Wednesday, September 9, 2009

13 Secret Agent

GENRE: YA Urban Fantasy

A sharp needle pierced her neck. She ripped the tipped dart from her skin but knew it was too late. The poison was already rushing through her bloodstream…she had but mere seconds left.

Abby Sorrensten was losing control with each passing second. Her anger burned within her. It had been with her all these years, buried deep, growing stronger day by day, beat by beat. She tried to keep it down, but the treatment these men inflicted on her for the past thirteen years had taken its toll, weakened her to the point she could no longer contain it.

Since the age of four, she had been covered with cuts and bruises, stitched skin, smashed knuckles. Her so-called training had given her umpteenth concussions, broken bones, tremendous loss of blood. Not once did the men that trained her, the members of the Order, offer empathy or remorse.

So why should she?

She glared at the man leaning over the arena balcony, still aiming the tranquilizer mechanism her way. Her vision was different now. Her green eyes transformed when the anger took over. Oddly enough, the vision through her cold, black eyes was sharper, clearer. They offered fewer colors to distract her from her target.

She growled as the man pulled the cord of the crossbow towards him, preparing to fire again. A sudden burst of energy shot to her right hand and radiated an intense glow. This should've frightened her, but it was just one of the unknowns happening to her right now.


  1. I'm intrigued by this, and would read on.

  2. Interesting. I'd read more.

  3. yes, this is interesting.

  4. I would definitely keep reading, although I wasn't sure if the crossbow was the same device as the "tranquilizer mechanism"

  5. I liked the premise, but thought the writing could be stronger.

    In the first parg, she's been poisoned and has but mere seconds left, and everything that happens after that takes more than mere seconds.

    And as it turns out, she hasn't been poisoned, she's been hit with a tranquilizer dart.

    So I'd be wondering if I was going to keep hitting bumps like that throughout the rest of the story.

    But I'd keep reading and hope there weren't any more bumps along the way.

  6. What Barbara said. It needs to be clearer that the dart is either filled with poison or a tranquilizer. And is she losing control because of that or her anger?

    I felt like paras two and three were backstory that we didn't need just yet.

    I really like the change in her vision.

  7. Not hooked; the backstory info you provided in the 2nd and 3rd paragraphs pulled me out of the story and confused me. I am more interested on what's going on with Abby and the man who tranquilized her. I would suggest waiting on the backstory; pick a time when Abby is not in the middle of something exciting and then tell me a little bit more about her history.

  8. I thought the backstory you provided was absolutely essential to understanding her situation. And I love the title.

    I do think the writing could be tightened up a bit. It seems overly dramatic in the first paragraph to then transition to the backstory.

  9. I'm very intrigued by this and would continue reading.

    The only thing that bugged me was 'tipped dart'. I wonder if simply using 'dart' here would work better.

  10. I think the setting is great, I'm intrigued by the action in the opening, and yet...the writing is a bit rough. I don't know. I'd probably keep reading, but not much further if the style did not improve.

  11. Sorry, not hooked. Seems like an interesting premise, but the writing wasn't tight enough and didn't seem to focus on the scene at hand... got confusing

  12. Sounds interesting, but I'm afraid I wasn't hooked. The writing could be tighter, and I think the backstory slows the scene down too much.

  13. I don't know...I'm on the fence with this one. I'd keep reading for a few pages to see what was up and then decide.

  14. I wont lie- it was very interesting. Actually, it was just as good as some books that I've read in this same genre, so I would say that it was very good all around. I also liked the paragraph where her vision changes, but I was a little confused as to if her eyes used to be green, and are now black. Other than that- awesome. Good luck! = )

  15. I'm put off by the back story in the first few paragraphs, and not really intrigued by the awkwardness in some of the sentences.

  16. The action starts off with a bang and the concept is interesting, but the phrasing/word-choice is a weakness here. Definitely a promising story, but not quite there yet.

  17. Not hooked. I didn't feel like I was in the the main character's head enough for an action scene--the backstory particularly took me out of the flow.

  18. With a plot like this, what isn't there to love. But it seemed like you were handing out too much information too fast. Keep some of the mystery and push us to keep reading would be my suggestion.

  19. I think this is great scene leading to a great story, but it does need tightening.

    Here's some ex. of tighter.

    A needle pierced her neck.

    Needles are usually sharp- so why tell us? its an extra word. Now, if it was dull, we might need to know why. But sharp is a given.

    She ripped out the dart but knew it was too late. (we already know its in her skin) And "tipped dart" made me pause and go, huh?

    The next sentence begins with poison- it tells me what I needed to know with tipped-its a great sentence- don't lose me before i get there!

    Now, this is personal but i'm not a big fan of last names right away- Abby is fine. and its more intimate, connecting me to her and her mind.

    And you used the word/idea of seconds twice in 2 lines- I say go straight to -
    Abby's anger burned within her.

    That's pretty durn interesting- no fear only anger! Get me to that great line.

    last comment- skip "the men that trained her' and just say not once did the members of the Order offer...

    again- you'd told us of men already.

    Good luck. Keep writing! I like this.

  20. I'm voting for cutting all the backstory. I'd go from 'She had mere seconds left' to 'Abby glared...". I think the backstory is important, but it doesn't need to be right in the first few paragraphs. I don't think action is a great place for backstory.

  21. Thank you guys! Every critique helps.

    The backstory does come into play later on in the novel, so I'm more than willing to toss it.

    Special thanks to you guys that gave examples for your turn-offs. For awhile there, I was afraid no one was gonna do that for me!