Sunday, February 10, 2013

Bouncer Post #170

Genre: Sci-Fi, YA
Word Count: 100,000


Zachary’s just reached his breaking point, now that he’s been forced to become a living, breathing weapon.
He’s the prized achievement of the Coalition Project, a classified project to cure diseases and develop bioweapons through genetic engineering. Because dolphins don’t suffer from diabetes, Zachary was engineered with dolphin DNA. With the exception of his strange eyes, he looks like an average 18 year old. But his hybrid blood holds the key to saving millions of people.
When federal budgets are cut, Zachary’s expected to be more than a source of blood for research. Military doctors give him a powerful new skill: attack biosonar. The problem? He can’t control it, making him deadly to everyone around him. Soon, a strange girl arrives to train Zachary to use the biosonar. Zoe is also a hybrid, but she’s a soldier – experienced, beautiful…and violent, with a dark past. She shatters his world into chaos, awakening his animal instincts. Before long, he’s uncertain if he wants to mate with her, or fight her to the death.
Just as Zachary learns to harness the biosonar, a mysterious investor assumes control of the diabetes cure project. Is Zachary more valuable as a hybrid soldier, or a glorified lab animal? He’s got discover where he and Zoe fit into a world that insists on defining them only by their DNA makeup.

First 250:

Hard, sharp pebbles and uneven rocks sliced into the soles of my feet as I ran, driving me even faster over the dark hillside to limit my bare skin’s contact with the ground. I didn’t slow to look behind me, even though someone had to be following me by now.

I’d been running from the Complex for at least twenty minutes. It felt cold out for June. I wove between short bushes and weeds, firing my sonar to avoid large rocks that could cut my skin and leave a trail. I didn’t have a chance if they used dogs to find me, especially if I was bleeding everywhere I stepped. Blood would also let them know I was hurt in some way, and I didn’t want to give them any ideas.

I wasn’t going to make it easy for them to take me back in. Not this time. I was going to be stronger, faster and smarter than them.

A flickering headlight darted through the thin trees on the side of the road, so I dropped to my knees and froze. The car’s engine groaned louder as it drove closer to where I was hiding. I sucked my breath in and waited.

It passed without slowing down. I didn’t move until it was far enough away that I couldn’t hear it anymore before I stood back up and continued in the direction of the shoreline.

I wish I’d had more time. I would have grabbed shoes.


  1. I *really* liked this. I thought the query brought the ideas over well, and made it clear how interesting a story you have. I read it last night and it stayed with me.

    I liked your 250 as well -- especially the last line. Fabulous. It did occur to me that the start might be just as effective (or, I think, more) from: "I wasn’t going to make it easy for them to take me back in."

    Just, the first couple of paragraphs just now -- while they're well-written and interesting -- feel like you're explaining a lot. That's a mini point because it's all good.

    Best of luck -- I hope you get through.

  2. I really love this idea. Which leads me to say, I'd start the query with a statement about how he has dolphin DNA. I think it would make an eye-grabbing first line, especially as we see how important the DNA is throughout the story.
    First 250: I'm on board with Anna, though I do like the imagery of the first para. The second para could be trimmed. Otherwise, good opener. Best of luck! Amy (#168)

    1. Thank you, both of you! The idea of starting with "I was going to make it easy..." is really intriguing me now. I really appreciate the feedback. :-)

  3. I actually liked the first line of the query, but that's just me. But I do agree with Anna about starting your first page with that line. It grabs your attention right off the bat. I like the decription in the preceeding paragraphs though, so maybe just change the sequence of things. This is usually not my type of book, but just from what I've read it sounds really interesting and it's written very well. Good luck with it!

    Entry #160--thanks for commenting on my post :)

    1. This contest is so much fun! I've learned a lot just by reading the posts and comments alone. Thank you for your feedback, entry #160. :-)
      Based on your input, I've revised my query and I'm having my beta readers take a look at the first few pages now that I'm starting with, "I wasn't going to make it easy to take me in."

  4. I like that this starts right in the action. Immediately I'm invested in what happens next. Nice work! #162