Monday, September 17, 2012


YA Sci-Fi/Dystopian


Those who are genetically strong are chosen at birth. They are the gifted.

Trained at a Gifted School to be highly skilled physically and mentally, Jaina Indera has the potential to become a Superior. She could live out her life the Crystal City, the richest, and by far the most beautiful city in the galaxy. But Superiority demands a deadly price.

To gain the title, she must survive the Trials.

Being selected as a competitor is only the beginning. Teamed up with seven of her classmates, Jaina will compete in four challenges against other Gifted Schools around the galaxy. She soon finds that working together is harder than she expected.

With the sudden appearance of a boy called Dragon, her plans for the future are put in question. Secretly, she begins to doubt everything she's been taught to believe. Yet Dragon has a dark secret of his own, which could lead to her demise.

In a world where mercy is a weakness, and only the ruthless prevail, Jaina must discover who she is and what she's really fighting for.

First 150 Words:

Altair raced through the jungle trees. His heart pounded so hard against his ribs it hurt. His legs wanted to give out. Every breath he took was strained, but he forced himself forward. He was almost there.

The edge of the jungle came into view, and he charged out into the open. White Tarnoshian marble buildings surrounded the courtyard, towering over him like giants.

A bell rang. Students rushed into the courtyard. The setting sun made the fountain in the center look gold.

Touching the cool stone of the fountain, Altair stopped to catch his breath. When his opponent ran into view, he smiled.

"I won!" he cried.

"Only because you're two years older," Liam panted between gasps. "I bet you weren't as fast as me when you were six."

Altair laughed. "I was wayfaster."

Liam kicked at a rock on the ground. "I'll beat you in something, someday."


  1. Hi there!

    Congrats on getting in to GUTGAA!
    I really like the premise of your novel. I'd start reading right away if I saw this on the back of a book.
    My only concern is that I don't get to read about the MC right away. I feel like I'm reading a different book than the query. Is this a prologue?
    Good stuff and good luck!

  2. Ooh I really like it. I would definitely read this. Good luck! :)

  3. Oh gosh, I love your last line. Gave me chills! Sounds awesome! Good luck!

  4. Sci-fi and Dyspoian? Nice :) I was going to say the same thing Lyndsey did, but she beat me to the punch. Sounds like a real thrill ride, just my kind of book :D

  5. PITCH: Really confident pitch, much like I imagine Jaina to be. Everything’s here, and it’s short. We don’t get too much of the plot, which is something I’ve been seeing a lot of lately. (Plus, total sidenote: I love the name Dragon!)
    FIRST 150: Where’s Jaina? I really wanted to meet her. I’m sure you’ve heard the “no prologue” argument a hundred times, so I’ll just evaluate this as is. There are very nice details here—the white Tarnoshian marble, the setting sun making the fountain gold, and the cool stone of the fountain. I’m torn because the writing is strong, but I feel like we have a “gotcha” moment on our hands. Intense beginning, with a character running, and I thought it could be life or death, and then—gotcha!—he was running in a game. I’d recommend starting the story somewhere else (with Jaina?) and inserting some genuine tension into the very first page. The strength of the pitch convinces me that you can do it.

  6. I know this story and it's super! I love what you've done with the query. Awesomesauce!
    Braidyhead gives some great advice about connecting the reader to the MC right away.
    Best of luck!!!