Title: Born To Die.
Word Count: 66,000 words.
Author: Stephanie S.
Genetically engineered gladiator Axia was programmed with one motto: kick ass and don’t ask questions. Created to fight in the decadent System’s blood-drenched arenas, she lives one fight at a time. When she wins a freedom she never expected, she discovers her genes were manipulated beyond The System’s rules, making her an illegal specimen.
Threatened to be eliminated by The System, she flees through the Uncharted Territories. Her choices are limited: remaining a fugitive or facing the past engraved in her genes, even if it means being killed or killing once again.
BORN TO DIE is a 66,000 word science-fiction novel that recently won the 5th GLA Dear Lucky Agent contest. It could well be described as GIRL IN THE ARENA by Lise Haines meets BLADE DANCER by S.L. Viehl. It will appeal to readers who enjoy action-packed adventures featuring a strong female protagonist.
The Good: Great opening hook. I like the premise, the character, and the action. You had me from "genetically engineered gladiator."
Suggestions: This is a solid pitch right up to the phrase "It could well be described..." It's fine to include comps in a query, particularly when you pick realistic ones within the proper genre. My nit-picking is with the phrasing, which is the only passive part of this pitch. The only other aspect that give me pause is the length; 66,000 is short for a sci-fi novel.
BOTTOM LINE: If you haven't found a publishing home for this after ABNA, check out Broad Universe (broaduniverse.org). Several members are editors at small sci-fi publishers, and they'll want to take a look at this.