Sunday, February 10, 2013

Bouncer Post #154

Genre: YA Urban Fantasy
Word Count: 71,800


For teens in Riverton Hills, the future is set in stone: Turn eighteen, drop out of school, become a missionary. Or a cultist, as Victoria Sage likes to call them. Vic's never trusted her parents' religion, and on her eighteenth birthday she learns why. The Riverton Mission isn't a church at all. It's a secret society. Of dragon hunters. No, seriously, and the reverend wants Vic to join them.

But after years of lies, a story about dragons and the end of the world isn't enough to convince Vic about much of anything. It's only after the hunters show Vic a portal to the dragons' world that she believes them. For now, the portal is sealed, but the dragons in Vic's world are looking for the key so they can let their people through. The only way to stop them is by finding the key first.

When the hunters capture a dragon, Vic discovers her enemies aren't much different from her. Coming to Vic's world robbed them of their original forms, making them more like people than Vic ever imagined. So human-like, she can't tell the difference between them and her. And worse, the prisoner claims Vic is fighting on the wrong side of the war. She unveils secrets about Vic's past that force Vic to choose between the people she's come to know as family and her own survival.

First 250:

Everything I’d feared had come true. Chloe had let them change her. She sat across from me, staring into her coffee and checking her phone and looking over my shoulder, but she wouldn’t look at me.

“What did they do to you?” I asked.

She looked up. Her gray-green eyes were shadowed but hard. “They showed me the truth,” she said.

Her words knocked the wind out of me.

“You believe them, don’t you? That’s why you don’t want to be here. You think I’m damned.”

“It’s not like that, Vic.” And that was all she said. She ran a hand through the back of her pixie-cut blond hair and turned her focus back to the coffee.

Chloe turned eighteen yesterday. Like everyone from Riverton Hills, she was taken out of school and inducted as a member of The Riverton Mission. But unlike the others, Chloe had promised she wouldn’t let it happen. She didn’t believe the religion’s lies any more than I did. Yet here she was, another one of their pawns.

And a week from tomorrow it would be my turn.

“I don’t understand,” I said. “We’ve been waiting for this day for years. You were supposed to tell me everything.”

“Things didn’t go the way I thought they would.”

“Did they do something to you? Did they threaten you?”

She shook her head. “You’ll understand everything after your initiation. I promise.”

“I don’t want to be initiated. I want to leave, and as soon as I have the code, I will,” I said. 


  1. Ooh, I love dragons. From your query, I'm guessing the ones in this world look just like humans? I would be more clear about that, maybe combining the lines "Coming to..." and "So human-like..." Also, in the first para I wasn't clear if her entire town was a cult and what the cult was, I'm assuming a religion?
    First 250: Nice building of tension. I would combine the first two lines into a an opener with more punch. Also, since you have a lot of dialogue, maybe add more action details? Are they sitting in a diner, a house? I like the image of Chloe running her hands through her pixie bob. I would love more of those visual moments.
    Best of luck, Amy (#168)

  2. Bouncer Colonel MustardFebruary 11, 2013 at 9:44 PM

    I'm going to wait until Thursday to announce my top 3, but I'm going to give everyone some feedback in the meantime.

    Love the voice. "No, seriously." Love the concept. I might consider taking out the "human-like" reference in light of the novel Seraphina's recent success. You don't want your novel to sound unnecessarily similar to/ or derivative of that book because otherwise they seem very different.

    Okay. Stay tuned!

  3. Great first page tension! It really makes me want to read more. I think your premise is strong and the query is well done too.
    Good job!