Thursday, October 20, 2011

QUERY CRITIQUE #9: MIRRORMASTERS


Dear Ms. Kaynak,

Leah Ellis has a mission to save her homeworld--if the ones who unleashed the impending apocalypse don’t eliminate her first.

Great hook!

Leah Ellis has a mission to save her homeworld--if the ones who unleashed the impending apocalypse don’t eliminate her first.

Leah’s gift as a MirrorMaster lets her travel to other places, even worlds light years away. That’s how she accidentally arrived on Earth thirteen years ago. At the age of fifteen, she discovers her otherworldly origins, and her ability, through a prophecy foretelling the return of a lost MirrorMaster. The youngest in her adoptive family, she’s always had others protecting her. Now, for the sake of billions of lives, she must protect an entire planet.

Knowing only she can wield the seven crystals needed to activate a device that will stop the apocalypse, Leah leaves behind everyone and everything she loves on Earth. On Jantyr she discovers a dying yet still beautiful world and a people who share all they have with each other. Through a desert of singing sands, to a bioluminescent jungle populated by thunderbeasts with razor-sharp teeth, to floating caverns that move unpredictably above a golden sea, she races to find the crystals before it's too late. If she's going to succeed in her mission, she must keep the ones responsible for the devastation from killing her first. But activating the device may require her to sacrifice not only her life, but her soul.

I did a little tightening.

Leah’s gift as a MirrorMaster lets her travel to other places, even worlds light years away. That’s how she accidentally arrived on Earth thirteen years ago. Now fifteen, she discovers her otherworldly origins--and her ability--through a prophecy foretelling the return of a lost MirrorMaster. The youngest in her adoptive family, she’s always had others protecting her. Now, for the sake of billions of lives, she must protect an entire planet.

Knowing only she can wield the crystals needed to activate a device that will stop the apocalypse, Leah leaves behind everyone and everything she loves on Earth. On Jantyr she discovers a dying yet still beautiful world and a people who share all they have with each other. Through a desert of singing sands, to a bioluminescent jungle populated by thunderbeasts with razor-sharp teeth, to moving caverns that float above a golden sea, she races to find the crystals before it's too late. If she's going to succeed in her mission, she must keep the ones responsible for the devastation from killing her first. But activating the device may require her to sacrifice not only her life, but her soul.

I took out the number "seven;" for some reason it made the story sound too high fantasy, and YA spec-fic tends to tread more lightly. I'm a little hesitant about the capitalization in the middle of MirrorMasters, especially as it's the title; that can cause problems in bookstore computer systems. 

THE MIRRORMASTERS is a [word count] contemporary fantasy for young adults. It is a stand-alone book with series potential. Thank you for your time and consideration.

Cordially,

This sounds like it could be a beautiful read! For marketing, I think it might be compared to Graceling or Elemental. From "word count" in brackets, I'm guessing that it's unfinished at this point, but once you've got it polished, you may have something special here. 

5 comments:

Lora said...

Thank you so much for the wonderful feedback and invaluable information, Ms. Kaynak! I will definitely take your advice to tighten the query, get rid of the capital M in the middle of Mirrormasters, and leave off the fact that there are 7 crystals.

The manuscript is just at the beginning stages of edits, and I'm so grateful for your encouraging words. They will stay with me as a great motivator.

Disgruntled Bear (Kate Kaynak) said...

So glad I could be of help, Lora. When you're ready to query, I hope you'll keep Spencer Hill in mind.

Deniz Bevan said...

Ooh, love world building and quests!

Lora said...

Ms. Kaynak, I certainly will keep Spencer Hill in mind and look forward to sending in my query , hopefully sometime next year.

Deniz, it's great to meet a kindred spirit =}.

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