Miss Snark's First Victim
Not hooked. I think it'd be punchier without the "Retreating to her mountain home" which feels like one of those old voice-overs from National Geographic shows. It distances me from the character rather than tying me to her.
Take out the first sentence. Then I would be curious.
Not hooked -- I agree w/ Tami about cutting the 'Retreating' part -- not b/c of the old-voiceness, but b/c it's a bit less active.
Agree with Tami: Starting with a gerund is immediately off-putting for me (and a lot of others). It's too passive. Try this:"Maren Sullivaine retreated to her mountain home. She staggered..."Get rid of all the "-ing" words, give your writing more punch, and then I'll probably want to read more!
What Steve said! I like the meaning, but I think the wrting needs tweaking.
I like the title. I'd read more to see where this is going.
Not hooked. Sorry.
Gerunds are not evil. BUT I would agree that this one doesn't serve you because I wonder at simultaneously retreating and staggering. Start with "Maren..." This beginning is a bit cliched though - so many books start with someone staggering away from danger. What makes Maren and her danger unique?
I find it confusing. Where is she retreating from? It initially sounded like she was right there, but then she's staggering up a ridge. Retreating and staggered don't seem to flow together.
Not hooked, sorry.
Maren staggered up the ridge to her home above Tarryton, moving slower and slower as if her legs wore iron weights.