Critiquer: Heather Webb
Seventeen year-old Asa Huntington will do anything to wake her dad from his coma and save his life. She thought “anything” would start with getting into Harvard and landing a prestigious botany internship. The problem is, it’s hard to see how getting into Harvard with a botany scholarship will save her Dad’s life. They don’t seem like a logical cause-effect relationship. You need to let us know sooner than the second paragraph that she hopes to study life-saving plant properties or something along those lines. So just tweak the second sentence. But when she loses her way, This is too vague. It reads as if she just gets lost on the road to Harvard. I’d rework this piece. she finds herself in Ethærea, a world where dogwoods bark, snapdragons bite, and forty-foot sunflowers are giving her a sunburn. When she encounters the captivating Soren and his ragtag rebel camp, she realizes that “anything” is going to be even harder than she thought.
While the plants here may hold a key to her father’s illness, this won’t be a simple grab-and-dash. The ruling faction controls the roads, the food supply, and the bridges to Earth. And the penalty for trying to use a bridge is fatal. If Soren and his fellow rebels can overthrow the rulers , Asa will be home free. But Soren is holding back something that may affect his fledgling revolution. Something Asa suspects involves her.
As badly as she wants to return home, Asa needs Ethærea. And Ethærea may just need her, too. I’d rephrase this. We know she needs to be in Ethaerea for the plants, but this reads as if Ethaerea is a person, not a world.
ETHÆREA is a YA fantasy novel complete at 89,000 words. The spirited teen voice and fantastical setting will appeal to fans of Kiersten White’s PARANORMALCY and Brandon Mull’s FABLEHAVEN.
I am a member of SCBWI, American Night Writer’s Association, and the Golden Key International Honour Society. Your degree and/or university is of no importance unless it’s writing-related. Your associations are great, however. I’d leave it that way.
Thank you for your time and consideration.
This is a pretty strong query! There are only a few minor things to tweak for the sake of clarity and I’d say this bad boy is ready to roll. Bravo!
If you have any thoughts or questions, the comments are open, but please keep it constructive. No douchebaggery allowed.