Wednesday, July 3, 2019

Critique by Rosaria Munda: Orphaned Skies

GENRE: YA Science Fiction

With the Stingray invasion escalating, fighter pilot Juniper Crew must decide between becoming a Legacy and avenging her past, or defending the people she swore to protect and saving her future.


Worlds around her would explode if she touched the spinning orb and stole a life back from the Reaper. But since that life belonged to her best friend, nothing else mattered. I THINK THIS PARAGRAPH MIGHT BE MORE CONFUSING THAN YOU NEED IT TO BE. IS REAPER A WORLDBUILDING ELEMENT OR JUST A FIGURATIVE REFERENCE? WHAT IS SHE TRYING TO DO? IS HER FRIEND INSIDE THE ORB OR IS ORB THE TANDEM SPACESHIP REAGAN IS FLYING?

Juniper Crew accelerated, chasing Reagan’s egg-shaped vessel in an oblong orbit over Earth’s northern hemisphere, the duo mere minutes away from completing their ninety-ninth mission FOR WHOM? IMPERIAL OR REBEL? IS IT A TRAINING MISSION? IS IT FOR A WAR EFFORT? GIVE A BIT MORE HERE AND IN THE NEXT PARA TO SET STAKES. She just needed to find and destroy the traitors badge. And for Crew, admittedly a little trigger-happy, destroying was the best part. I LOVE THE JOYFUL ENERGY CREW BRINGS TO HER FLYING!

Purple curls twisted at the base of her skull, WHY ARE HER PURPLE CURLS RELEVANT RIGHT NOW? ARE THEY DRENCHED IN SWEAT BECAUSE THE SHIP IS HEATING UP? ETC. WEAVE THEM INTO THE ACTION the graft gripping her shoulder blades and burning down through her fingertips. Energy flowed across her mind more than concrete words or commands. Her A16 Encryption fell into Reagan’s slipstream and drafted off the speeding escort egg. I'M OF THE BELIEF THAT IF YOU'RE NAMING IT, THAT NAME SHOULD ADVANCE THE WORLDBUILDING IN SOME WAY. A16 ENCRYPTION DOESN'T TELL ME ANYTHING ABOUT HER OR HER WORLD--BUT E.G. "IMPERIAL A16 ENCRYPTION" DOES, OR JUST "SPYSHIP" IF IT'S RECON, ETC. CONSIDER PLAYING WITH THIS!

The depth of true black surrounded her, yet the lull of empty space competed with the bubbling excitement inside. So close. This mission and then one more. Once she completed a hundred, she’d be free. I'D TRY GIVING US MORE HERE AND SEE HOW IT WORKS. FREE FROM WHAT? WHY? YOU COULD TEASE A BIT ABOUT EITHER OR HER PAST OR HER FUTURE—THAT PAST SHE IS GOING TO HAVE TO CHOOSE WHETHER TO AVENGE; THAT FUTURE THAT SHE IS STRIVING TOWARD?

Crew cradled the craft’s nose, edging it closer to her escort. The egg jerked and picked up speed. I WOULD CUT THIS BECAUSE IT DIDN'T ADVANCE THE ACTION OR BUILD CHARACTER. She opened comms. “See it yet, Reagan?”

“Got a visual on my right.” The ear-plant crackled. “Optical only though.” HOW IS OPTICAL DIFFERENT FROM VISUAL?

Spurred by the confirmation, the Encryption surged forward and broke the artificial horizon. Unadulterated white rays blasted through the slanted stealth canopy and Crew’s skin tingled with a warmth that didn’t exist. I DON’T THINK YOU CAN FEEL SOMETHING THAT DOESN’T EXIST. REPHRASE? The visor auto tinted and the flush of her arms settled into their usual prickle, hairs raised on end and the singe of copper running through her veins. I APPRECIATE THAT YOU'RE TRYING TO AVOID "BLOOD TINGLING IN HER VEINS" HERE, BUT BEWARE SYNONYMS THAT FEEL FORCED!

“We have it!” A new voice broke through.


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