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The Teenaged Nitpick Critique: 10

Friday, 28 September 2012  |  Posted by Brenda Drake


Genre: YA Urban Fantasy

Jesse is hunted. [Killer first line! Pun intended.]

After spring break, eyes lingered on him and left dead boys wherever we went [I’d switch this sentence around so it says “Wherever he went, dead boys were left” or something else not so passive]. The murders are messages that if I fail to watch Jesse, he and his Corr [what’s a “Corr”?] will be devoured. An addicted daphir [I also don’t know what this is. Too many unfamiliar words right away don’t help. Maybe say something more vague, like: “He’s being stalked. He’s my best and only friend, and I’m his Guardian.”] is stalking my best and only friend, but he’s survived freshman year because I’m his Guardian.

I stare at the dead boy outside of Madison Square Garden, his chest seared [“chest seared”? Huh?] and blood trickling down his chin from the pressure of having his Corr extracted. So few of us rob Corr, the life force in everything, from humans and, killing them. It’s monsters like them the daphirs that led to the establishment of Guardians that protect especially alluring humans. [We figured this out already, so it sounds kind of redundant.]

They don’t even need to drink human Corr. To tap the potential of our bodies’ several century life span live centuries we have to drink Corr before twenty, but it can’t be bottled from animals or plants. Not be humans. Thousands of years ago it was acceptable to develop a murderous human Corr addiction and consequent bipolar personality, but nowadays we value our sanity. Or most do, at least. [I don’t think this is the right place for the info-dump. Maybe move it to after the last paragraph?]

 I switch to Guardian mode, wrapping a finger through the belt loop of Jesse’s skinny jeans, but he doesn’t notice. I’m trained to inconspicuouslyguard his vibrant Corr from addicts, but my heart still thunders in the back of my throat.

The wind blows the reek of death in my face and the scent of a daphir. He’s in my peripheral vision, hanging back, and we lock eyes for the first time in months. 

Solid opening. You get to your hook fast, the writing is easy to get into, and it overall works well. My only problem is that a few sentences are a little over-wordy and I’d like to see more voice, if possible. Good luck! 

* Comments are welcomed. Each critique comment you make on the entries’ posts, is an entry into the drawing to win one of five 500 word critiques from me (Brenda). It can be ANY 250 words — your query, the first page, or a page any where in the manuscript that you want a second pair of eyes on.

  • K.L. Layton says:

    Sounds kind of like my novel, but not quite the same. I think it sounds very interesting, but that may just be bcause mine is similar. LOL.
    I agree, a little more voice wouldn’t hurt.

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