Query Critique 44

Elliott Waverly is thrown into a world that shouldn’t exist; a world with supernatural weapons, angel feathers, and what seems like everybody out to get her. The wording feels a little funny on the last part. I also think that while there are some specifics, I could use a little more. This is obviously an angel book and I want the first sentence to focus on that, rather than sort of mention it. Everyone she thought she knew, even her parents, have lied to her. The only person that seems to be real is Joel, an angel warrior sworn to protect her, but nothing can ever happen between them; it is strictly forbidden. The flow here seems a little disjointed. Also, I know it’s YA and we sort of assume that boy+girl= romance, but a little segue that indicates that she likes this boy would be nice. Elliott was soon to discover she was not the ordinary girl she thought she was.

Seventeen-year-old Elliott Waverly just wants to forget the past and the three bullets who that? ruined her life. She wants to forget her parents were taken away from her, killed by a man in a mask. It’s a little confusing to me that her parents are dead, because the last paragraph talks about them lying to her. Every time she comes home she’s reminded that the man she was left to, a distant cousin who’s always drunk, will never replace her parents. So she hides away in books leaving real life to others. When she comes home one night, she finds her cousin drunk just like he always is, and his hurtful words really push her over the edge. I think this could be condensed to something along the lines of ” when her cousins drunken insults finally push her over the edge…” Elliott finds herself in the middle of nowhere broken down, alone, on the side of the road with no hope in sight. That’s when a mysterious boy named Joel enters her life and changes everything.

Her cousin is unexpectedly murdered, just like her parents, by mysterious entities. Just as her demise is emanate, imminent Joel steps out of the darkness to save her. It has always been Joel’s mission to deliver Elliott safely to the Elders. This thing here about Elders comes out of nowhere, and leaves me a little confused. Who are the Elders? Why do they care about Elliott? Nothing in Elliott’s world will ever be the same. I want stronger stakes. Just saying her world won’t be the same isn’t very compelling, especially because her life stinks, and the new world with angels actually sounds better. Be more clear in telling me what she stands to lose.

Complete with 60,000 words, ANGEL WITH A SHOTGUN is a young adult science fiction novel that will draw readers in and make them beg for more as they turn the last page. First, I think the query needs to establish the world more clearly, because I was getting way more of a paranormal vibe than a science fiction vibe. I’m not saying dump information about the world into a paragraph. But show Elliott interacting more with the world. Most of the query focuses on the events leading up to her finding out about angels and whatever else. While this should be mentioned, I think your focus needs to be on establishing the conflict that arises AFTER she finds out about the angels. Also, the part about “draw readers in and make them beg for more as they turn the last page” is unnecessary and doesn’t do anything for your query. 


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