Query Critique 32

Dear Ms. Nelson,

Fighting to survive in a land with little opportunity, a flyer promising honest work abroad might be the only chance sixteen-year-old Carina Whitaker has to save her family. The pen shakes between Carina’s fingers as she signs the contract for the Uessay government’s Life Labor Program, securing a future for her loved ones by leaving them behind.

Carina wakes up with no memory of how she came to be chained atop a cement stage. She watches helplessly as an auctioneer tempts a frenzied crowd with details of her body, her innocence, creating a full scale bidding war. After a final shout of “Sold!,” Carina is taken to be beaten, broken and humiliated into realizing that her life is no longer her own. To me, this paragraph is more interesting than the last, just because I care more about what her predicament actually is than how she got there. I think you need an indication of how she ended up where she is, but maybe not a whole paragraph for it.

Consumed with plans to run away from his abusive family, Samiel Turner doesn’t want anything to do with the controversial slave trade that has the whole country talking. Is this country the USA? Somewhere else in the modern world? But when he walks into his room and discovers the half-naked, fully terrified Carina gift-wrapped on his bed, Sam will have to decide if he is willing to risk his own life to save hers.

THE DARK LUXURY is a complete 83,000 word, futuristic young adult novel that explores one of the most heinous crimes facing the modern world, human trafficking. The book is told in alternating first person points of view and is the initial installment in a planned series. When I first read this, I thought “futuristic isn’t a genre.” To me it sounds most like a dystopia, but I can understand the logic behind shying away from calling it a dystopia. Is it futuristic enough to call it science fiction? Also, I’d like to see some comparative titles. Neal Schusterman’s Unwind comes to mind.

I have published several short stories on fanfiction.net and have gathered a loyal young adult following of over 500 subscribers. A very early edition of the novel received more than a quarter of a million hits on the same website.

Thank you for your consideration.

Flash Forward

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