Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Public Slushpile #10

TITLE: DAUGHTER OF THE MOON
GENRE: YA Urban Fantasy

Seventeen-year-old Selina Kane always knew she was different, but never imagined she was last-living-necromancer different. Not until she starts speaking the language of the Underworld and visiting Acherusian Lake in her dreams. And then Blake storms into her life, claiming to be her bonded protector and making her blush and stumble over her words. Blake warns Selina about Ciara, queen of the undead. Ciara has gained ground in the world of the living, and it isn’t a secret that she feels threatened by Selina’s return.

Before long, the undead attack and Selina watches helplessly through the only spell she can conjure – a protective shield – as Blake is dragged away in her place. Selina assumes the undead have murdered him and she turns to the necromantic powers she hardly knows how to use, risking her life to search for Blake in the Underworld. But Selina doesn’t find his soul resting peacefully in Acherusian Lake. Blake’s been transformed into one of the undead, and the guards of the Underworld expect her to find and destroy him.

Selina doesn’t care what the guards’ idea of her duty as a necromancer is; she’s determined to get Blake back in one piece. There is one spell, one that would save Blake’s soul, but she’d have to kill him to use it, and worse, transform him into a ferryman for the Underworld. There may be other ways to save him though, if she's willing to make dark alliances with the undead. Selina knows she shouldn’t, but with Blake’s life in jeopardy, the line between good and evil starts to blur.

35 comments:

Miss Cole said...

YES - The necromancy idea sounds so good it made me disregard my dislike for romance.

Sarah F. said...

YES. Although this seems a lot like Anglefire, I like the necromancy idea.
~Sarah F.

Rachel Menard said...

Yes. Great voice and I agree with the above, necromancy is an interesting idea.

Nicole said...

No. I waffled, though. On one hand, it sounds kind of interesting. On the other hand, it doesn't feel different enough.

CourtneyC said...

No.

It could be a good story, but this is way too long for a query (reads like a synopsis) and the "MC never imagined"-type beginning has been so overdone.

Loralie Hall said...

Yes. I get a clear idea of the story and it sounds like a fascinating one.

A Little Push said...

NO. I got confused, and opening with "She always knew she as different" sounds cliche.

A.C. Turcotte said...

No. I went back and forth on this one, because the idea is interesting, but ultimately I just wasn't drawn to the voice of the query.

Janice Sperry said...

Yes. It could use a little tweaking but the main character's stakes are clear.

Rick said...

Yes, mirroring the first comment exactly. The romance turned me off of this story but the rest of the query & voice were too compelling. I'd happily read it.

Jean Davis said...

No. Close, but nothing really stood out to hook me.

Lanette said...

No. There are some cliche phrases, but ultimately my reason for no is that it didn't grab me.

Angela said...

YES sounds fascinating!

Tina Moss said...

NO, the first paragraph didn't draw me in enough to get to the meat of the query.

Holly Bodger said...

No. This is a plot summary.

Lori M. Lee said...

Yes, but the query needs to be much more concise.

Sarah Ahiers said...

YES
I think the query could be tightened, but otherwise it sounded fun to me

Heather said...

Yes.

I can tell what the story is about and what the stakes are, but I do think it could be tightened up and made even clearer.

SMKrafty said...

Yes- but only on the strength of a teenage necromancer- the rest of the description kind of has me trying to pull the pieces of the story together.

T.D. McFrost said...

No.

I'll be concise: You fail to include anything "Urban" in this query for it to be considered Urban Fantasy. Necromancy is INCREDIBLY dark magic and involves tainting one's soul to use its power, hence your character will be a broken and sordid person for using it. The romantic elements seem "tacked on" as if to appeal to its audience. You mention the queen, who I assume is the main antagonist, and jump to guards.

You should focus on one conflict in your query and not multiple. It's confusing.

Good Luck.

Stephanie G said...

No. I think you have some interesting things going on, but I didn't really get a sense of why Selina cares so much about Blake.

Leah Petersen said...

No.

It felt like the stakes changed and there was almost too much detail or poor choice of wording and sentence structure. (Like the only way to save him would make him the ferryman, but then, oh, there are other ways...) I got lost in what the conflict really was.

Durango Writer said...

No. Reads like a synopsis instead of a query that hooks.

Alexa said...

No.

General concept is interesting, if oddly developed (I know what *I* think a Necromancer is, but the query/synopsis seems to make it a bit... light), but the query suffers from too much info dump. Needs less synopsis and more of a hook.

Aldrea Alien said...

No. Almost yes. Not sure if the guards are connected to the queen or a separate threat, but it seems to me like there’s a world in danger going on and she’s concerned with one boy.
Also it reads more like something between a synopsis and what’s usually found on a back cover.

Stephsco said...

No - A sharper focus for the main plot and conflicts will help, and if the writer can feature what makes this fantasy stand out from the crowd. @T.D. had some good comments.

Dale said...

Yes. But tighten the focus so that it sings. I was intriqued enough to say yes, though,

Mia K Rose said...

No. You need to tighten the focus and nothing in the query makes me believe this is an urban fantasy.

S L Jenan said...

No, too much synopsis for my taste.

Adam Heine said...

NO. I had trouble following a lot of the query elements (e.g. What is Acherusian Lake? Whose side are the guards of the Underworld on? And what is her Big Choice at the end (like, is there one way to save him, or many)?).

MittensMorgul said...

Yes, but barely.

It's definitely not urban fantasy, but I'm interested enough to read more. Since it is "fantasy" and this is your world, necromancy can mean as light or dark a magic as you deem it should. It reads a little more like a synopsis than I'd like, but it drew me in.

Lindsay Kitson said...

Yes - But borderline - the unfamiliar terms threw me, and it reads more like a synopsis than a query, but it sounds like it could be a solid story.

macaronipants said...

No. Interesting setup, but ultimately feels too one-dimensional.

Elizabeth Light said...

Yes. But it was a soft yes because the query needs a lot of tightening and I worry that the manuscript will be riddled with unneeded words and confusing sentences as well.

BuffySquirrel said...

No, because if I don't like the writing in the query, I'm betting I won't like it in the book.