Sunday, February 5, 2012

Bouncer Post #38

Title: Half-Souled

Genre: YA dystopian fantasy

Word count: 85,000




Query:

People spend their lives searching for their soulmate, that one perfect person who completes them. It took centuries for mankind to discover the hidden power that resulted from the bonding of such soulmates. Now cities are powered, technology is created and driven, and the government is run using the energy resulting from soulbonds.

Samson Tucker never had a choice about what he would study; his parents started his fight training before he could walk. Now he is following in their footsteps as the best fighter in his school, bound for the Elite Force when he graduates. All he needs is a soulmate, and everyone assumes it will be Alexandra, another of the school's top fighters. But Sam is broken. Only he and one other student, Gretta, can't form even the temporary soulbond used in class. Everyone else knows what it's like to share another's thoughts, to feel the spark of soulpower, to do things no individual alone could ever do.

Until now Sam's skill in fighting has carried him through school, but when Gretta goes insane during an attempted temporary bond, he and the rest of the school are wondering the same thing: is he next? Drawn to the asylum, Sam and Alex must venture beyond the order and security of school to find the secret behind his condition before he shares Gretta's fate.

HALF-SOULED will appeal to readers of Matched by Ally Condie and Divergent by Veronica Roth.

First 250:

I focused on the heavy punching bag in front of me, trying not to see the temporary soulbond being forged in the corner of the gym. Master and Mistress Cawley each placed a hand on the heads of the two students who would be working together today. They linked their free hands together to strengthen their own union, and the bonding began. I couldn’t believe they would form temporary bonds today after everything that had happened.

I spun and kicked. My foot hit the bag with a sound like a firecracker in the too-quiet gym. My timing was off. I stepped away to dodge the back swing, and shook my head and shoulders. I needed to relax. The next few punches snapped against the bag, and my body settled into a routine as familiar to me as breathing.



It didn’t last. The distracting silence in the gym hid the fact that an entire class was working out. Usually the students were joking around, taunting one another about who was going to win the day’s sparring. But today, between the muted sounds of glove against pad and the soft clinking of weights, I could actually hear my classmates breathing.



If I hadn’t already felt in my gut that the rumors about Gretta were true, the subdued activity in the room was enough to convince me that the worst had happened. Right in the middle of an attempted temporary soulbond during first hour, Gretta had flipped out, screaming nonsense and smashing two windows before they got control of her. They said she went insane.

6 comments:

  1. Oooh, I remember the agents loved this in the Love Triangle last month! Good luck!!!

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  2. What a cool concept! The second two paragraphs of your query really pulled me in. Good luck to you.

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  3. Cool concept - having a male protagonist definitely makes it stand out in the genre.

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  4. I found the query confusing and was unsure what was being described. The writing in the 250 is strong but the same weaknesses of the query show up for me in that sample. So, in my view, the problem is not the writing but the focus. I need to be more grounded or aware of what the references mean before I can become invested in the world.

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  5. Bouncer Bookish HandygirlFebruary 7, 2012 at 12:08 PM

    Great premise, great voice. I'm a little concerned about the wordcount, it's a little on the high end for a debut YA. But not so high that would make me reject it. You're in!

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  6. I think this sounds fantastically interesting. I hope someone picks it up because I would love to read it!

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