YOUNG ADULT SCI-FI MYSTERY SUSPENSE / THRILLER ACTION ADVENTURE ROMANCE
DA VINCI CODE, THE SOCIETY
• LOGAN WEST: 17. LEAD. KIND AND INTUITIVE.
• EMMA JAMES: 17. LOGAN'S CRUSH.
• DR. ARENOT: 48. PROFESSOR WHO FIRST UNCOVERS MYSTERY IN COPAN RUINS.
• DR. QUIMBY: 45. ARENOT'S WIFE AND A PROFESSOR WORKING ON THE PROJECT AS WELL.
• BRYAN: 20S. HACKER WHO HELPS EMMA AND LOGAN.
• BARRETT: 60S. U.S. PRESIDENT WHO ASSISTS EMMA AND LOGAN.
American teenagers Logan and Emma find their lives going from ordinary to truly out of this world when a high school history project leads them to stumble upon the biggest mystery—and most dangerous secret—in history, which they determinedly set out to solve as romance blooms between them.
Target Gender: Universal
New Jersey, Philadelphia, Italy, Rome, Bologna, Norway, Washington DC, Area 51
Based on a True Story
Status: Yes: self-published
Publisher: Marc Jacobs
Year Published: 2019
An archaeologist discovers a hidden chamber with mysterious hieroglyphics under the Copán Ruins in Honduras. 5-years later, teenagers Logan & Emma find their lives going from ordinary to truly out of this world when a high school history project leads them to stumble upon the ancient mystery.
Logan & Emma, on the heels of a dangerous, thrilling & romantic race across the globe to solve the mystery, convince the President to take them below Area 51. There, they find an alien secret capable of ushering humanity into a new era of space exploration and a new mystery concerning Emma.
Information not completed
Hard Copy Available
eBook ISBN: 978-0-578-51959-3; Paperback ISBN: 978-0-578-51960-9
Mature Audience Themes
Information not completed
Plot - Other Elements
Coming of Age,Happy Ending,Twist
Plot - Premise
Quest,Rags to Riches,Overcoming Monster/Villain
Main Character Details
Name: Logan West
Key Traits: Adventurous,Aspiring,Modest,Underdog,Heartthrob
Additional Character Details
Name: Emma James
Key Traits: Adventurous,Aspiring,Charming,Confident,Outspoken,Heroic,Empathetic,Romantic,Decisive,Heartthrob
Additional Character Details
Name: Dr. Jonas Arenot
Key Traits: Adventurous,Aspiring,Complex,Confident,Educated,Honorable
Additional Character Details
Name: Professor Jill Quimbey
Key Traits: Adventurous,Aspiring,Badass,Confident,Honorable,Funny,Skillful
The Coordinate is a thrilling YA Dan Brown-style action adventure that blends sci-fi and ancient conspiracies seamlessly. Logan West & Emma James grew up together but are now New Jersey high school seniors going in totally opposite directions after graduation. When they are assigned to work together on one last history project about a secret found under the Copán Ruins in Honduras, they hardly expect the monotony of high school life to change. Instead, as they decode a series of unexplained clues hidden within their history project, they manage to unfold an ancient mystery with powerful implications for the present day. As they embrace the adventure they’ve stumbled upon and a growing romantic attraction to each other, Logan & Emma find themselves caught up in a dangerous, high-stakes race across the globe - pursued by powerful villains who crave the secret for themselves - to decipher mankind’s past in order to save humanity’s future, not to mention their own lives, with a mystery that just might reach towards the stars. "The Coordinate is a thrilling adventure... as if we’re following a team of Lara Croft and Indiana Jones as teenagers..." (Self-Publishing Review)-- "A thrilling cross-continental Dan Brown-style action adventure that blends sci-fi and ancient conspiracies seamlessly" (Indie Reader)-- "An exciting, dangerous, and globe-trotting adventure in this YA sci-fi novel... a Dan Brown–style adventure story” (Kirkus Reviews)--
Logan and Emma are two high school seniors who reconnect after being paired up for a history project. A simple assignment to solve a mystery ends up taking the duo across the world and into the stars to rewrite history.
Authors Writing Style: EXCELLENT
Franchise Potential: EXCELLENT
Accuracy of Book Profile
The book profile completely reflects the story. Something to improve the profile would be to remove descriptions of how attractive the underage protagonists are, especially the amount given to the female lead. Emma is a cool three-dimensional character regardless of how she looks, so describing her as "sexy" and "seductive" at 17 is not needed.
Draw of Story
The hero's journey is perfectly paced and the conspiracy disrupting the protagonists' routines starts in the first couple of pages. The mystery evolves in surprising but plausible ways while also allowing for characters' emotional growth that is worth investing in.
There is very little that was not a page turner. The threats posed to them by the villains could be introduced slightly earlier to increase tension. Antagonists are implied at first but do not become a reality for a while.
Use of Special Effects
THE STORY RELIES HEAVILY ON SPECIAL EFFECTS
Primary Hook of Story
The hook is that two teenagers solve an ancient Mayan mystery that rewrites colonialism and opens the gates for traveling to the stars.
Yes, this could have a Sci-fi and a YA fanbase which are both large markets. Conspiracy fans would also be an added fan base.
This could have awards potential for design due to its Mayan influence. It also might garner younger awards such as MTV or Teen Choice. It is more likely to win these rather than prestige awards because it is for a YA audience and action genre, neither of which are usually nominated for Oscar or Emmy type fare.
Similar Films/TV Series
NATIONAL TREASURE, DA VINCI'S CODE, PROJECT ALMANAC, CONSPIRACY THEORY, MAZE RUNNER, PAPER TOWNS, HOLES
What’s New About the Story
The uniqueness comes from the creative depth of the conspiracy matching plausible colonial history, geography, and astronomy to create a fun mystery involving potential aliens. The leads' romantic subplot, while charming, can be slightly formulaic at times, so adding surprise and intrigue to their dynamic would help it match the level of creativity of the main mystery.
Both characters have a lot of chemistry, but are well-rounded in their own right. They come from a common yet separate background and are talented at what the other one lacks. Both are very intelligent in a book smart and street smart sense without being too precocious.
Uniqueness of Story
This is a rare gem in likeable characters figuring out a dense but accessible mystery that is an original take on the lesser known Copan Ruins conspiracy theory. The story matches realistic dialogue with compelling internal and external conflicts that skillfully travel on an adventure around the world.
Film - Indie, Film - Streaming, Film - Studio, TV Series - Limited Run / Mini-Series, TV Series - Streaming
The pacing and mystery are creative and well done. There is high emotional investment in the characters and the adventure. It would be a great addition to the YA canon in that it is an adventure, but not dystopian. The story covers science, history, high school, world travel, romance, religion, aliens, and government conspiracy in a realistic manner that teenagers could plausibly conceive. It has a lot of franchise potential both with the same characters or following a different project partner mystery format.
Logan West is excited when his history teacher pairs him up with his longtime crush, Emma James, for a project about an ancient world mystery in the Copan ruins. When they begin their research, however, they find that someone is trying to deliberately hide anything related to the mystery. The two uncover more and more about the world and find themselves entangled in an international race for secrets to unlocking the universe.
What We Liked
- This is a young adult love story that opts for historical fiction, adventure, and a dash of science fiction with exciting plot twists as the setting instead of the vampires or high schools typical of the genre and thus is inherently unique, but what makes this story really worthwhile is the strong characters.
- Film: As a film, this would be an epic adventure story with a romance culminating in big fight scenes as the teens try to survive and uncover the mystery.
- TV: Young adults would tune in weekly to see the romance between Emma and Logan develop and stay for the exciting mysteries and fantastical world.
- Key points: Romance; Plot twists; Historical basis for fantastic elements; Happy ending; High stakes
In the ancient Copan ruins in the Honduran rainforest, archaeologist Dr. Arenot and his team of students discover a mysterious chamber that the hieroglyphics proclaim belongs to the White Eyed Star God. The ruins become wondered worldwide for their mystery.
Five years later, Logan West is a 17 year old high schooler who receives a class assignment from his history teacher to investigate an archaeological mystery and is assigned the Copan ruins. To his surprise and delight, his teacher has paired him with Emma James, his longtime crush. Emma and Logan were best friends as children but drifted apart as they matured into their teens, due in part to Logan's insecurities over his lower-class status and his father's abandonment of him and his mother. Now, Emma mostly hung out with a group of jocks including the muscular, boisterous Chad, who has made it clear to most of the other boys at the school that Emma is his. Logan has his own friends, but he is excited at the opportunity to reconnect with Emma. Emma and Logan attempt to begin their research for the project but discover that every website with useful information on the Copan ruins has been blocked or shows up as "page not found." Logan discovers internet archives that only piques the interest of the two further, to the point that Emma decides they skip school to contact the owner of the archive to try and see the hidden research on the ruins. They go to a comic store run by a twenty-something named Bryan who is reluctant to show them anything about the Copan ruins as the FBI and CIA and NSA and other agencies had all threatened him with possible six figure fines if he didn't take down the sites. However, he soon takes a liking to the two and, after a $50 bribe, lets them see all the research.
Emma and Logan pore over the research, a series of hieroglyphic numbers and translations. The two quickly figure out that the numbers are coordinates and, when tracked, make constellations of stars. In fact, they realize it's a map of the entire night sky... a star map. They study the constellations further and discover that they are arranged in such a way as to perfectly line up over ancient ruins and landmarks on Earth; including Stonehenge, the Great Pyramid of Giza, and Area51. Emma and Logan get to know each other and Emma confides in Logan that she is not dating anyone and Chad is gay but in the closet and so she lets him use her as a beard. To unfold the mystery further, they discover that a 500-year old document they need to read is kept under lock and key in the Vatican Secret Archives. Logan is disappointed that their journey has come to an end, but then Emma reveals that she has a cousin who studies in Italy and knows someone who works in the Vatican archives. Logan panics as he has no way of paying for a flight to Italy, but before he can protest, Emma has bought them tickets and soon they are off to Rome.
In Rome, they are able to enter the Vatican and see the document they had requested but are alarmed to learn that someone else has requested to see the same documents that day. Logan begins to worry that someone is following them, and soon they find themselves under attack by men with guns. A car pulls up and the two people inside tell Logan and Emma to get in and the two seize the opportunity to escape the pursuit. Their saviors reveal themselves as Dr. Arenot and his wife, Professor Quimby, and explain that they have been working on this mystery for two years but it was only Logan and Emma who were able to find out the connection to Italy and the coordinates. They explain that what they are looking for in the ruins is something with the power to alter the course of history and as such many powerful governments are racing to find it. They take them back to their lab and introduce the teens to the NSA agents and FBI agents who they are working with and explain that the teens were under attack from terrorists who wanted to steal the information the teens had discovered. Together, the group discovers a new connection within the hieroglyphics and, following Emma's instructions, head to Norway, in search of the Norwegian Albo. While investigating a legendary ice cave in the picturesque Norwegian fjords, Emma discovers stones in a familiar formation and, after she touches each in a sequence, opens white portals. The group soon finds themselves under fire as another group has followed them into the caves. Logan manages to push Emma into a portal before the portals all disappear. In the ensuing firefight, Logan gets shot in the leg and Dr. Arenot is critically wounded.
The CIA comes, and Logan soon finds himself under questioning. It turns out that the research of Dr. Arenot and Professor Quimby was not actually backed by the FBI and NSA and CIA--it was backed by Russian information dealers posing as American intelligence agents. The Russian information dealers had planned on killing the teens once they had found the information they needed. The CIA agent interrogating Logan is the European CIA Director, and asks where Emma is. When Logan tries to explain the truth despite its incredulity, the agent threatens him and tells him that he will have to explain it to her wealthy, furious parents. The CIA agent gives Logan his personal cell phone number in case he remembers anything else or wants to tell him the truth, and sends him to Heathrow where he has a flight home. Logan realizes he has to save Emma and so instead of going home, he memorizes the CIA agent's cell phone number and gets rid of the phone so they can't track him. He thinks about what Emma would do and decides she would go to Stonehenge, another site identified in the Copan map. Once he gets there, he finds himself again under pursuit by the CIA who had installed a tracker in his leg when they treated his bullet wound, but before they are able to re-capture him, he activates a portal and escapes. He soon finds himself in a floating pyramid of light and hears voices in his head telling him to find the star that rises before the brightest of them all.
Logan wakes up suddenly, and it is again the morning of October 17th, the day he was first assigned his history project. He wonders if it was all a dream, as other than his memories, he has nothing to prove his international experiences ever happened--no bullet wound in his leg, no damage to his cellphone. He goes to school hoping to talk to Emma, but to his distress she is nowhere to be found. In history class, he's relieved that he is able to correctly predict the assignment and that he is still paired with Emma, but she isn't in class. Suddenly, she enters the class and without a word to anyone else she kisses Logan in front of everyone. She remembers everything that had happened too! The two leave and confirm that everything they experienced did happen, and realize that they need to go to Area 51 in order to solve the final part of the puzzle. They are worried that they won't be able to get into Area 51. Emma suggests that they reach out to the president, as their current president, Barrett, is an eccentric futurist who has hinted he may believe in aliens. The two travel again to the comic store where, using the information they already know about Bryan, they convince him to help them get on the dark web and learn how to hack into a cell phone. They hack into the phone of the CIA Director who interrogated Logan and find the personal cell phone number of the president, and send him a text briefly explaining their situation, including classified details no one else could know. They go to the White House and the president lets them talk, and after listening he agrees to take them both to Area 51. They go to Area 51 where they activate secret technology that has laid dormant since its discovery, opening up a galactic portal to travel through the stars. They also discover that Emma has been there before, and a mystery starts to unfold as to how and when, because Emma has no memory of it. The president is astonished and offers them both college internships working with the White House on secret projects, which both teens enthusiastically accept.