Saturday, October 16, 2010

Query Critique #7

QUERY #7 - Jennifer Armentrout

Dear Agent,

Dying sucks. High school senior Ember McWilliams knows firsthand. She died in a car accident two years ago, but her little sister’s touch brought her back. Now anything Ember touches dies, and that, well, really blows.
This conveys a strong sense of your narrative voice and an original concept for a YA paranormal. My only suggestion would be a slight change in punctuation.
Dying sucks--and high school senior Ember McWilliams knows firsthand. She died in a car accident two years ago, but her little sister’s touch brought her back. Now anything Ember touches dies, and that, well, really blows.

Ember operates on a no touch policy with all living things—including boys. Until Daemon Cromwell breaks into her house, claiming she is gifted and his family can help control her gift. There’s just one catch. Ember has to trust Daemon’s father, a man she is sure has skeevy reasons for collecting gifted children like action figures.
This section set-up the characters and conflict well, and I like the vivid language, especially the action figures line. I have some concerns about the sentence fragment issue; the "until Daemon Cromwell..." sets off my alarm. I also recommend setting off "no touch" either in quotes or connected with an n-dash (no-touch).
Ember operates on a no-touch policy with all living things--including boys. This changes on the night Daemon Cromwell breaks into her house. He claims she is gifted and his family can help control her gift. There’s just one catch: Ember has to trust Daemon’s father, a man she is sure has skeevy reasons for collecting gifted children like action figures.

Learning to control her fingers of death holds a powerful allure. Ember is willing to do anything to be able to hold her sister's hand again. And heck, she'd also like to be able to kiss Daemon. He's hotness incarnate and she's falling for him. But when Ember learns the accident that made her a freak wasn’t an accident, she’s not sure who to trust.
Again, the narrative voice here is vivid.  I suggest "fingers of death" in quotes or with dashes (fingers-of-death). I think the "hotness incarnate" line may be redundant. 
Learning to control her fingers-of-death holds a powerful allure. Ember is willing to do anything to be able to hold her sister's hand again. And heck, she'd also like to be able to kiss Daemon. But when Ember learns the accident that made her a freak wasn’t an accident, she’s not sure who to trust.

Someone wanted Ember dead, and they still do. The closer she gets to the truth, the closer she gets to finding out why Cromwell is interested in gifted kids like her sister. And the truth may cost her not only her heart, but her life. For real this time.
This works well, even with the sentence fragment at the end. Make sure you add info on the genre, word count, etc.  


Sincerely, 

XXX XXXX

5 comments:

Deniz Bevan said...

Oh, I like this one! Very mysterious...

Jennifer Armentrout said...

Thanks Disgruntled bear. Your feedback is great!

This novel is still a WIP, title up in the air and word count, well, even more up in the air.

Oh, I am so excited to get feedback on this. Thanks again!

Disgruntled Bear said...

It's a fascinating premise, Jennifer, and I wish you luck on your journey to publication. Please let me know how things are going.

Jennifer Armentrout said...

Thanks Bear!

I'm currently out in agent land with my finished novel, so I jumped into this one head first.

Planning on ordering your novels this weekend!

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