Wednesday, November 4, 2009

15 Secret Agent

GENRE: Urban Fantasy

“How, exactly, is a parasitic dick-fish a selling point, Doc?” Adrian’s voice rose, as did his eyebrows, not that Doc Soc could see him over a thousand miles of telephone lines.

“C’mon, Adrian. It’s the Amazon jungle. There’s amazing flora and fauna. Like the carnero. It swims up your urine stream, into your penis. Local tribes use it to determine guilt—you live, you’re innocent; you die...”

Adrian shuddered, his shoulder-length curls tickling his neck. “Well, I…”

“That a yes? Great! I’ll just—”

“Whoa, Doc! Time out.” Adrian paced his living room. “Sorry, Doc. Fascinating as your dick-fish sounds, not to mention the monkey-brain salad, I can’t just take off and go tooling around the rainforest.” He yanked a loose thread from his dress slacks. A tiny hole appeared in the seam.

“But the cave paintings, the lost temples, the shamanic miracles? You can’t say no to shamanic miracles! I need you, Adrian. You did your post-grad work on the Temple of Transfiguration. And you’re so good with languages. And photography. We’re going to find it. You’re going to find it!”

Professor Socrates Kawasaki could be very persuasive, hitting all Adrian’s anthropological hot buttons. (Except maybe the dick-fish. Adrian felt pretty sure he preferred his dick fish-free.) Finny parasites aside, Adrian heard the siren call of all things rainforest, shamanic, and miraculous.

“I’ve got a job. A career,” he amended. “I just got promoted to HR Manager.”

“But you’re an anthropologist. What happened to your dreams? Going on one little expedition isn’t going to hurt you!”


  1. Not so sure about the dick-fish myself, but I'd definitely read more. I love the title! And an urban fantasy with a male character (other than Dresden) sounds good too.

    The shoulder-length curls was my only pause. Ok, maybe the hole in the slacks. Descriptions that didn't seem to go with the rest of the conversation, but I'm still interested.

  2. A lively, entertaining voice. Lots of adventure ahead. I'm hooked!

  3. This looks like a fun read. Great wit and voice. I like the title, too, and the HR Manager bit. Nice set up. I'd keep reading.

  4. First of all, LOVE the title, which grabbed me and made me chuckle.

    Like the set up and the voice, very humorous.

    I'd read on.

  5. Ha! Funny. The energy and the humour really makes a person want to read on!

  6. I liked the humor too. I'd probably read further, assuming the same snarky tone continues. One suggestion: "he amended" - yuck. Just say "said." Or perhaps "protested." "Amend" not only sounds awful, but it's a transitive verb -- it's got to have an object.

  7. Great title!

    I like Adrian and I love Professor Socrates Kawasaki's name!

    A minor thing:
    This is in Adrian's POV. He wouldn't think of himself as having "shoulder-length curls." Someone else has to comment on his looks or the old, tired and totally overused, mirror gaze.

    Love the siren call of all things rain forest...line.

    I'd read on

    Good luck

  8. Hooked! There was something in almost parg. that gave me another reason to read on. Your characters were appealing, I can imagine all the places this could go, I know what I'm getting into, and it had the added touch of humor.

    As others pointed out, you could lose the curls and amended, but overall, fun and interesting!

  9. I normally hate books that start with dialogue, but your first line is definitely a grabber.

    I also think the parenthetical comment is pretty witty.

  10. I agree with losing the 'amended' and description of the hair. Maybe say something about the tickle making him shiver (could be a bit of worrisome foreshadowing, too :)

    Everything else is great. Awesome opening lines.

  11. Loved it!
    I personally am a wee bit tired of all the monster fighting hot chicks I can't relate to in a lot of today's Fan, but the stories with male main characters still grab my attention.
    I have to say I love the dick fish, it gives me the idea that there's going to be some humor in this adventure!

  12. Cute! I'd read on, because of the voice and situation and the characters. I like seeing two male main characters for once, instead of the normal male and female.


  13. You had me at parasitic dick-fish :-)

    Seriously though, this is funny and promises adventure. What's not to like? I didn't even notice the writing, which shows I was too wrapped up in the story to care.

  14. Awesome. I'd like to read this book. The title drew my attention and the writing kept me reading. I also like the subject matter. If I see this title out there some day - I'd buy it!

  15. Clever title.

    I found opening with the 'dick fish' comment and then repeating that phrase three more times in the first 250 words off putting.

    The mention of his shoulder length curls felt out of place where it now stands. It could easily be worked in more smoothly later.

    That said, I like your set up. This sounds like it could be a fun read.

  16. Alrighty, looks like blogger ate my original comment, so here I go again...Ever since I read Heart of Fire by Linda Howard a zillion years ago, I have been a sucker for books set in the Amazon. I am pretty much automatically hooked with this one. I like the opening paragraph, but beyond that, the dialogue feels a little forced. Doc Soc is kind of pushy, but I could like Adrian. I am expecting Adrian to carry the story instead of Doc Soc anyway.

  17. Great title and great first line too.

    I agree with the crits about his own curls though. Not necessary

    Clearly Doc Soc's wishes are going to prevail. I would read on to find out what happens to Adrian.

  18. Ooh, I love it. Great first line. It sounds like an entertaining read. I would love to know more about this book.