Midnight House

Ian Dawson

Book Cover

GENRE

ACTION ADVENTURE YOUNG ADULT SUSPENSE/THRILLER

    Core Theme

    THIS IS THE STORY OF DANIEL AND HIS BEST FRIEND KYLE, TWO 16-YEAR-OLD-BOYS THAT ARE STILL DEALING WITH A TRAUMATIZING VIOLENT EXPERIENCE THAT HAPPENED TWO YEARS AGO WHEN THEY HAVE TO MANAGE ANOTHER LIFE-THREATENING SITUATION. THIS IS A NARRATIVE ABOUT COMING OF AGE, OVERCOMING TRAUMA AND FINDING THE TRUE MEANING OF LIFE IN FRIENDSHIP.

    TIME PERIOD

    Contemporary

    COMPARABLE TITLES

    STRANGER THINGS, EUPHORIA

    CHARACTER LIST

    DANIEL ROBINSON, 16, VULNERABLE, COURAGEOUS..

    KYLE HANSON, 16, DANIEL’S BEST FRIEND. STUBBORN, LOYAL.

    COLBY, 16, DANIEL’S FRIEND, ALSO OVERCOMING A TRAUMATIZING EXPERIENCE.

    AMBER, 16, DANIEL’S GIRLFRIEND. SARCASTIC, FUN, BRAVE.

    LUKE DARDEN, VARSITY CAPTAIN. SNOB, EVIL.

    TYLER DARDEN, LUKE’S BROTHER, PSYCHOTIC, EVIL, SEEKING REVENGE FOR HIS BEST FRIEND’S DEATH.

    Logline

    In Redding, California, sixteen-year-old Daniel Robinson wrestles with the psychological trauma caused by his abduction two years prior. Meanwhile, Daniel’s best friend, Kyle, is invited to the mysterious Midnight House for a sports initiation that may hold more danger for Kyle than he believes.

    Target Audiences

    Age: 13-17,18-34

    Target Gender: Male Leaning,Female Leaning,Universal

    Setting

    Redding, California

    Based on a True Story

    No

    Publishing Details

    Status: Yes: self-published

    Publisher: BookBaby

    Year Published: 2021

    Starting Description

    Two years after Daniel’s abduction, the nightmares persist. His best friend, Kyle, reveals to another student what happened to Daniel. The other student’s brother was best friends with Daniel’s captor, whom Daniel killed to escape. Now, the older brother wants revenge, and Kyle's his target.

    Ending Description

    Luke and his brother attempt to drug and drown Kyle at Sundial Bridge and lure Daniel there, too. Daniel dives into the river to rescue Kyle. A chase ensues with the brother’s and Daniel’s girlfriend, Amber, followed by a final battle. Daniel, Amber, and Kyle defeat the brothers as help arrives.

    Group Specific

    Information not completed

    Hard Copy Available

    Yes

    ISBN

    978-1098354367

    Mature Audience Themes

    Extreme Violence, Language/Profanity

    Plot - Other Elements

    Coming of Age,Happy Ending,Twist,Meaningful Message

    Plot - Premise

    Overcoming Monster/Villain,Internal Journey/Rebirth,Voyage and Return,Tragedy

    Main Character Details

    Name: Daniel Robinson

    Age: 16

    Gender: Male

    Role: Protagonist

    Key Traits: Empathetic,Heroic,Honorable,Underdog,Modest,Selfless

    Additional Character Details

    Name: Kyle Hanson

    Age: 16

    Gender: Male

    Role: Sidekick

    Key Traits: Adventurous,Aspiring,Confident,Heroic,Leader,Masculine,Narcisstic,Selfless,Skillful

    Additional Character Details

    Name: Amber Wilkes

    Age: 16

    Gender: Female

    Role: skeptic

    Key Traits: Badass,Confident,Decisive,Empathetic,Heroic,Educated,Unapologetic,Sarcastic,Funny,Outspoken,Selfless,Blunt

    Additional Character Details

    Name: Tyler Darden

    Age: 22

    Gender: Male

    Role: antagonist

    Key Traits: Aggressive,Crazy,Criminal,Decisive,Leader,Unapologetic,Manipulative,Skillful,Villainous,Masculine

    Genre

    ACTION, SUSPENSE, THRILLER, FANTASY

    Brief

    Two years after being tortured, Daniel still struggles to lead a normal life and believe he is safe. Along with his friend Kyle, who is about to become the next target of violent acts, they find out the meaning of true friendship.

    Overall Rating

    EXCELLENT

    Point of View

    THIRD PERSON

    Narrative Elements

    Authors Writing Style: EXCELLENT

    Characterization: EXCELLENT

    Commerciality: GOOD

    Franchise Potential: GOOD

    Pace: EXCELLENT

    Premise: GOOD

    Structure: EXCELLENT

    Theme: GOOD

    Accuracy of Book Profile

    It is accurate.

    Draw of Story

    The rhythm of the story and action scenes make it impossible to put the book down. The way the protagonist is trying to overcome his paranoia in the midst of events that are threatening his best friend’s life makes the reader unsure of what may come ahead and keeps the story interesting.

    Possible Drawbacks

    Nothing made me want to put the book down.

    Use of Special Effects

    THE STORY RELIES A LITTLE BIT ON SPECIAL EFFECTS

    Primary Hook of Story

    If adapted, this movie would come along with great action scenes as well as a good tied-up narrative about coming of age and overcoming past traumas with the help of friends and rationalizing, which may be highly relatable for many people of all ages.

    Fanbase Potential

    It could have a large fanbase if adapted because the theme – trauma and growing up amongst violent events - has shown to gather audience in other shows that are in vogue at the moment. Protagonists are also charismatic and relatable, and the way the story is narrated allows readers to relate with Daniel’s mental struggles.

    Awards Potential

    It could have awards potential because both dramatic and action scenes are well written, and there is a depth and magnetism to the construction of characters.

    Envisioned Budget

    MEDIUM BUDGET

    Similar Films/TV Series

    STRANGER THINGS, EUPHORIA

    What’s New About the Story

    The most original thing about this story is how, even though Daniel’s mental struggles are real, the author does not dismiss the reasons he had to be drowning in his trauma. This leads the audience to have an empathetic regard to the story and get involved with its every turn. The main message of the narrative is common – not giving up on true friendship -, but the way the events unfold is surprising, involving and original.

    Lead Characters

    What makes this story stand out is how the author was able to combine both action scenes and a deeper discussion under mental health issues, which makes the main character, Daniel, both relatable and highly admirable.

    Uniqueness of Story

    This is a rare gem: deeper message is solid, plot is involving, narrative unfolds surprisingly.

    Possible Formats

    Film: Studio, Indie, Streaming TV Series: Network, Cable, Limited Run / Mini-Series, Streaming

    Analyst Recommendation

    RECOMMEND

    Justification

    I recommend it because the story is well written, action scenes are thrilling, there is a deeper message within the narrative that can be relatable for the audience, protagonists are charismatic as good-hearted teenagers enduring life’s difficulties and counting on each other to keep themselves safe.

    Brief

    Daniel is a 16-year-old guy trying to gain back control of his life and his mental struggles. He is still dealing with nightmares and daily paranoia after having been tortured two years ago when he has to face his demons by saving his fiend Kyle from violent rituals on the Midnight House, where Tyler and Luke are planning to kill him for revenge.

    What We Liked

    This story is remarkable because it brings themes such as trauma and overcoming mental struggles to a teenage target audience, and the greatly written action scenes are able draw audience in and make this story even more thrilling. The way events turn out is well-tied and not obvious, which is rare in stories of the same nature.

    Film: As a movie, the narrative is also compelling because of the action scenes that can get audience hooked. There is also a well written storyline and a relatable goal for the main character, which is learning how to live his life after traumatic experiences have taken place in early age, which is a subject many people can relate to, regardless of age range.

    TV: It would be a great adaptation for TV because there is a template for episodes but, at the same time, it is difficult to tell, when action scenes are introduced, if it’s a matter of Daniel’s mental struggles or something actually dangerous taking place.

    Key points: Action scenes; deeper meaning; mystery; mental struggles; Message about friendship.

    Synopsis

    Daniel is a young boy dealing with paranoia and nightmares after having been tortured by Austin and James two years ago. Kyle, Daniel’s best friend and the one who saved him from his abduction, is a promising basketball player. Both Kyle and Amber, Daniel’s girlfriend, are worried about Daniel’s lack of sleep and growing paranoia. Luke is Varsity’s Captain. Daniel and Kyle don’t know that Luke’s brother, Tyler, was best friends with Austin, one of Daniel’s torturers who has been killed in the incident two years ago.

    Kyle and Luke get closer as Kyle fancies the position of Captain of the team and wants to prove himself to Luke. Kyle tells Luke about what happened in Clover Creek. Luke tells his brother Tyler that Daniel killed Austin, and Tyler decides to take revenge by killing Daniel’s best friend Kyle.

    Luke invites the players (including Kyle) to the Midnight house. Kyle decides to go to prove himself to Luke. Kyle is taken to the Midnight House blindfolded, and the series of torturing situations begin. Daniel invades the Midnight House and rescues Kyle. Kyle decides to get back not to be left out of his team, and he tells Daniel that he doesn’t want to be his friend anymore before going back to the Midnight House. Caught up on his way out, Tyler beats Daniel up as Luke tortures Kyle. Amber manages to save Daniel and they go back for Kyle.

    Daniel kicks in and rescues Kyle, one more time, from the violence he’s been enduring, and they take him home. Even though the plan has failed at first, Luke and Tyler decide not to give up on killing Kyle.
    Daniel and Amber find out about the relationship between Luke, Tyler and Austin. Luke is still manipulating Kyle using his desire to become captain of the team, and sets him up to another encounter with Tyler.

    Daniel and Amber arrive just in time to see Tyler dropping Kyle’s body on the river. Daniel tries to rescue Kyle as Amber tries to escape Tyler. Tyler and Luke still grab ahold of them, but they manage to escape. All three survive, even though Kyle almost died. Kyle quits the team for good and him and Daniel reaffirm their friendship.

    About The Author

    Ian Dawson released his first novel, The Field, in 2018, which went on to become a Readers’ Favorite Book Award Finalist in 2019. Along with being a novelist, Ian is also a playwright and screenwriter based in Southern California. He has a BA in Dramatic Art from UC Davis and a Masters in Screenwriting from Cal State Northridge.