremely exciting to watch play out in a film, and the core trio have a friendship that would be very appealing to movie-goers.

    TV: Asha's story is exciting and would make for excellent television. She is dedicated to protecting her city and her friends from evil, just like the lead in the show Arrow, and she can combat different foes as the seasons progress. Adapting Asha's story for TV would allow us to get to know the exciting core trio even better, since we could dig into their pasts and their stories more and more as the show goes on. The concept would lend itself well to a procedural format of a show and also would have serialized elements that build on the previous episodes. This story could go in many directions, and Ascension's Cross provides an original setting where so much could happen.

    Key points: 1. strong female protagonist
    2. original superhero story
    3. good versus evil
    4. good guys win
    5. lots of exciting action/battle scenes

    Synopsis

    In the Not Too Distant Future, ASHA ANDERSON (14) and her MOTHER are in the big city of Ascension’s Cross to celebrate Asha’s 14th birthday. They are having a wonderful day until a criminal organization called The Dragon appears, attacking people and setting fires. Asha’s mother runs into a burning building to try to save a baby, and Asha tries to follow her. There is an explosion, and Asha’s mother is killed. A power transformer falls on Asha and electrocutes her.

    Six months later, Asha and her father TOM ANDERSON move to Ascension’s Cross. Asha isn’t used to living in such a high-tech city, and she nervously attends her first day of school. LILY DONOVAN (14) is assigned to show her around. Lily is very intelligent, and she points out the mean, popular kids to Asha – TREVOR, ANDREW, CRYSTAL, and KERI. After school, Keri and her crew approach Asha and play a prank on her that ends up with Asha locked outside on the roof of the school in the freezing winter. MICK GALLOWS, a strange boy who always seems happy and likes to stir up trouble for the bullies, rescues Asha.

    Asha arrives at school and yells at Keri for the dangerous prank, shoving her. Suddenly, Asha falls to the ground with tremors. Her condition is linked to her accident six months prior, but doctors cannot explain it. Asha walks home from school and is attacked by an evil man in jet boots who is a member of The Dragon. She somehow pulls a manhole off of the ground and hurls it at the man, knocking him out with the force. Her unnatural strength reappears the following day in gym class, and she is unsure where it comes from. Later, Lily and Asha run into Mick at the mall just as The Dragon attacks. Asha runs at the criminals, slamming her palm into one’s chest, sending him and several others flying out of the building. She carries Lily and Mick to safety and tells them she has no idea how she did that.

    The trio are all close friends now, and Mick invites Asha and Lily’s families over for dinner. Lily and her mom, EVA DONOVAN, are already at the Gallows’ house when Asha and her father arrive. Eva works at HAAS, a high-tech lab, and Asha’s dad is a security guard at the Hydro Plant next door. After dinner, Asha tells her friends about what happened to her mom. Later, Mick tells Lily and Asha about another Dragon Attack that happened at the West Bridge, and they go investigate. The getaway truck that the criminals used supposedly just disappeared, and they are determined to find it. They find an old warehouse that leads to a secret underground room with the truck, but the truck is empty. Suddenly, Dragon boys start shooting at them, and Asha’s powers kick in – she knocks them out and carries Mick and Lily to safety. Mick calls the police tip line to tell them where they found the truck, but they think he is prank-calling because of his age. The trio realizes that the attack was staged as a distraction while the Dragon members stole copper wire from the truck.

    Asha wants to investigate a hardware store where she thinks The Dragon will strike next to steal magnets, but Mick and Lily don’t want to put themselves in danger again and refuse. Asha goes alone and fights the Dragon members there, taking down many of them before she manages to escape. At school the next day, all of the students are sent home after there are 10 Dragon attacks all over the city. Before they go home, Mick yells at Asha for doing something so reckless. Asha storms off, and when Keri taunts her, she grabs her by the throat. The next day, Asha’s dad left her a note telling her to stay home because of the dangerous attacks going on, but she ignores him. When she goes home, she finds her dad waiting for her, worried sick. She opens up to him about how unhappy she’s been since her mother died, and they grow closer. He gets called into work again and leaves, telling her to stay home once more. Just after he leaves, Lily calls her in a panic – she and Mick are at her mom’s office at HAAS, and The Dragon members are attacking. Asha hurries over and takes down Dragon members, then runs upstairs and finds her friends. ATHENA, a leader of The Dragon, shows up and implores Asha to join them, and when she refuses, Athena lets TORO, a vicious Dragon member with a metal arm, attack her. Asha tackles Toro out the window, and witnesses see this, but Asha glows when her powers are activated, so no one recognizes her.

    Asha realizes The Dragon members are using electromagnetic energy to take down all the power in the city (which is why they stole copper wire and magnets), and she realizes they will use the Hydro Plant next door as their main power source. She hurries over to the Hydro Plant. and finds the machine that she needs to unplug. However, it is shooting out lightning. As she approaches, she is shocked again and again; she is in agony and just manages to unplug the device before passing out. She wakes up and hurries home, and her dad gets home just after her; there was a police barricade by the plant, so he couldn’t get to work, meaning he was never in danger from the Dragon members who attacked the plant.

    Athena meets with her superior. They discuss how Asha foiled their plans this time but that they think they can bring her to their side; they obviously have more destructive plans for the city.

    Lily and Mick get Asha a Hero t-shirt, and the three friends are stronger than ever. Mick mentions to them that there is another criminal organization called the Crypt that they should look into.

    About The Author

    Dustin Archibald is an editor, tinkerer, entrepreneur, Kung Fu instructor, maker of strange things, and someone who loves to write young adult science fiction novels. He lives in Grande Prairie, Alberta with his wife and son.