Query Critique 18

Dear Mrs. Nelson,

No-nonsense, 19-year-old Violet Mason knows what she wants: she wants to rock college like a hurricane, she wants to take her little sister trick-or-treating, and she wants the nightmares to stop. Vi’s always dreamed of ice and blood, but they aren’t dreams– they’re memories, and they aren’t hers.

When Evie Beware of names that look to similar on the page (in this case Evie and Vi)—beautiful, bubbly, and bloodthirsty—sits down beside Vi and says ‘hi’, things take a turn for the bizarre. There’s the confusing attraction between them, for one. Does Vi know that she’s blood-thirsty? Then, the boy who’s been watching Vi for months attacks her with a strange knife. This seems a little out of nowhere. Also, what is strange about the knife?

Evie saves Vi from being ripped apart by a snake-like monster, Where did the snake-monster come from? Also, what happened with the thing with the knife? and the girls embark on a twisted, deadly road trip across the American southwest. Evie has the dreams, too, and she knows about guns, which is great. Why is that great? What’s less great is that their chance meeting has set off a cosmic beacon that’s drawing more monsters to them. And that boy who tried to kill her? He’s an amnesiac named Toby and might be Vi’s only ally. It’s too bad he’s possessed by an entity that can’t decide whether to kill her or kiss her. There’s a lot happening in this paragraph. I’d like to know more WHY things are happening. What’s causing these things to happen? Also, just smooth the transitions a little.

So here’s Vi’s carefully organized To-Do list: learn to kick ass, or at least bruise it, while on the lam; find out whose memories are in her head and why it’s made her a target; fix an amnesiac, if she can find the time; and, most importantly, stay alive. This paragraph has great voice.

No problem. The body count might be rising, but she’s got this. Also good voice.

VESTIGE is a complete, 87,000 word YA urban fantasy action/adventure novel with strong elements of action/adventure and romance. I’d pick either action or adventure. I don’t think you need both. Also, 19 is a little old for the YA range. Do with that what you will.

Thank you for your time and consideration.
Sincerely,
Dream Slasher


If you want a little more of my thoughts on New Adult versus Young Adult, check out my post on New Adult.