Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Are You Hooked? Young Adult #4

TITLE: Designs of Euphoria
GENRE: YA Science Fiction

When seventeen-year-old Lottie discovers her first love is a genetically modified warrior loyal to a supercomputer, the only thing worse is the reason why.

I looked behind, barely able to see Dad buried between the sacks, hoping against hope that he’d stay there. Grains of sand whipped around us, scattering as we neared West Gate. A slow ache rippled through my shoulder blades as I turned back around. Everything hurt, everything always hurt, by the time we got to the gate. Even my hair hurt. I tugged at its knot, letting the tangled mess fall to my shoulders.

A ding on the transport’s front display called, igniting a faint orange glow. They identified us. Up ahead, the warriors stood erect with their backs against the chiseled stone, looking as greyed and weathered as the wall they guarded, but also as proud. Cursing myself for not moving sooner, I slammed the text closed and jumped from the makeshift perch. A hollow slip ran between the transport’s interior wall and flat deck. Two quick bangs and the rusty casing opened enough for me to hide the book inside. A good kick and it closed.

As we neared the gate, the darkened silhouettes shifted, drawing electrified braided spears outward. Black synthetic leathers ran smoothly over their bodies, layered on top of the concealed source of their inhuman strength: exogear. More warriors watched from the top of the warded wall, hidden from view and lost in the depths of the sky.

Either the automatic alert or my frantic scurry woke Dad. He wrestled a bit as he made his way to the front of the transport, reeking from...


  1. I liked this beginning of a scene. It made me want to know more about Lottie--is she a smuggler? a tradeswoman? a courier?--and why her dad has to hide.

    The only thing that tripped me up was the book. I didn't get that "the text" referred to a book until the end of that paragraph, and if she went out of her way to hide it, it might have been nice to see her reading it beforehand. Then we'd know what it's about and why it might be dangerous.

    One last thought: I'd change "They identified us" to "They'd identified us." I think that will help with clarity.

    Good luck to you and DESIGNS OF EUPHORIA!

  2. The log line is fantastic. Clear, concise, and left me wanting to know more.

    The action here is a little confusing. It's not sure what kind of transport their in (or even if they're in a transport at the beginning). Is it an enclosed transport? A truck? A flat? Where are the walls that hide the book? A little more about the character and setting would help ground the reader in what's happening.

    The writing is strong, the imagery (when used) is great at painting the picture, but I'm just not getting a clear enough picture of what's going on.

    I'd read on, give it a few more pages to explain. Write on!

  3. I am not hooked only because I found the action here confusing. I had a hard time imagining the scene and had to re-read too many things and I just don't want to work that hard lol.