Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Secret Agent #22

TITLE: My Love is Vengeance
GENRE: YA Fantasy

The point of Gene’s blade lunged towards me. I staggered backwards, out of his reach, barely able to keep my balance on my spindly legs.

“Defend yourself!” Gene threw the whole force of his body in my direction. “For heaven’s sake, Tara. You need to repel me.”

“I’m trying,” I replied, darting to the side and forcing my sword up to meet his, while my heart shook like a ship on a storm-tossed sea. My waist-length hair swept from side to side, slowing my movement and threatening to break out of the green ribbon that restrained it.

Gene’s sword collided with mine and the impact reverberated through my bones. I tensed my stomach, held my breath and pushed back with all the strength I possessed, but he stood his ground and forced me to the floor.

“We could always do this the easy way.” Gene’s mental voice echoed in my mind.

No mind-melding. No possession. I’ll try harder,” I snapped back through our connection.

The tip of his blade touched my throat. I threw my sword to the floor. “I surrender. Gods help me, Gene, I surrender. Can’t you go easy on me, just for once?” My voice shook in sync with my muscles.

Gene raised one dark eyebrow. He withdrew his weapon, took my arm and helped me to my feet.
“Go easy? Why? Because you’re a woman? Because you’re my twin sister? The examiners won’t go easy on you. Neither will the scions of the Great Advisor Families.


  1. Good action scene! Maybe a little too much description pulling me out of the action like, spindly legs, and waist-length hair sweeping from side to side. Also, I assumed she had feelings for him when she said her heart shook...then he says he's her twin! Why was her heart shaking. Did you mean it was beating fast from the exertion? That's not really the emotion you are evoking with "ship on a storm-tossed sea." Overall, good start. It makes me want to keep reading.

  2. I was a little weirded out to find them related. He seems older than her, like an older trainer she has a crush on or something, but this was very engaging! I love how hard he was being on her. I could tell he was someone who cared. Someone who wants to bring the best out of her.

  3. Very well written and very nice flow to the action sequence. But having said that, I think maybe move up a little more content in the first page and stretch out the action scene to introduce both characters more. Good Luck!

  4. The first paragraph didn't work for me. The blade lunging in a fantasy makes me think the blade is the one doing the fighting, but the next sentence there is a he, implying an opponent, so I'm not sure what is going on. I know I seen that phrasing used before, so it's probably just me, but it messes with my understanding. It's a little heavy one the descriptions used at the wrong time, such as the line about the waist-length hair.

    The mind talking is a nice twist to a typical opening that has two people sparring.

    I will add that I didn't read it as the MC having a crush on the trainer.

  5. I really liked it. My only critique is with the last two lines. I think it sounds a bit forced, like you need the reader to know all that, but I don't know if that's how the character would actually say it.

  6. So, something about the way this is worded makes me feel like it's the blade that's lunging on its own. Consider re-wording.

    I think it would be stronger for you to start with the second line: "Defend yourself!"

    There are some cliches here like: "my heart shook like a ship on a storm-tossed sea" - I would consider re-wording that as well.

    I'm also not sure about "My voice shook in sync with my muscles" - I get that her voice is shaking and her body is as well, but something about that sentence gave me pause, I'm not sure it works.

    But I really liked your last line - that told me more about this novel than anything I'd read up until this point. Try to figure out how to clue us in as readers to some of that earlier.

    But I'm intrigued now and I'd read on!

    Thanks for entering!