Wednesday, January 16, 2013

January Secret Agent #44

GENRE: YA Science Fiction

“This is our favorite tale.” Sister1 would like to share it.

“Especially gratifying since the poor thing was once all alone in the universe.” Sister2 likes changes and ironies.

“Except for us.”

* * *


"She flies through the air with the greatest of ease..." sings Linsu Yakima to herself as she bounces four meters into the air and flips over the image of a burning hot rod swung by her holographic foe. She avoids the illusion of contact by a couple of molecules.

"That was VERY close, Yakima," blurts the voice in her earset.

"You ARE watching," she replies. "Did you bet on me or the hologram?" Back to her song, "...The silly young cop in her bouncing Pedees™..."

Three bursts of light from a laser crossfire. A triple-A-hard pattern to avoid, but Linsu does it by falling flat on the ground and staying still for a moment. In the same instant, Linsu marvels at the power of adrenalin to stretch time, plots her next move, and wonders if she'll bruise from the fall. She enjoys the feel of multithought and wonders if it means that she's still evolving.

"How did you DO that?" squeaks the voice in her earset.

More song, "...Her movements are graceful, all the boys she does please..." as she executes an impossible backflip off the ground to score weapon-takes from two of the shooter holograms. "...And their weapons she's taken away!"


  1. I'm intrigued by this but I wasn't 100% sure what was going on in the section other than she's in a hologram, and that she's trying to avoid touching it.

    The italics at the beginning confused me and I wasn't sure what that had to do with the scene.

    Also after the first couple of lyrics the singing was taking me out of the action of the scene, I'd like to know more about the hologram, what she's doing, and who is in her earset than the song she's singing.

  2. The beginning with the sisters was confusing.
    But the acrobatics/holographic fight scene was cool. Still not sure exactly is going on, but ...

    The cool physical stuff and the weird parody of "The Flying Trapeze" and the futuristic/evolutionary hints give me enough to want to read on at least a few more pages.

  3. I wasn't confused by the unconventional style, for what it's worth! :D I really liked the beginning, the spoiler aout someone having been all alone in the universe. And Yakima seems like a fun character, obviously very skilled at her workout. ;) I would definitely read more!

  4. This has some interesting elements, but it feels disjointed. The script at the top doesn't seem to relate, theer is a disembodied voice in her ear, and she insists on relating her actions to a song.

    There are also a lot of "telling" sentences where the author tells us how she performs a trick instead of showing her performing or tells us her emotion rather than showing it.

    I do like the idea of the hologram and some other force at work in her life, but I think the flaws would preclude me from reading on.


  5. "burning hot rod"

    I had the image of a burning car. Then I went where you probably don't want your reader to go, as this isn't a bodice-ripper.

  6. I was a bit bemused by the opening bit as well, but as it's so short I'd be willing to give you the benefit of the doubt as a reader with your novel, and keep going. So long as you explain it later. :p

    If someone's in a fight/combat/adrenaline situation, it can actually help to get the reader into that mode by using short sentences. Something to consider - our MC seems very in her head.

  7. This is a very interesting beginning, though I did feel a bit disjointed between the first and second parts. I'm curious as to whether the present tense voice continues throughout the narrative. (one side note: the "burning hot rod" line felt more like a car reference.

  8. Hmmm. I didn’t get the beginning at all, but then, that happens a lot with SF. You have to read a bit more for things to start making sense.

    I liked what you did with the second half, but it would be stronger if it was active and shown, rather than passive and told. Don’t tell us what she’s doing. Let her actually do it. And I would have liked a sense of time and place. Where and when am I?

    Since her song ended at exactly the right place, I’m assuming it was tailored for this contest. Perhaps when submitting to editors and agents, consider taking the time to place us firmly in a specific setting. I’d give it a few more pages.

  9. I’m intrigued because of the unique setup. However, the song interrupts the action, and I’m not sure that today’s teens would be familiar with “The Man on the Flying Trapeze.” The opening monograph doesn’t seem relevant. I like the interaction with the voice in her headset, but the lengthy paragraph description of Linsu’s moves seems like it could be better shown. I might keep reading, but I’m not totally hooked.

  10. Just Another YA AuthorJanuary 19, 2013 at 12:06 PM

    This one is middle ground for me. Not in love with it, but I'd keep reading to see if it gets better. It's a little disorienting, but not so much to make me stop reading.