JEAN MILLER is a thirty-year-old hippie who moves to the Great Smoky Mountains to begin a new life, thanks to an ATM that started spitting out cash (This feels odd to me, because the ATM is random. The order you have this in, the ATM adds nothing but confusion, because you already say she moved and saying "because an ATM spit out money" isn't, less confusing? If you said "when an ATM starts spitting out money, JEAN MILLER, 30year old hippie, takes it and runs..." or something, it's more clear her actions are a reaction to a random event, rather than the random event adding no illumination on the situation). Believing she caused this with a Wiccan spell, Jean is determined to use the money selflessly (These two clauses are unrelated. If Jean DIDN'T believe the money was caused by a Wiccan spell, would she then use it selfishly? How is her belief related to how she uses the money? Also, I know you have "believe" because she doesn't yet know it was a Wiccan spell, but I think it's little wordy, and weakens the sentence): by transforming a local inn into a women’s shelter. After decades spent living for herself, it’s about damn time she gave something back (I like this sentence!). Through loving deeds and nature worship, she hopes to inspire the community. (I'm not sure what this sentence adds. There's already implied she wants to help the community via the women's shelter, and I'm not sure how nature worship would help. Maybe if the sentiment is "But Jean won't stop at the shelter, she wants to inspire the community through nature worship and encouraging [some example of a specific love deed]" Right now this is kind of vague, and doesn't add much other than a start of characterization that Jean likes nature, which I feel is glossed over. If you want that to be the point of your sentence you could easily try something to the effect of "but the inn is just the beginning, more than anything Jean wants to help the community get back to nature.[Maybe one additional sentence of WHY this is important to her] )
Until the inn is habitable, she’ll crash with MILES, an ex-hookup. Weird shit starts going down at his apartment complex.(I like the first sentence but I think the transition between these is choppy. You could even add "But then weird shit starts to go down") Rooms are tidied while no one’s home. Children’s singing echoes from the woods. Dark figures watch her drift asleep. (I like these examples because they're specific and they give a good feel) When a local boy wanders up a nearby mountain and dies of hypothermia, Jean recalls legends of the Fair Folk: nature spirits that steal people’s souls. (I don't like that she "recalls" legends, and I think this is a weak introduction to the Fair Folk which are the prominent villains. I know you're still (probably) playing with Jean's uncertainty, but I don't think that uncertainty is super important to understanding the rest of the synopsis given magic happens in the next paragraph. I mean, it might be true, but I'd say try to introduce this strong. Even saying Jean "discovers" gives Jean more agency, even if it's not 100% accurate. If she remembers it, it's not really action)
One afternoon, after falling into a trance, Jean’s mind is invaded by a warlock who calls himself THE LANDLORD. He tempts her with visions of a greener world—the lush future she’s always longed for (See, my main problem with Jean is that I don't get a sense of why she cares about this or what's at stake for her. Weird stuff is happening, but why can't she just move, for instance? I feel like the previous chapter implies that what's at stake is her life, but here it seems like what's at stake is not hers but other people's lives vs a green future and honestly, it is no contest to me to pick 20,000 lives. I don't understand her enough to know what would even drive her to hesitate here. Why does she care so much about a green future? Not just the fact that she cares, but why so much that this is a reasonable dilemma for her). But in order for it to become a reality, twenty thousand people must die on a burning mountain.
Enthralled by the Landlord’s vision, yet horrified by the cost, Jean delves deeper into the region’s mysteries. (It's natural to want to figure out the mysteries (which is what saves this sentence and paragraph) but again, why is the vision so enthralling to her?) With the help of a local PI, she learns that several suspicious deaths have taken place at the apartments and on a nearby mountain. (a relateable mystery!) The apartments’ owners recently bought property in places rumored to be “mounds of the Fair Folk,” (Why is this in quotes? She knows weird stuff is happening. Even if you're implying disbelief, some of your disbelief and quotes add a distance that I don't think is helping here. Disbelief and suspicious by definition add distance. If you want ambiguity then just state a sentence with confidence, but with conflicting evidence. ) including the complex itself. Her investigation eventually leads her to the other tenants: an elderly woman who communicates with a lump under her carpet, an internet model dying of brain cancer, and DEVIN, an attractive single father
taunted by tricksters who know he murdered his wife (I like the descriptions of the tenants but Devin's is a little wordy, and I'm not sure that the reader nees to know that the faeires know that he murdered his wife. If you cut it, people will assume they know ). Some tenants are victims of the Landlord, while others are accomplices—and it’s impossible for Jean to tell the difference. (This I like, because it plays into the "what the hell is happening?" which is a universal question and not the "should I kill a bunch of people for a green earth" which is not universal or understandable from Jean's POV so far)
Even so, she’s shocked to discover Miles is a changeling working for the Landlord. The Fair Folk, stewards of nature infuriated by human’s (There;s literally 0 reason to say man when you mean human, especially if your POV character is a woman) neglect, are poised to take control of humanity’s evolution (I get lost as to what the second half of this sentence means exactly. Is the fact that they're stewards and presumably then appointed by someone important? Is the take away that they care about evolution and want to help humanity evolve or are they just pissed off and want revenge for nature? You have a few different tid bits here I think could be clarified). With their guidance, nature and society will thrive again (Why do they even care about society? WHy isn't nature their only concern if they were appointed by nature? Sorry to get nitty gritty about their concern, but I feel like their motivation and position could be cleaer). But in order for a changeling to inhabit flesh, a human soul must be evicted. The Landlord acts as the Fair Folks’ executioner (This makes it sound like he kills Fair Folk and not humans), consuming souls and gaining personal power. Jean knows big changes are needed to ensure the planet’s long-term survival, but she’s desperate to achieve them without bloodshed (This is sort of a "well, obviously" moment that anyone reasonable would have. There's no real conflict here, no one is going to disagree with Jean on this. This statement is presented to make it clear she disagrees with something that everyone would assume she disagrees with, so I'm not sure what this sentence is supposed to accomplish.).
A revelation concerning Devin’s murdered wife causes violence to erupt among neighbors. As bullets fly, Miles extends his invitation to the fairy Otherworld (This seems like something REALLY different to happen at the end). Hoping to protect herself and
LILLY, (Her name is not important)Devin’s young daughter, Jean escapes down a well within the walls. She and LillyThey find themselves in the Otherworld. The Landlord presents himself as an elderly, hippie warlock still longing for revolution (1. Didn't Jean already talk to him, so shouldn't she already know this information? 2. hippie is a really specific word to use for both Jean AND the Landlord, even if you're drawing parallels). For years, he’s been gathering a coven of the magically gifted, including Jean (Is she even magically gifted? Since earlier you only said she "believed" that the ATM thing was because of a spell, and she's done nothing magical herself, I'm not so certain this is a fact). He plans to host a music festival on the mountain, where he’ll slay twenty thousand attendees in a fire. This sacrifice, along with his coven’s magical efforts, will “open up the mountain,” (Why is this in quotes?) allowing the Fair Folk to enter our world freely. Jean is the only coven member yet to commit.
Though skeptical (skeptical of what? This dude's plan to murder a bunch of people? I should think so. Sorry.), Jean believes humanity can still change things—if it rejects modern distractions and gets back to loving nature (the phrase "loving nature" is very vague and so is the phrase "modern distractions" if you don't mean anything specific by this, you could just start this whole thing with "Jean believes humanity can still change things." ). She refuses to help. Enraged, the Landlord unveils his true form: the walking serpent evicted from Eden (I am all for mixing mythology and genres but some people aren't going to like a Fair Folk story that has Christian religious mythos in it as well). He attacks, but Jean shields herself a
nd Lilly in a magic circle (I don't care about Lily or if she's shielded because I don't know anything about Lily.). Thanks to her urgent need to save others, the spell finally works. (Why is it finally? did she try it before? What urgent needs to save the others, other coven members? HUmanity? You're talking only about Jean believing humans can change and the Landlord attacking until then and I don't get a sense that Jean really cares about anyone specific. Even LIly) The Landlord escapes. Though she can stay forever in the heavenly Otherworld, she returns to the real world to stop him. However, time passes differently in the Otherworld, and she and Lilly return three hundred years in the future. (interesting!) The Fair Folks’ culling of humanity has worked (how so and in what way? Maybe that's not important but I'm thinking, if Jean didn't help, why did they need her if they could do this without her). A family of fairy/human hybrids awaits (no idea what this means). Lilly, a changeling herself (this is a pretty last minute reveal accounted to a purpse I'm not sure of), joins their side (What is their side? They're hyrdids is that good or bad). The father shoots Jean. Crawling and wounded, she remains defiant. Still hell-bent on her mission, she gnashes her teeth and climbs the stairs (This just ends with her climbing stairs?).