The Preserve: A Novel

Book Cover

ACTION ADVENTURE CRIME DRAMA MYSTERY SUSPENSE/THRILLER HISTORICAL FICTION WAR

1940s & '50s

Steve Anderson

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Logline

The US Territory of Hawaii, 1948: A WWII veteran turned deserter seeks a cure to his combat fatigue (PTSD) at a mysterious facility called the Preserve, but his handlers aim to turn him into a vile assassin for a deadly plot that runs all the way to General MacArthur.

Genre

Action,Adventure,Crime,Drama,Mystery,Suspense/Thriller,Historical Fiction,War

Short Summary

Wendell Lett, a WWII hero turned deserter on the lam, reports to a secret base for a cure to his severe “combat fatigue” (PTSD). Lett will do anything to rid himself of his nightmares and violent episodes. And he thinks he’s cut a good deal: he won't be tried for desertion if he takes the treatment.


After narrowly fleeing the Preserve with his fellow resister Kanani, Lett finds safe haven in a remote rainforest valley on Hawaii. Here, Lett learns that Kanani and her confidante Miss Mae intend to repay his allegiance to them by funding his secret passage back to his wife and boy in Belgium.

Setting

Hawaii, The Philippines, Belgium (backstory only)

Based on a True Story

No

Plot - Premise

Voyage and Return,Internal Journey/Rebirth

Plot - Other Elements

Twist

Mature Audience Themes

Language/Profanity

Main Character Details

Name: Wendell Lett

Age: 25

Gender: Male

Role: Protagonist

Key Traits: Complex,Desperate,Empathetic,Honorable,Underdog,Lone Wolf,Secretive,Skillful,Selfless,Modest,Faithful

Additional Character Details

Name: Kanani Alana

Age: 25

Gender: Female

Role: Protagonist

Key Traits: Adventurous,Aspiring,Badass,Charming,Confident,Criminal,Desperate,Decisive,Empathetic,Engaging,Faithful,Flexible,Greedy,Lone Wolf,Manipulative,Seductive,Secretive,Sarcastic,Blunt,Sexy,Underdog

Additional Character Details

Name: Lansdale

Age: 35

Gender: Male

Role: antagonist

Key Traits: Adventurous,Aggressive,Skillful,Blunt,Patriotic,Aspiring,Criminal,Confident,Manipulative,Unapologetic,Seductive,Secretive,Power Hungry,Narcisstic,Villainous,Decisive,Greedy

Additional Character Details

Name: Charles Selfer

Age: 28

Gender: Male

Role: tempter

Key Traits: Aspiring,Charming,Confident,Gracious,Educated,Insecure,Narcisstic,Skillful,Secretive,Manipulative,Unapologetic,Engaging,Empathetic,Faithful,Naive,Power Hungry

Development Pitch

The US Territory of Hawaii, 1948: Troubled WWII hero turned deserter Wendell Lett is desperately seeking a cure to his severe combat trauma, and a secret facility called The Preserve seems to be his salvation. Together with Kanani Alana, a tough-minded Hawaiian also looking for a new start at The Preserve, Lett begins to feel hopeful. Lett’s illusions are soon shattered when he discovers The Preserve’s true intentions—to rebuild him into a cold-blooded assassin. The deadly conspiracy runs deep, all the way to General Douglas MacArthur, and Lett’s refusal to cooperate is met with merciless punishment. His only hope is Kanani and her dangerous escape plan—if they can survive the harsh wilderness of the Big Island. The Preserve is based on true events surrounding the “Yamashita’s Gold” conspiracy. It also exists in a world all its own. It takes place after the actual war and in a unique and exotic setting. As such, it could be shot around a single Hawaii location, including the scenes in the Philippines. The story works well as a film but also as one season of a TV series. My other book featuring main character Wendell Lett, Under False Flags, could serve as a second or first season. Wendell Lett is an intriguing character for any actor. As Publisher’s Weekly noted in their review, "Readers will root for Wendell, with his unrelenting demons, as he soldiers on, fighting for his sanity and his life."

About The Author

Steve Anderson is the author of the Kaspar Brothers novels (The Losing Role, Liberated, Lost Kin) and other books. Under False Flags is the prequel to his latest novel, The Preserve. Anderson was a Fulbright Fellow in Germany and is a translator of bestselling German fiction as well as a freelance editor. He lives in Portland, Oregon.

Target Audiences

Age: 13-17,18-34,35-54,55+

Target Gender: Universal

Group Specific

Information not completed

Publishing Details

Status: Yes: with a Publisher

Publisher: Skyhorse Publishing

Year Published: 2019

Hard Copy Available

Yes

ISBN

1510742093

Genre

ACTION, SUSPENSE, DRAMA

Brief

A war veteran plagued by combat fatigue (PTSD) is taken to a mysterious healing center called The Preserve. There, he realizes that the facility is not really interested in curing ex-soldiers.

Overall Rating

GOOD

Point of View

THIRD PERSON

Narrative Elements

Authors Writing Style: GOOD

Characterization: FAIR

Commerciality: GOOD

Franchise Potential: GOOD

Pace: FAIR

Premise: FAIR

Structure: GOOD

Theme: FAIR

Accuracy of Book Profile

The profile seems very accurate. The author makes use of every section of the page.

Draw of Story

A war veteran who has traumas that cause him visions and give him uncontrollable feelings is an exciting start. The fact that he was sent to a facility to be cured delivers an intriguing element.

Possible Drawbacks

Despite being a story that holds attention, this plot of "a corrupt organization using people for its own benefit" is not very compelling and remarkable.

Use of Special Effects

THE STORY RELIES A LITTLE BIT ON SPECIAL EFFECTS

Primary Hook of Story

The hook is this protagonist himself, trying to get rid of his war traumas and survive with sanity to be able to return to his family. It's dramatic and powerful enough to make us connect with the story.

Fanbase Potential

Perhaps, due to the portray of an ex veteran's struggles, disturbed by traumas initiated in the war, the story reaches a broader audience. It's not exactly original, but the story itself deals with these veterans' lives, who are forever changed by war.

Awards Potential

It could have more significant potential if the collapse of the traumatized veteran could be further explored than the plot of this mysterious organization that uses these soldiers for obscure purposes. I can't say this plot is bad, but the veteran's conflicts sound more fluid and natural to reach a more demanding audience.

Envisioned Budget

MEDIUM BUDGET

Similar Films/TV Series

HOMECOMING: WAR VETERANS ARE SENT TO A GOVERNMENT INSTITUTION CREATED TO ""HELP"" THE MILITARY WITH POST-TRAUMATIC STRESS. JACOB'S LADDER: A VETERAN BEGINS TO HAVE HALLUCINATIONS THAT MIX HIS FAMILY AND BATTLE SCENES. HE TRIES TO FIND OUT, WITH A FRIEND, WHAT IS HAPPENING

What’s New About the Story

The atmosphere of Hawaii, the local friend who helps the veteran, and the experiments applied to the protagonist can bring a slightly more original air to the story. However, the main focus of the story is the internal conflict this man has.

Lead Characters

He is an interesting, credible, likable protagonist. We discover about him in a brief backstory that provides us reasons to understand his choices. His traumas give him humanity, and after all suffering, he continues to fight for his life.

Uniqueness of Story

Not a rare gem, but it is a story that entertains while exploring the root of the trauma, the struggle for survival, and the maintenance of the essence. It is not very original, it has somewhat obvious choices, but these elements do not destroy the experience.

Possible Formats

Film - Streaming, Film - Indie, TV Series - Limited Run / Mini-Series, TV Series - Streaming

Analyst Recommendation

CONSIDER

Justification

The main character has a disorder that affects thousands of people around the world. Other films and series have already addressed this topic, but it remains significant. The visual use of these traumatic hallucinations can allow the public to feel what the protagonist is feeling and understand the subject more deeply. However, a professional associated with psychology and therapies should accompany the creation and development process so that the result is credible and respectful. The criminal organization's plot that uses these men, already so wounded for obscure purposes, is an addition that brings conflict and dramatic power. However, it ends up falling into some clichés. The Hawaiian atmosphere gives a less dense air to this already dramatic story, which is positive. Overall, it's a story that can attract audiences due to the character's conflict and the suspense-filled plot that involves a General and an institution. However, it would need adjustments to make everything more believable, more powerful, and engaging.