Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Are You Hooked? Young Adult #9

TITLE: Knights and Daes
GENRE: YA Science Fiction

Tragedy is the reason Jaycie’s name is famous. Her brothers died from being struck by lightning - the first in 50 years. But she uncovers a letter that tells a different story. During the reign of hoverboards and a game of lightning, Jaycie unravels a century-old family conspiracy that changes everything.

Most nights it rains. Others, it storms. Those are the nights the games begin. Those nights the darkness is alive with laughter, lightning, and canons of thunder. Tonight there is only silence in the absence of rain on the rooftops or the soft hum of hoverboards. The stars and the moon shine like beacons in the darkness, beckoning me out into the stillness of the night. It’s nights like this I can still smell the bloodred roses in my hair, feel the spring breeze in my face, and hear summer chimes in the distance.

I slip my feet into a pair of shoes, pull my gray sweatshirt over my head, tug a black face mask over my mouth, and move to the window. Through the glossy windowpane I can see a thin fog blowing through the yard, seeping in and out of the forest trees like spirits. The window whines as I carefully slide it open and punch out the screen, trying not to wake anyone. I duck through the windowsill and climb onto the roof of the porch. With one deep breath, I slip off the edge, the grass squishing under my feet when I land. I take, one, two, three steps and run, heading straight for the woods.

The wet air lingers on my reddened face as I duck under low tree branches and leap over fallen logs. Still, my mind is full of nonsense, almost as infuriating as the hum of hoverboards in the middle of the night. The trees thin and I enter the clearing, approaching the ancient, thick-barked tree. A drop of water slips down my neck as I reach into my sweatshirt pocket and wrap my fingers around the stems of flowers.

Under the starlit sky, I lay the white carnations beside their names and run.


  1. This story hooked me right off. The plot sounds unusual and intriguing. Game of lightning? Cool! And there's a conflict right off the bat. If you want someone to read further, I would be game. I also have hoverboards in my story, a game, and flowers play a role too, and it's dystopian (not the one I submitted here). The plot is different. One thing about the logline. This part too evasive, "Jaycie unravels a century-old family conspiracy that changes everything" and I don't think it's needed.
    I suggest this instead, "During the reign of hoverboards and a game of lightning,Jaycie's brothers died - the first electrocution in 50 years. But that might not be an accident and maybe teh opposite team is after her too." What is missing is what is at stake. Is her life at stake? Who is the villain? Good luck!

  2. Am I hooked. Yes. I liked the century old family conspiracy line. I believe some of your sentences need work. The mask thing pulled me out of the story because she puts on a mask, later she can feel wet air on her reddened face. Why would she feel the air if she has a mask on?

    I also think you could do away with the glossy windowpane since she went to the window we know she is looking outside. and write: A thin fog blows through the yard seeping through the forest trees like spirits. Its a great visual and now not crowded with excess words. Some of your other descriptions could use tightening too. Still this is a great beginning.

  3. Interesting premise, I think I would read on to find out more about this world. In the first paragraph you mentioned the "soft hum of hoverboards" which made the sound seem almost welcomed and soothing, and then later you said the hum of the hoverboards was infuriating which made them sound loud and obnoxious so i am not sure which it is. Anyway I don't think you need to mention the "hum of the hoverboards" twice on the page anyway. As you can see, it distracted me, sorry!

  4. Your personification of darkness is really well-done. The log line was also well-done, and I feel instantly curious about what happens here.

    Maybe take out a liiiitle bit of the description in the first paragraph? I think it was gripping at first, but by the time I'm reading about the roses and the spring air I'm starting to wonder about the action. Maybe I simply have a short attention span, haha, but it's a thought.

    Great work so far.