Candy Dynamo Gorgeous Cadets
Market/genre: adult literary fantasy novel, with potential YA crossover
Draft complete; currently revising.
Seeking agent representation for.
Candy Dynamo Gorgeous Cadets is a kaleidoscopic novel inspired by nineties pop cultural phenomena such as Sailor Moon and Power Rangers, in which a squadron of teens are imbued with supernatural powers and told they must save the world—but what does it mean to be tasked with saving the world in perpetuity? To put yourself in peril, continuously? Will you be permitted to grow up? Will you be allowed to figure out which future awaits you on the other side of adolescence?
When nineteen-year-old Foster Good’s mother dies, he leaves his life in the Bronx behind to move down south to Florida to live with a distant relative. It’s in this swampy landscape that he encounters a pack of color-coordinated teens who transform their traumatic pasts into superpowers and their youthful desires into costumed alter-egos. According to the self-identified “cadets,” a prophecy has foretold that a mythic hurricane will emerge, decimating the city of Tampa, unless the teenage warriors can defeat someone called the Prism Queen. Is Foster one of these candy-powered cadets? Should he join their mission, use the same enchanted stones the boys possess to transform into a battle-ready body?
Simultaneously, on a different team, twelve-year-old Felicity Ward moonlights as Cadet Black—the leader of the Candy Dynamo Gorgeous Cadets. Diplomatic, idealistic, and magnanimous: Felicity wants the world. Precocious, she dreams big, imagines luminary futures for herself. What is her connection to Foster though—and the other sundry warriors who transform to fight deadly creatures?
Foster and Felicity are not singular, though. They are accompanied by many fellow cadets. Sweet Rosalina has an affinity for crows, is kind to animals. Lionhearted Amber is courageous to a fault. Collegiate Ajay acts as a gentle older brother. There are others, too: cadets who are playing out their own schemes and plots as the final battle approaches—even some who use their powers for bloodsport.
Candy Dynamo Gorgeous Cadets is told with a flair of fabulism, Southern Gothic atmosphere, and a poet’s lyricism. Structured with alternating chapters between the two protagonists, this novel transposes pulpy pop tropes into the subtropic setting of Florida, all while traversing the complex intersections of juvenile identity. Youth carries wonder, magic-making, and an ability to become anyone—anything—but with those possibilities comes the razor’s edge of uncertainty and danger.