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Author Topic: Regard the Skies (YA Sci-Fi)  (Read 221 times)
jumpingsheep
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« on: January 10, 2019, 06:03:40 PM »

I've recently reworked this query and I'm looking to get some critiques before sending it out for another round.  I've looked at it way too long at this point to find its weaknesses!


Dear _____,

Jayleen Joshi is a bold and brash hacker-for-hire traveling the solar system and taking jobs that expose predatory galactic organizations.  Right now, it’s just her and her nine-year-old sidekick Sora, but Jayleen dreams of one day leading a crew of explorers and activists.  When she takes on an assignment investigating a factory of Aetheon, she is eager to jump into it, despite warnings from her supervisor.  Jayleen never turns down a challenge, especially one involving a corporation as shadowy and omnipotent as Aetheon.  The girls prepare for an interstellar road trip aboard Helena, a passenger vessel held together by duct tape, and team up with Jayleen’s childhood friend and the charismatic girl Jayleen falls hard for.

However, Jayleen has more private fears beyond the mission, including an agent from Aetheon that has been trailing her for months and whose presence is eerily familiar.  No matter where Jayleen runs in the chaotic galaxy—from post-revolution Mars to ancient colonies on backwater worlds— the agent is never far behind.  Meanwhile, Jayleen’s anxiety disorder seems to be spiraling by the day, and she’s clinging to her jobs and few friends as her only distractions. 

After venturing into deep space, details on the factory Jayleen was sent to investigate grow more disturbing.  The team discovers mobilized Aetheon forces, a trail of kidnapped children, and the identity of the mysterious law enforcement agent hellbent on capturing Jayleen.  As the agent closes in and the team suffers losses, Jayleen is forced to choose between the safety of her new crew and her values as a hacktivist on a mission.     

REGARD THE SKIES is a young adult science fiction novel complete at 77,000 words.  It is a tale of intrigue and adventure with the cyberpunk attitude of Marie Lu's Warcross and a misfit crew similar to the Guardians of the Galaxy.

[BIO]

Thank you for your time and consideration.

[CONTACT INFO]
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kaperton
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« Reply #1 on: January 10, 2019, 06:50:55 PM »

Sounds like a great book!

Dear _____,

Jayleen Joshi is a bold and brash hacker-for-hire traveling the solar system and taking jobs that expose predatory galactic organizations. There should be only one space after periods. Right now, it’s just her and her nine-year-old sidekick Sora, but Jayleen dreams of one day leading a crew of explorers and activists.  When she takes on an assignment investigating a factory of Aetheon I think "one of Aetheon's factories" would be better. , she is eager to jump into it, despite warnings from her supervisor.  Jayleen never turns down a challenge, especially one involving a corporation as shadowy and omnipotent as Aetheon.  The girls prepare for an interstellar road trip aboard Helena, a passenger vessel held together by duct tape, and team up with Jayleen’s childhood friend and the charismatic girl Jayleen falls hard for. This sentence is oddly structured. You're in the present tense but seem to be talking about something that happens in the future (falling for the charismatic girl). This is coming from my perspective as a writer of YA romance, but I think this love interest deserves its own sentence.

However, Jayleen has more private fears beyond the mission, including an agent from Aetheon that has been trailing her for months and whose presence is eerily familiar. I may be splitting hairs here, but that doesn't seem private. It seems professional, since the agent is from Aetheon.  No matter where Jayleen runs in the chaotic galaxy—from post-revolution Mars to ancient colonies on backwater worlds— the agent is never far behind.  Meanwhile, Jayleen’s anxiety disorder seems to be spiraling by the day, and she’s clinging to her jobs and few friends as her only distractions. 

After venturing into deep space, details on the factory Jayleen was sent to investigate grow more disturbing.  The team discovers mobilized Aetheon forces, a trail of kidnapped children, and the identity of the mysterious law enforcement agent hellbent on capturing Jayleen.  As the agent closes in and the team suffers losses, This sounds like is a major plot point that you've minimized by putting it in the passive voice and using a euphamism. "Suffered losses"--in other words, someone killed some of her team members? Or did they quit/get hurt? Jayleen is forced to choose between the safety of her new crew and her values as a hacktivist on a mission. 

REGARD THE SKIES is a young adult science fiction novel complete at 77,000 words.  It is a tale of intrigue and adventure withhas/combines the cyberpunk attitude of Marie Lu's Warcross and a misfit crew similar to the Guardians of the Galaxy.

[BIO]

Thank you for your time and consideration.

[CONTACT INFO]

I've never been presumptuous enough to critique someone's title before, but I think Regard the Skies is not a very fun title for what sounds like a fun, exciting YA book. I don't think your title will deter any agents, but a more interesting one might catch an extra eye or two.
« Last Edit: January 10, 2019, 06:54:24 PM by kaperton » Logged
jumpingsheep
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« Reply #2 on: January 10, 2019, 07:15:47 PM »

Thank you, kaperton, this is all super helpful!  I feel the exact same way about my title and have been reluctant to change it because it's been that for so long (and for so many queries!).  But I think your absolutely right and that might be the push I needed.
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