Wednesday, August 18, 2010

August Secret Agent #22

TITLE: Demon Connection
GENRE: Urban Fantasy

"Ticket, Ma'am?" The bored, nasally question came from the acne-ridden youth behind the kiosk.

I squinted, as if trying to focus, as I swayed gently in the hot summer breeze. Now what kind of idiot would think I was sober enough to drive? "Nope. Din't drive."

"Call you a taxi?"

"No, thanksh. I live that-a-way." Vaguely fluttering my hand toward the right, I walked unsteadily down the curve of the hotel drive away from the bright lights and human intervention. Night had settled in, along with an eerie darkness. The city had been saving money by turning off the unnecessary street lights. I knew I was a walking target, whether it was a mugger, gangbanger or demon, now that was the question.

A block away from the hotel, I stopped at the first intersection and pressed the button to change the signal. If I'd lost the demon, I'd be royally pissed off. Screwing up and having someone else paid the price was not acceptable. I couldn't let it happen again.

Don't play the blame game yet, Danica. Focus

As I waited for the light to change—not like I needed to wait, since there was almost no traffic—a warm dank breeze washed past my face, bearing a hint of evil—decay and death.

The demon had flown ahead of me to set up an ambush.

A smirk quirked my lips.

Ah, but who would ambush whom?


  1. The first thing I think when reading this was, "If she's hunting a demon, she better have a darn good excuse for being actually drunk, instead of pretending." Unless she is pretending, which I can assume she is because her thoughts are very sharp and so her observations. Still, maybe that could be clarified? But I like the character's voice, and I love the name Danica! I wasn't completely hooked, but I'd have read on for a page or two.

  2. This is interesting, and I'd probably read more. I was confused about her sobriety as well, but if I was a demon hunter, I'd probably be drunk, too.

  3. "having someone else paid the price" doesn't work for me, but I'm not sure what you're really going for, so I can't offer a change. :) "pay"? Reword entirely?

    The "walking target" sentence also needs work. the first third doesn't match the last third. Maybe something more like "I knew i was a walking target, but whether my attacker would be a mugger, gangbanger, or a demon was the question.' Hmmm. But you see what I mean? "being a target" is NOT the question. The question is who would attack you.

    But I like it and would keep reading!

  4. I thought it was okay, and I might read a bit more, but it wasn't compelling. There were enough 'slips' that made me wonder if it would be worth it.

    I didn't get the opening. The kid is asking her if she wants a ticket. Why is she assuming he's suggesting she drives? The answer comes further down when she walks away from the hotel and we can assume the kid was talking about valet parking. We should know that when it happens.

    It would also help if we knew right away that she was only pretending to be drunk.

    Why is she at the kiosk at all? What is the kiosk? We find out later, but we don't know when we should. You haven't set up a sense of place and time.

    The - I knew I was a walking target,- sentence doesn't work. Pehaps make it two sentences to be clearer.

    A smirk quirked my lips. It's her pov - I smirked.

  5. The kiosk bit made me think she was at a carnival. Aren't most valet stations just a board with keys on it? (Or maybe I just visit cheapo valet places, hee!)

  6. I like subtlety, but there can be too much of a good thing. It would be helpful if after the "No thanksh" there was some indication she was pretending to be drunk. Also, we could use something on this first page to hint at how capable she is.

  7. I'm confused about where she's leaving--clearly somewhere with valet. Is it important? Is that where she first spotted the demon? How else would it know to go ahead and set up an ambush?

    I was also confused by the first few lines, but I think if you added "behind the valet kiosk" you could clarify why the boy's asking for a ticket.

    The "Screwing up and having someone else pay (not paid) the price was not acceptable...again" should be a little more dramatic. "Screwing up and having another death on my conscious," or whatever the result of that first screw up was, would add instant depth to Danica.

    I'm only midly hooked, and I think it's because I don't care about Danica. What's she got at stake? Is she a good demon hunter? Is she doing it for fun? Does she have a death wish?

  8. The problem with this opening was that I wasn’t sure if Danica was actually drunk or not. I’m guessing she’s only pretending in order to mislead the demon, in the hopes that he (or she) makes some sloppy mistake, but this much disorientation in the opening paragraphs doesn’t bode well for the rest of the novel, so I’d say no to this one.

  9. can a question be bored or nasily? that tripped me up from the start.

    i guess i just don't get this one.

  10. Hmm . . . guess that will teach me to use the ending hook for Chapter one instead of the 'real' beginning. *beats head against desk*
    Too bad, I can't scream, "Do over!"