The Good Ship

Jeremy M. Wright

Book Cover



    Core Theme



    1960s & '70s











    A group of children are trapped on an island, desperately trying to escape the evil controlling force holding them here.

    Target Audiences

    Age: 13-17

    Target Gender: Universal


    On an island through a dimensional doorway.

    Based on a True Story


    Publishing Details

    Status: Yes: with a Publisher

    Publisher: Stone Gateway Publishing

    Year Published: 2019

    Starting Description

    A portal opens to an island that shouldn't exist. Now shipwrecked, 13-year-old Annabelle Cross joins the group of children already trapped here. She must help the children complete The Good Ship and set them free of the island.

    Ending Description

    A god-like being, Lothlora, battles her twin sister, Simora, after centuries apart to help the children and their families sail The Good Ship through the doorway and free from the evil grasp of her sister.

    Group Specific

    Information not completed

    Hard Copy Available




    Mature Audience Themes

    Information not completed

    Plot - Other Elements

    Happy Ending,Coming of Age

    Plot - Premise

    Overcoming Monster/Villain,Voyage and Return,Rebellion Against 'The One'

    Main Character Details

    Name: Annabelle Cross

    Age: 13

    Gender: Female

    Role: Protagonist

    Key Traits: Adventurous,Modest,Selfless,Engaging,Charming,Insecure,Sarcastic,Underdog

    Additional Character Details

    Name: Nate

    Age: 14

    Gender: Male

    Role: Mentor

    Key Traits: Blunt,Faithful,Decisive,Confident,Masculine,Strong Moral Code,Visionary,Leader,Charming,Honorable

    Additional Character Details

    The author has not yet written this

    Additional Character Details

    The author has not yet written this




    After Annabelle Cross and her seafaring family are catapulted through a mysterious gateway of light, Annabelle finds herself stranded in the middle of the ocean. She is rescued by a young boy and taken to an island where all time has stopped, and the inhabitants are like she’s never seen before. As Annabelle adjusts to life on the island, she learns that there are dangerous beings that must not be crossed. When an accident leads her to an ancient, evil being, Annabelle and her friends must fight their way home, to be reunited with their friends and families.

    Overall Rating


    Point of View


    Narrative Elements

    Authors Writing Style: FAIR

    Characterization: FAIR

    Commerciality: GOOD

    Franchise Potential: GOOD

    Pace: FAIR

    Premise: GOOD

    Structure: FAIR

    Theme: GOOD

    Accuracy of Book Profile

    It is accurate.

    Draw of Story

    The story puts us into the action early on. Only a few pages in, we’re past the gateway of light (the ordinary world) and thrust into the extraordinary world. From there, we meet the key players, get a good sense of the overarching conflict, and begin to understand the chemistry between Annabelle and Nate. Time doesn’t feel wasted on prose or lyrical language, which works well in this case. And at the same time, it’s great that we don’t linger in the character development of Tom and Brad, because it’d likely diminish some of the early tension that makes the reader want to keep reading. The focus is strong from the beginning, which makes the story easier to engage with and better paced than it might be otherwise.

    Possible Drawbacks

    It’s a bit tough to get past the fact that the ordinary world is 1965, so much so that it may be worth considering going back in and making it present day. The contrast between, say, Nate’s time and present day would be much starker that way. Annabelle would have much more to explain to him (both on the island and off), and he and the others might have a riskier time adjusting to the world when they make it back through the gateway. This could potentially set up some further conflict, like one or more characters being afraid of going back when they hear of things like cell phones, the internet, etc. Additionally, it’s possible that Annabelle doesn’t feel the complex range of emotions she perhaps should, especially when she first gets to the island. It feels like we’re missing a bit of grief from her, or some strong sense of loss. She may assimilate into the extraordinary world a bit too easily, which doesn’t feel quite as authentic as it could. Some of the banter between her and Nate feels a bit too light for the situation, most notably in their early scenes together. Perhaps putting more weight on these scenes could make their relationship feel more organic, if the heaviness of Annabelle’s emotions were some sort of bonding tool between them.

    Use of Special Effects


    Primary Hook of Story

    This feels a bit like Chronicles of Narnia meets Showtime’s Yellowjackets, but with a lighter tone throughout. It has plenty of crossover appeal, meaning that something like this might appeal to both young adult and adult audiences. The speculative elements are handled well enough to be engaging, though it’s possible that they aren’t utilized to their fullest potential. From the beginning, we’re delivered the promise of adventure and the material often succeeds. But doing a deep dive into the complexity of character emotions and adjusting the tone so it's slightly darker could help take the concept over the top.

    Fanbase Potential

    A story like this could appeal to both young adult and adult audiences. With a bit of tweaking, this would likely receive a PG-13 rating, based on some violence and distressing content (i.e. – the children getting kidnapped, Annabelle nearly drowning, etc.). It also could have global appeal, because it doesn’t feel too US-centric, and the theme feels universal.

    Awards Potential

    Based on the genre, this isn’t likely to garner any above the line awards attention. But that said, it’s possible that it would receive below the line attention. An adaptation like this would require expert special effects, clever cinematography, appropriate hair and makeup and costuming, all of which could be contenders. There is also, of course, the option for awards focused on writing and/or directing.

    Envisioned Budget


    Similar Films/TV Series


    What’s New About the Story

    The story handles world-building quite well. The rules are laid out plainly and are easy to digest, but the creatures and the children themselves are unique. That said, to make things more unique might mean doing a deeper dive into the creatures of the island. For instance, we come to know Graur as a friend to the children, but it’d be great if he played an even bigger role. Perhaps we could know a bit more about his life on the island, and the things he and others like him must do to survive. In terms of the children, it’d be interesting if they struggled more with with their respective time periods. For example, after we learn that Nate is from 1898, it doesn’t affect the story much. Perhaps he’s nervous to go back to a world he doesn’t recognize. Perhaps a part of him even wants to remain on the island, because it’s all he’s known for so long. It’d be great to see the children talk more about their past lives as well. What was life like for Nate, or for Maggie? Were they rich, poor? What did society look like, and is it possible that those preconceived notions affect life on the island in some ways? For instance, how would a boy from 1898 respond to kissing a female he wasn’t married to? How might a child from the Great Depression era respond differently to this new life than someone who came of age during the Jazz Age?

    Lead Characters

    Annabelle and Nate have chemistry from the beginning, which is great because it makes them easy to root for. And it works well that the story hinges on their relationship. But in terms of the secondary cast, it’s a bit tough to tell them apart. It’d be great if there were some purposeful standouts, or alternatively a deep dive into all of them. For instance, Cody only seems to pop up when somebody has a question about explosives. And Maggie is only around to tell the story of the twin sisters. It may be worth it to study some adaptations that handle large casts, since it’s no easy feat. The 100 is a YA example that comes to mind. Yellowjackets is perhaps a more recent example, but a bit of a different genre.

    Uniqueness of Story

    There are a lot of facets to this material that gives it the potential to be a rare gem, but it’s possible that a bit more work needs to be done in order to make it truly shine. A deep dive into character development, particularly emotion, would make the story feel much richer. Additionally, the tone feels slightly lighthearted for the concept. It’d be great to see some more complexity to the extraordinary world, and the way the characters perceive it.

    Possible Formats

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

    Analyst Recommendation



    Generally, it feels like there’s enough here to consider. The concept is unique, the characters all have the potential to be engaging, and the overarching conflict does a great job of sustaining the story. But a deeper dive into the complexities of these characters and this world could be the thing to take it over the top. Tweaking the tone a bit to better reflect the direness of Annabelle’s situation could be a great place to start. Exploring how she responds to her new world could dictate how she relates to the others, and how they relate to her. And spending a touch more time with the physical world itself, like Graur, could help make things feel more well-rounded and authentic. But that’s not to say that there isn’t something here. A bit more work, and this could make a great adaptation.


    After Annabelle Cross and her seafaring family are catapulted through a mysterious gateway of light, Annabelle finds herself stranded in the middle of the ocean. She is rescued by a young boy and taken to an island where all time has stopped, and the inhabitants are like she’s never seen before. As Annabelle adjusts to life on the island, she learns that there are dangerous beings that must not be crossed. When an accident leads her to an ancient, evil being, Annabelle and her friends must fight their way home, to be reunited with their friends and families.

    What We Liked

    There’s a lot to like about THE GOOD SHIP. Firmly rooted in the YA Fantasy genre, it explores the survival skills of a group of pre-teens as they expand their minds and operate against creatures and forces unbeknownst to the normal world. Along the way, they forge friendships with each other and the non-human inhabitants of a remote island, joining forces to defeat a dark force with the single belief that good always prevails. The story serves its theme quite well, the characters all have the potential to be quite engaging, and the world has the potential for expansion and continuity.
    Overall, there’s a lot to explore here. It’s an engaging read that’s well thought out, relatively well-developed and well-executed.

    Film: The start and end points are firm enough to translate nicely into a feature format, but things are also left open enough to potentially franchise. There is an entire world to explore, with its own rules, allies and enemies, and the creation of a pre-teen society not unlike Lord of the Flies. With the correction attachments and tweaks, the core story could be a successful film adaptation.

    TV: There is room for continuity and expansion within this world, even by the story’s conclusion. But aside from that, there are multiple character journeys that, together, could create a great multi-POV YA story that appeals to teens and adults alike. The primary antagonist is never quite defeated, but the story hinges on far more than her demise. At its core this is a story about survival, and we can seemingly follow the arc for the duration of a series.

    Key points:
    Large, diverse cast.
    Crossover appeal.
    Potential global appeal.
    Franchise potential.
    Well-developed fantasy world.


    ANNABELLE (13) is on the deck of her family’s ship when her family spots a ball of light ahead. The family seeks cover on deck and braces for impact. When they arise, a heavy object strikes the boat. Annabelle’s father sends up a flare, and their boat begins to sink.
    Annabelle sees a pirate ship emerge from the fog. Annabelle is knocked unconscious by a thud to her head.

    Annabelle awakens on an island, with NATE standing over her. He accuses her of being a spy and she explains the attack on her boat. She looks around for her father and Brad, and Nate tells her that they’ve been taken by the Jade Army. Nate shows Annabelle around the island and explains that the Jade Army’s sole job is to keep people on their side of the light. Nate leads her towards his friends and explains that his brother, MAX, is on the island with him. But Max was bitten by a black-and-blue beetle and has been suffering from the flu for nearly seven years. Nate shows Annabelle the huts they’ve built to survive. All of them are high off the ground, and Nate warns her that she’ll have to hide at night.

    Nate and Annabelle are joined by MAGGIE (10) on their way to a nearby waterfall. She learns the legend of twin sisters, Simora and Lothlora, who used to rule the land together. As shapeshifters, they could take on any form they wished. But differing views led them into battle against each other, and their beautiful land was split up into islands.
    Legend has it that Simora disappeared into the woods, and Lothlora sought refuge in the depths of the lake.

    The next day, Nate walks Annabelle through the forest. They stumble on a Grouch Tree, that attacks any person who tries to touch it. Impassioned by the tree’s fruit, Annabelle disobeys Nate and touches the tree. It ensnares her with its roots and tries to pull her underground. When Nate tries to intervene, he too is ensnared. They struggle to free themselves from the tree, but eventually do. They continue through the forest and come across the large well, guarded by NAOMI. Naomi guides Nate into a bucket and uses a rope to help him into the hole. Annabelle is meant to follow.

    Annabelle lands in a large, dark cavern. Nate leads her to a giant ship that the islanders have been working on for years. The brainchild of one of the first inhabitants, ANICA, the giant ship is meant to withstand attacks from the Jade Army and has been made with pieces the children have scavenged from the sea. Nate reveals that the ship is almost ready to set sail.

    Annabelle peppers Nate with questions about their escape. She learns that a boy, CODY, has developed a plan to blow the cavern walls out, to allow the ship to move into the ocean. They’ve kept it hidden from the Jade Army. The children have also spent years documenting the gateway of light, to decipher the perfect moment to launch their boat. Annabelle wants to help.

    Nate leads Annabelle to the ocean and instructs her to listen to the waves. When she opens her eyes again, she sees the glow of bioluminescent plankton in the water. Nate explains that the plankton helped lead him and the other survivors to the island. He reveals that he was born in 1898 but has not aged since his arrival. Nate and Annabelle share a kiss and return to the huts.

    Nate and Annabelle hear rustling in the forest. Nate sends Annabelle back to camp, as he follows the sound. Annabelle finds herself alone and is soon approached by a ghastlycreature who threatens to eat her. Nate arrives just in time and identifies the creature a GRAUR, a mischievous, but harmless, friend of the children. Graur apologizes for his ill-timed prank and sends the duo on their way. They reach camp in the nick of time. Just then, a HUNTER latches onto the stairs and tries to follow them up. Ella strikes the beast with an arrow and pulls up the stairs.

    Annabelle settles into life on the island. Nate accompanies her to crop fields, where her shoelaces are tied together by a MISCHIEF, a fairy-life creature who plays pranks on them while they work. Annabelle catches the mischief, and it bites her.

    The next day, Annabelle awakens to Max hovering over her. Nate reveals that Max has just recovered from the flu. As Max readjusts to life on the island, Nate takes Annabelle to a shipwreck. He sends her on a dive under the sea, to explore it. There, she sees glowing, dancing fish and an orange beast.

    Nate and Annabelle return to the cavern. Nate shows her the sticks from Kablooey Trees, that explode when they encounter fire. Then, he introduces her to Gum, a resin-like substance that they cover the escape ship with. Annabelle begins applying it to the sides of the ship, intent on becoming a member of the team.

    Annabelle begins having nightmares about her father and brother. She decides to take a walk in the woods alone. She finds a series of branches that look like a doorway. Soon she is surrounded by glowing, blue lights. Annabelle demands that the creature show itself, and is confronted with a large, black snake.

    Annabelle realizes that the snake is also responsible for the hunters. It threatens to suck all the happiness out of her, to prepare her for a lifetime of misery. As the snake ensnares Annabelle, she hears Nate’s voice calling for her. He and the other children have come searching for her. She uses nearby rocks to pelt the snake and temporarily distract him. The children burn down the branches of the doorway and chaos ensues. Several children, including Max, are dragged away.

    JASMINE approaches and reveals that the snake Annabelle confronted was Simora, and that Annabelle is the only child to ever survive it. She explains that many years ago, several children, including Nate’s twin brother, ROLAND, were turned evil by Simora.
    The children kidnapped all the adults from the island and formed the Jade Army, with Roland as the Jade King. Annabelle vows to fight the Jade Army and get back the missing children.

    Annabelle sets off into the woods alone. Soon she encounters Graur, who decides to accompany her. He helps her find her way through the forest, pointing out food sources along the way. Annabelle reaches the edge of the island and sees the Jade Army camp on in island in the distance. She finds a canoe covered with ivy and deduces that a Jade Army spy has been implanted in the camp. She decides to row to the island to try to save her friends. Graur decides to join her. They arrive and hide in the bushes, as Roland speaks to his army. He reveals that they are planning an attack to destroy the escape ship and capture the rest of the children. Annabelle sees her father and brother in the crowd. Graur tells her that they must return home and warn the others about the impending attack.

    Annabelle and Graur tussle with two boys from the Jade Army. Annabelle can wrangle away one of the swords and strike the boy. He screams and alerts the rest of the army. Roland and his army follow, as Annabelle and Graur launch their canoe. Twelve boys follow in other canoes, and Annabelle begins losing hope. But soon, the sea creature from her dive launches its own attack on the Jade Army and sends the boys back to land. Annabelle and Graur arrive safely back to the island. But soon, they discover that the camp has been destroyed.

    Annabelle sits on the edge of the well and is bitten by a back and blue beetle. She descends into the darkness just as the venom begins taking effect. Nate discovers her and cuts out the part of her flesh that’s been bitten. Annabelle hurries to warn the children about the attack. And soon, the escape plan is put into motion. Annabelle comes up with the idea to try to capture the Jade Army and take them through the gateway, hopefully breaking Simora’s evil spell. Nate and several others begin to make giant fishhooks in hopes of catching the army’s ship. Meanwhile, the venom begins to overtake Annabelle and she needs to rest.

    Annabelle awakens to cannon fire and discovers that the Jade Army is attacking. She
    helps Nate and the others wire the explosives that will take their escape ship to the ocean. The ship gets stuck on one of the cavern walls, and Annabelle comes up with the solution to explode the wall and reroute the ship. Soon enough, the Jade Army pursues them. As they approach the gateway of light, Nate and Annabelle drop the ship’s sails.
    When the Jade Army is close enough, the children begin shooting the giant fishhooks.
    They catch the deck of the enemy ship, but the Jade Army course corrects and begins
    dragging both ships farther out to sea. Annabelle decides to shoot a cannon at the ship’s mast to eliminate some of the bigger ship’s weight. Her shot is successful, and they begin traveling back towards the gateway. But Simora emerges into daylight to reclaim her army.

    Simora takes the shape of a giant wave and causes a tsunami that derails both ships.
    Annabelle fires a cannon that disintegrates her left shoulder. As she tries to grow a new one, her sister, Lothlora emerges from the depths, and they begin fighting amongst each other. Annabelle and the children realize that Lothlora will prevail, because good always does. With more time, they sail towards the gateway.

    The evil spell is removed from the Jade Army and Annabelle finds her father and Brad.
    As they reunite, Nate finds Roland, Max, and the rest of his family. Annabelle’s father takes charge and determines that they are eight hundred miles off the coast of the United States.

    The ships sail towards land, and all appears well. Until a saboteur throws a bomb in the middle of the ship. Annabelle is sucked into the ocean and nearly drowns. But she is rescued by the Jade Army and pulled aboard. Later, Nate leads her to the saboteur, DAWSON. Annabelle wonders if perhaps some evil is left in him from Simora’s spell.
    The passengers are all called on deck to see the US Coast Guard in the distance. They cheer.

    Years into the future, Annabelle and Nate are married. Annabelle’s father wrote a bestselling book that made a fortune. The children auctioned off both ships and netted $22 million dollars, which they split between all of them. Nate went to college and left with a degree in US History. Annabelle spent a long career in naval architecture. In retirement, we find them making s’mores with their grandchildren, who are begging for a story. After a strong breath, Annabelle begins her favorite tale of adventure: her own.

    About The Author

    Jeremy M. Wright is a novelist from Arkansas. He enjoys exploring genres and expanding his knowledge base.