Query Critique #22

This query looks at a YA Fantasy consisting of a world full of magic, wonder, and gods who walk among us.

Submitted Query:

Luna Lopez had (has – keep it present tense) a simple plan for her life: train hard, pledge her loyalty to the Guard, then kill every last one of the vile gods that (who) slaughtered her parents. (Nice way to grab my attention right from the start!) Of course, nothing is ever that easy, especially when those gods have been roaming Earth for eons, and Luna is only seventeen. But she’s a scrappy, no-nonsense warrior, (I’d consider deleting this part and allow us to see her as a scrappy, no-nonsense warrior instead of being told she is one) and she is willing to do whatever it takes to stand against the evil that seeks to devour the light. (Can you elaborate on this? Does it have something to do with the magic that exists in this world? Fantasy queries require more details to paint the picture based on the type of fantasy you are writing.)

Before her final year of training, Luna travels to one of the Guards’ strongholds, a majestic castle in Scotland. During their visit, Luna falls for a swoon-worthy redhead named Camden, who happens to be the son of High Counselor. (This information about her falling for Camden seems out of place here and after reading the rest of the query, he doesn’t seem to come up again. Try including the two of them more or delete him from the query completely). The morning she is set to leave, Luna is attacked by a vicious creature known to serve the fallen gods. It shouldn’t be possible. Every stronghold is protected by witch-made wards, only members of the Guard may enter.  (Can you explain what kind of magic is possible in your world? How do witches play into this? Is it part of her training?) To Luna, it can only mean one thing, someone let the beast into the stronghold, and on the High Counselor’s watch. 

While she recovers, (I didn’t realize she was hurt in the attack based on the last paragraph. Consider upping the details before we find out she has to recover here) Luna begins to see visions of a time before the Guard even existed. (Are visions common for her? I’m unsure of what she’s capable of – try to paint a more detailed picture for your reader) Those visions, the attack, and suspicions about the High Counselor (Was it Camden who let the creature in? If so, mentioning him here might give reason to keep him in the beginning) send her on a dangerous hunt for understanding. She learns that the past will not stay buried. (I’d delete this because you are telling us and then showing us). The fallen gods have found a way to unlock the cage their master, the God-Prince Enlil, has been imprisoned in for thousands of years. And the key to that lock is held in the blood of her loved ones. It is up to Luna to keep them safe, and she’ll stop at nothing to do it. (Can you change the language here to show us how you’d up the stakes here? By stopping at nothing does that mean she’d sacrifice her life or have to give up something? Is she doing this alone? Does she have anyone to help her?)

KISS THE GODS WHEN I’M GONE is a YA fantasy novel complete at 90,000 words and is the first book in a series which celebrates diversity with a young, Hispanic heroine. It is set in the modern day but pulls the reader into a world full of magic, wonder, and gods who walk among us. Readers who have enjoyed CITY OF BONES or THE RAVEN CYCLE will love the mythological twists of KISS THE GODS WHEN I’M GONE. (You can tighten this last sentence by saying Fans of CITY OF BONES and THE RAVEN CYCLE will love KISS THE GODS WHEN I’M GONE.)

My biggest suggestion is to consider what details are important and which aren’t. This fantasy sounds very intriguing. Feel free to resubmit if you make any changes. 

What Are Your Thoughts?

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