Monday, March 25, 2013

Become an Agent #18

Title: Going Thru Hell
Adult Urban Fantasy
Word Count: 70,000

Kylie Rippons wants her son, sanity and to live a life of peace in the Denver suburbs. But once the gods learn of young Riot, a demi-god with the power of his mother, her plans for a semi-normal life are forever dead.

Kylie is able to see time lines in her head as bright, shining strings, and holds the power of braiding them to change events. But it comes at a steep cost, a piece of her soul as fuel, and leads directly to insanity. The gods want her to choose a pantheon and be a weapon in their never ending wars, uncaring of the price she must bear. They herd her into situations in which she must choose: fight or give in.

Two ancient goddesses, one forsaken Valkyrie and a rogue Beserker ally with Kylie, and together they decide to hunt the gods, hoping to prove she is more than a weapon to be used. But devastating betrayal, plus Kylie's continual loss of soul, leads them into a showdown in which Riot is discovered, kidnapped and used as leverage for their demands.

Kylie must face her worst nightmare: Braid enough time to temporarily remove the threat to her son, leaving her soulless and insane, or find the courage to follow one bright blue thread in which Riot is permanently safe...and she is dead.


  1. Yes. Some of your word choices and sentence structures are awkward, but that last paragraph is killer. I would ask for a partial.

    In the future, however, I would tighten the pitch to something like this:

    "Kylie Rippons is no ordinary suburban mom: she can braid time itself. The catch? Every time she uses her power, she loses a piece of her soul--and her sanity. But that doesn't stop the gods from hounding her, eager to use her power for their own ends.

    To protect herself and her son Riot, Kylie teams up with a crew of outcast deities to hunt the gods. But when the resulting showdown reveals that Riot, too, has Kylie's power, the gods kidnap him as leverage.

    Now, Kylie must face her worst nightmare: braid enough time to temporarily save her son, leaving her soulless and insane, or follow the one thin timeline in which Riot is permanently safe...and she is dead."

  2. My vote would be yes I love this premise; I'd definitely request more. Like Princess Sara said, some of this reads awkwardly, and I had to read through it a few times to understand what you were conveying. Perhaps tighten some of the sentences, and reword them? But the stakes are there, and the main character, with this rocking plot, sounds like one I would want to read more about.

  3. A reluctant No. Good until this line: “…her plans for a semi-normal life are forever dead...” It is a clich├ęd line that I’d expand into exactly what happened. Just a word or two would do it :)
    After that, the query wades into too much information. IMHO cut the words down to under 200 or less if possible.

    CD Coffelt ponders at Spirit Called
    And critiques at UnicornBell

  4. No. This was a hard one (And I might change my answer later based on what else I read). It sounds like a great story and an interesting idea.

    I found the query a little bit hard to follow. Maybe it's that you introduced Riot in the first paragraph, but the story is not really about him. When I start reading the second paragraph, I am thinking about Riot and what role he plays, but you don't tell me until the end of the third paragraph. It disconnects me from the story a bit. It was better when I read it a second time, but only because I already knew the sequence of events.

    The bigger issue, and I didn't see it mentioned before, so I might be the only one that feels this way, is that I question the difficulty of the choice as posed. The way you set it up, either way, she loses herself to death or insanity. So the real choice seems to be whether to permanently or temporarily "save" her son. That strikes me as not too hard a choice for a mother. I am guessing that following the thin blue line might have a higher risk for failure, but I'd like to know more about that before committing to the story.

    I think the query needs some tweaking; but I look forward to hearing the book was a great success.

    Best and Good Luck.

  5. Yes. I really liked this, and that last paragraph was wow! The opening, though, could use some strengthening. I had to read it a couple of times to ensure I understood it, mainly because you're introducing the son before the mom and that left me going "huh?" Some wording changes would help this out a lot, as noted above, but overall I'm curious enough to see more :)

  6. This one would be my third choice, which makes it a no, unfortunately. You have a unique concept that made me take notice and that is braiding time. Overall, I felt like this query could be tightened up and given a little more of a punch. Definitely keep the last paragraph.

  7. This one's a no for me. It was confusing. And I'm really not sure what the Denver suburbs have to do with anything else mentioned in the query. It sticks out like a sore thumb.

    "But once the gods learn of young Riot, a demi-god with the power of his mother, her plans for a semi-normal life are forever dead." I had to read this line three times to figure out who was who and the relationship.

    The transition is missing from paragraph 1 to paragraph 2. The gods learn about Riot but then the focus is on Kylie and what they want from her. How did they rope (pardon the pun) her into the position to begin with? Her being able to weave timelines is a very cool factor.

    At the end it's mentioned that Riot is kidnapped. If that was the gods leverage against Kylie it should probably be bumped up to the top.

    Pretty much, I think the query needs restructuring and better focus. It's confusing as is.

  8. I like the premise of this enough to make it a Yes, although I think the query could be cleaned up a bit. I found the third paragraph especially cumbersome, but it has a lot of interesting story elements that I think you should keep... maybe focus on cleaning that paragraph up. I agree with everyone else, the last paragraph is stellar.

  9. As someone said above, the choice seems rather obvious given that the protagonist is a mother. If there were, say, an entire world caught in the crossfire and she could either save them or save her son, THAT would give high enough stakes for her to consider sacrificing not only her own life, but conflict with everything a mother stands for. So, a reluctant no.

  10. No, although the wording of your hook was a bit confusing, it caught my interest. There are parts of your query that would make for a very intersting story but at the same time, the way the information is set up, there are parts of the story that don't seem plausible (despite the fantasy genre). Also, the son is mentioned very first in the query and briefly in the very end, this was what first caught my attention yet there's nothing about him in between.

  11. Interesting concept that really grabs my attention, but this query has problems to my mind. In the first sentence I was confused because I thought she wanted sanity for her son and you'd left out some words. It made me think the son was the mc. I had to read over this a few times to get it straight.

    It seems like there should be a colon after 'steep cost.'

    You set up that she has two choices at the end of the second paragraph, but then she chooses a third way. That just felt inconsistent to me.

    I have to say no.