Friday, December 2, 2011

#21 Urban Fantasy: Shadow Runner

TITLE: Shadow Runner
GENRE: Urban Fantasy

When a friend is kidnapped in the name of Creature Equality, something seems off to Otherworldly Investigator A.J. Fallon. Forced to work with an old adversary to save the woman, A.J. realizes that rescuing her friend may mean exposing herself and the secret she’s kept for sixteen years.

A.J. swung the office door open without knocking. Why bother with the formality when she was going in regardless?

The man behind the desk looked up at her, his expression equal parts amusement and exasperation.
“Fallon. Nice work last night.”

“Thanks, Captain.”

Alphonse Delgado leaned back in his chair. “Isn’t it early for you to be up? I thought you PIs preferred night work. More shadows to skulk in.”

A.J. smiled. “I do enjoy the skulking. I actually just wanted to see how our boy was doing.”

He rolled his eyes heavenward. “Last I checked he was still crying a little. Saying he didn’t steal the egg, he found it and was trying to return it. It’s all a big misunderstanding.”


“Yeah, well, his partner rolled quick enough. Gave us the location of the other eggs. Got some uniforms out returning them to their families this morning. Also their inside source--a yahoo from zoning trying to make some quick cash.”

“Makes sense.” A.J. nodded. “The nest was definitely within regs. You can’t see it from the ground. He would’ve needed the tip.”

“It takes a special sort of idiot to go after dragons.” Delgado shook his head. “But the jackass is over in booking now, and you prevented a national landmark from being incinerated.”

“Gotta love a happy ending.”

“Yeah and, from what I’ve heard, we almost didn’t get one.” His face got serious. A.J. knew what was coming. She’d prepared herself for it.


  1. Great character names and tone!!
    I read the whole thing, didn't get bored once. Definitely want to know more about Fallon and this world. Fantastic :D
    Ninja Girl

  2. Might I suggest starting with: "It takes a special sort of idiot to go after dragons." That's the bit that made me sit up and take notice, the beginning (about someone not bothering to knock) didn't have the same intensity.

    Best of luck!

  3. "More shadows to skulk in."

    This was the first line that caught my attention--I really liked the humor in it. This excerpt certainly thrusts us into the situation quickly, but I felt like I didn't really get to know AJ or Alphonse as much as I'd like to. I wonder if you could work in some more of AJ's interior monologue with the dialogue to give us a better sense of her character as the situation unfolds.

    Good luck with this!

  4. I agree with PCB. Your "special sort of idiot" line is where things really got interesting for me. And it seems where the 250 left off, the story was really about to pick up.

    I did find the logline a bit vague. Could you give a more specific idea of the secret to really pull me into this book?

    Good luck and good editing!

  5. I also think "It takes a special kind of idiot..." line should lead, but I also think it should be delivered by A.J. It definitely has her sass. As it is, AJ and the Captain don't really have distinguishable voices

    Nitpicky: "kept" in the logline is weak. Perhaps "guarded." It conveys that she is actively protecting it.

    Good luck! I enjoyed the excerpt and would look forward to more.

  6. I like the mixture of detective novel and dragons and I would read on. Having said that though, I'm wondering if there's a stronger place to start your story. There's nothing wrong with this scene, but it involves two characters discussing something exciting that happened the night before. Why not start us in the action of the previous night? It sounds like the Captain is about to say something with major consequences for AJ. Seeing as she is expecting it, perhaps you could end the scene set the night before with her thinking about what the Captain will say the next day, then open with her in his office already and him saying "It takes a special sort of idiot..." etc., which would get us to whatever it is he's about to say quickly.

    Just a thought. Good luck with the auction!

  7. I agree with everyone else about starting with "It takes a special sort of idiot" and it coming from AJ.

    I like this piece. I wonder if it will have a "Men in Black" quality to it.

    In the logline, when you say,"to save the woman" I didn't think you meant the friend. Just reword a bit to cue the reader.

    I'd read on.

  8. Exciting logline. This makes for quite a book. There's a lot of creativity in the world created.

    But this doesn't quite feel like the beginning of the book. Too dialogue-heavy and explanatory. It feels more like a third or fourth chapter opener. I could use a bit more set-up for this world you've crafted and the back story of the MC.

  9. I like that this isn't your ordinary world that contains dragons--very intriguing.

    the part I had difficulty with was knowing who was speaking at the beginning.

    “Fallon. Nice work last night.”

    “Thanks, Captain.”

    at this point either of them could be a captain, and either of them could have a last name Fallon, so I'm not sure which voice goes to which character. An easy fix to clear this up.

    great job.

  10. I enjoyed reading this piece. The dialogue flowed nicely and I have a nice sense of the world you've created.

    The first paragraph is weaker than the rest. Perhaps if you simply deleted the "Why bother..." question. Her action in the sentence previous shows us her train of thought.

    I have to agree with the comments you've already received. This is a great chunk of dialogue, but maybe not the best place to start the story. Give us the action as it happened the night before!

    I also agree that it would be nice to have a bit more info in the logline. The logline doesn't give me anything original, or anything to picture vividly in my mind. Tell us something about that secret.

    I liked "Original." For some reason that just cracked me up.

    The piece is funny and engaging. Good job. And good luck with bids!

  11. Ooh, I really like this! I was a bit confused at all the references to eggs, so I started skimming that bit, until I hit the dragons. I don't think I've read an urban fantasy with dragons in before, although I love dragon stories - it's a very interesting idea.

    I like the humour in the line about skulking.
    I can't really add much to a critique, I would just like to see where things go from here - I wish we got to see just a couple more paragraphs in these openings.

    Good luck in the auction!

  12. I like the dialogue, but it feels sparse. I'd like a bit more scene-setting or interior monologue along with it to help give me a sense of place. So far, it's two characters reading interesting lines on an empty stage.

    "It takes a special kind of idiot..." and the bit about skulking are fun lines. The eggs intrigued me, and I kind of liked being kept waiting to learn that they were dragon eggs. Part of the fun of urban fantasy is turning the world on its head by treating otherworldly things as everyday, and you execute that well. I just need more around the dialogue to get me truly hooked.

  13. Loved it. My only concern is that there is a minor Marvel character who can move through shadows and uses crutches. Just check. Other than that, I really had a good time reading this1

  14. Truely enjoyed the narrative voice in between the witty dialogue. The character development is great, love Delgado's sarcasm =) Can't wait to unveil the secrets of Fallon!