|Genre||Comedy, science fiction, magical girl|
Originally created on November 16, 2006, Supernatural Spies began life as a first-person prose fiction novel series. An ambitious goal of a Scholastic publication was forseen for the series, but over time motivation to continue was diminished and it remains incomplete. At two and a half volumes, Supernatural Spies is the longest of Elle's old stories, with the first two volumes serving as more or less a complete story, albeit with some unresolved plot elements. Unfinished drafts for other books following the first two volumes still exist.
Movies, shows and books such as The Incredibles, Totally Spies, Goosebumps, Geronimo Stilton, Animorphs and Super Bratz served as initial sources of inspiration for the story. As time went on, due to the author's shifting interests, more anime and manga tropes began to appear in the story's narrative, notably within Cheryl's character development as a boyish otaku, and by the time the second volume was written, the genre had changed to a magical girl adventure. Progress on Supernatural Spies effectively ended around 2010 after it was replaced with an updated draft version, Blood and Gemstones, this time a dark magical girl/esper manga-style comic, and development on it continued until the story was cancelled in early 2014 following Most Towns are Ghost Towns' creation. It was finally brought back in late 2017 under the name The Orchard House.
Season/Volume 1: The Arrival of Heroes (These aren’t your ordinary girls…)Edit
- When Courtney, Cheryl, and Jeannine agree to have a sleepover on Friday, the supernatural begins to occur. Strange things are happening to them, but when they come across a man in black, their whole lives will be filled with heartaching secrets, lies and protecting themselves from harm…or facing the gaping jaws of death…
Season/Volume 2: The Fourth Recruit (Everybody, use your superpowers until you get used to her…)Edit
- Kayla Rogers recently moved to Rockwell, a place full of peace and tranquility. The metropolis of her world, the apple of her eye. Life can’t get any better than this.
- Then she meets Courtney, Cheryl, and Jeannine. Kayla doesn’t exactly picture them as normal kids. They very secretive; weird stuff happens when they’re around, and what’s up with the weird rock necklaces that they wear?
- As Kayla is about to find out, there’s more to people than that meet the eye…
- Courtney Tosh
- The main protagonist of the first book, with the majority of the story being told from her perspective. Initially very rigid and a reluctant hero due to her negative preference towards high-tech, she gradually warms up to her task as a superpowered secret agent. The first book implies that she is frequently made fun of by her older brother Keith, bullied by one of her classmates, and a huge Indiana Jones fan. Her powers are centered on elascticity and she wears and pink-and-yellow uniform.
- Cheryl Clarks
- One of Courtney's best friends, who lives in an extravagant mansion with her siblings and single mother despite their middle-class background. Her wisecracks, nerdy obsessions and flip personality provide some comic relief to the series, often with her sister acting as a foil. She is the most cowardly of the group and is usually the one to try and bow out of missions. Her powers are centered on invisibility and she wears a blue-and-white (sometimes purple) uniform.
- Jeannine Clarks
- Cheryl's younger, more mature twin sister, who is also a friend of Courtney's and arguably the brains of the group. Her personality is somewhat gloomy, and she is the most introverted character. Although she bickers frequently with her older sister, the two have more in common than they would care to admit. Initially a supporting character, her role in the story expanded until she replaced Courtney as the main character. Her powers are centered on telekinesis and she wears a purple-and-green uniform.
- Kayla Rogers
- Mentioned only by name in book one and introduced in person in book two, Kayla is a new student at the middle school attended by Courtney and her friends. Her response toward the girls and their powers is initially hostile, and she at first rejects the opportunity to be a spy. She apparently enjoys rock climbing and cars and owns a Pomeranian named Twinkie. Despite her initial focus in book two, she has the weakest presence in the series. She wears a yellow-green-and-red uniform and is the only spy without powers.
- Spy teacher at Supernatural Spies Headquarters, located in the mountainous region of Harvest Valley. In the book he is described as being in his early twenties, although he was intended to be middle-aged. Seldom is known about him or his past, and he is initially shown to be a harsh, but not unkind, teacher. The first book strongly implies that he has romantic feelings for Diane, as well as a deep-seated anxiety toward E.M.O. and the Onyxzoids. His code name is E.M.S., the significance of this being left ambiguous until the end of volume one.
- Acronym for Engineer of Mutated Onyxzoids. E.M.O. is the main villain of the series, an evil cyborg and a violent, ill-tempered man. His goal in the first book is to create a nuclear bomb that will kill everyone on Earth except for him and his followers, with his secret base being located in Ancient Egypt. Other than that, not much is known about him.
- Monstrous-looking lion or gryffin creatures with the ability to shapeshift and poison humans. They serve E.M.O. as his vassals with a goal to destroy the Supernatural Spies and permanently claim their powers for themselves. It has been stated by other characters that they can read minds, though there is little evidence to support this. Their origins are never revealed in-canon, though in an incomplete third book, they are shown to have their beginnings as extraterrestrials.
- An older woman, described as resembling an adult version of Cheryl, who appears in the middle of book one and has made regular appearances ever since. She is an innocent, kind and maternal figure, though regarded as "immature" and "ha[ving] a mind of her own" by the other girls, with Jeannine in particular being the least accepting of her. She had a short-lived fling with Kirk in the first book before dumping him at the end of the story and seems to have a penchant for punk rock fashion. She is an employee of Supernatural Spies and the only non-spy with permission to access Headquarters besides Kirk.
- A character exclusive to book 1, a Supernatural Spies employee with a tendency to weave Biblical quotes into casual conversation. He devotes himself entirely to whatever mission he is assigned to, sometimes to the detriment of the Supernatural Spies. Rarely making proactive decisions, he prefers to supervise the other girls and make sure they are doing their tasks correctly. Near the end of his run in the story, he reveals the he is married with children, with his family unaware of his Supernatural Spies affiliation.
Differences between Supernatural Spies and The Orchard HouseEdit
- Supernatural Spies is set in North Dakota, while The Orchard House's story takes place on Northhope Island, a fictional manmade island with its own specific culture and celebrations.
- Of all the main characters, Cornelia and Layla have the most dramatic changes from their prototypes Courtney and Kayla. While Courtney and Kayla are both presented as awkward tweenage girls, Cornelia is portrayed as a stuck-up rich snob and the youngest of the main cast, while Layla is more serious and distant, as well as having already completed compulsory education.
- In Supernatural Spies, Courtney has been friends with Cheryl and Jeannine since they were at least five, but in The Orchard House, Cornelia only meets the twins after all three of them are given their Charms.
- In Happy Howl-odays, an incomplete third volume for Supernatural Spies, Derik Monroe is a star football player who attends Rockwell Junior High as an Onyxzoid incognito, and is initially presented as a potential love interest for Jeannine. In The Orchard House, Derik (renamed Dakota) is given a much more prominent role and is the one responsible for giving the main characters their powers.