Wednesday, April 24, 2013

April Secret Agent #41

TITLE: Brightest Midnight
GENRE: YA futuristic thriller

Right after the dismissal bell rings, I hop on my scoot-racer and zip toward the airstrip, because that’s how one should ride a scoot-racer—one should zip. Finnur’s probably miles behind me already, but I can’t stop myself, not when all I crave is speed. Keeping my body low, I fly over paved roads and bald patches of rich volcanic soil, catching air whenever I can. I’m going so fast the breeze steals my breath with a sudden gust. In response, I open my mouth wide and lift my face to the vast expanse of blue.

Armed with a life-affirming mouthful of air, I lean close to my scoot-racer and barrel around a curve and up a grassy knoll. Once at the top, I let my engine idle as I take in the airstrip. Parked planes are lined up like shiny toys, and among them, the familiar single-engine Haukur 100 calls me from its position. A propeller plane from the last century might be old-fashioned compared to scoot-racers and skyships, but now that I have my pilot’s license, I’ll fly anything I can get my hands on—and right now, that means Finnur’s dad’s Haukur.

Of course, flying the Haukur means spending time with Finnur at my side in the cockpit. I grip my handlebars. The prospect of being alone with him reminds me of our kiss Saturday night.

The kiss I’m not ready to think about.


  1. I love the way this establishes the futuristic setting, shows what she loves most, and sets up something intriguing with the kiss. So well done. Good luck!

  2. This is a great opening. It provides you with setting, character and conflict--all amongst a moving, breathing scene. Well done and good luck.

  3. I really enjoyed this, great setting and voice. In the first paragraph the phrase "in response" gave me pause and pulled me a bit from the flow. But that might just be the way I am reading it?

    Either way I really enjoyed this, and love the idea of a futuristic thriller.

  4. I get a nice sense of her joy as she rides her scoot-racer. I'd think about coming up with a catchier name for the vehicle. Paragraph three falls a bit flat for me. You lost the voice there.

  5. I love that the protagonist is a girl! I was totally thinking adrenaline-junkie boy. So that was a nice twist. I think the scoot-racer could be called something more flashy. Your description of riding it is robust enough that it you could get away with something less descriptive in the name. (Assuming you used the word scoot to have us think of scooters...).

    And just my personal take, when I hear people saying "one should..." I always think of them as being older and having more decorum. So, her use of "one" didn't seem to fit the voice for me.

    Nice description of gulping the air...I really felt that. Well done.

  6. Very fast, out-of-chute opening. Well done!
    I like that you establish from the start that she is in school, has a firm goal, and set the scene for us.

    Would you consider letting the reader know in the first two paragraphs the sex of the MC and Finnur?

    The use of 'one' as subject is a bit formal for YA.

    I'd like to see you rework the third paragraph to match the rich voice of the other two.

    Good line: "Parked planes are lined up like shiny toys'

  7. Great opening. Loved the voice and the description of the flight. I'd keep reading :)