Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Query 47

LINCOLN TAYLOR AND THE GUARDIAN ADVENTURES: THE ACADEMY DEFENDERS

Attn. Agent:

FBI agents aren’t supposed to have magical swords, glowing grey eyes, and superhuman speed. Then again, young Lincoln Taylor shouldn’t be able to slow time, stop bullets mid-flight, or turn those agents into human popsicles.

LINCOLN TAYLOR AND THE GUARDIAN ADVENTURES: THE ACADEMY DEFENDERS, a 71,000 word fantasy adventure for early teens, follows Lincoln as he transforms from average high school freshman, suffering through algebra and Shakespeare, to gifted guardian-in-training at the legendary Atlas Academy. As supernatural undercover agents, the guardians use their power over the forces of nature to protect world leaders from dangerous assassins and evil conspiracies.

Betrayed by one of their own, the guardians never saw it coming. For the past eight years the Black Baron has been secretly abducting young guardians before they gained their powers, carefully building a legion of manipulated followers. And now they have invaded the academy, and imprisoned the entire staff as well as the Guardian Council. After narrowly escaping, Lincoln and his friends embark on a daring mission to free the prisoners and defend their beloved academy. Only two questions remain: how can seven inexperienced recruits possibly defeat an army of hundreds? And who let them in?

Though not a guardian, I have been involved in multiple conspiracies, most of which revolve around my three children and the mysterious villain who frames them for his crimes.

Thank you in advance for your consideration. The completed manuscript is available upon request.

Comments

This is a pretty good. Just a couple of tweaks, I think, are all that's needed to put it over the top.

FBI agents aren’t supposed to have magical swords, glowing grey eyes, and superhuman speed. Then again, young Lincoln Taylor shouldn’t be able to slow time, stop bullets mid-flight, or turn those agents into human popsicles.

I'm not sure how I as the reader am supposed to interpret the "FBI agent" part. It sounds a bit like Lincoln is the bad guy here if he's turning FBI agents into popsicles. But then I read the next paragraph and think he's an agent himself, so what gives?

LINCOLN TAYLOR AND THE GUARDIAN ADVENTURES: THE ACADEMY DEFENDERS, a 71,000 word fantasy adventure for early teens, follows Lincoln as he transforms from average high school freshman, suffering through algebra and Shakespeare, to gifted guardian-in-training at the legendary Atlas Academy. As supernatural undercover agents, the guardians use their power over the forces of nature to protect world leaders from dangerous assassins and evil conspiracies.

I would focus the title in P2 to just THE ACADEMY DEFENDERS, then in the close say something like: THE ACADEMY DEFENDERS is a standalone novel with LINCOLN TAYLOR AND THE GUARDIAN ADENTURES series potential.

"early teens" - maybe "tweens"?

Betrayed by one of their own, the guardians never saw it coming.

I'm not sure what "it" refers to. "the conspiracy aimed at them", perhaps?

For the past eight years the Black Baron has been secretly abducting young guardians before they gained their powers, carefully building a legion of manipulated followers. And now they have invaded the academy, and imprisoned the entire staff as well as the Guardian Council.

Delete the comma before "and."

The reader doesn't know who the Guardian Council is or why they're different from the staff. Perhaps elaborate or delete.

After narrowly escaping, Lincoln and his friends embark on a daring mission to free the prisoners and defend their beloved academy. Only two questions remain: how can seven inexperienced recruits possibly defeat an army of hundreds? And who let them in?

I'm not sure I would end on these as questions. I would turn the first into a statement along the lines of "It's seven inexperienced recruits up against an army of hundreds..."

The "who let them in" came as a bit of a surprise since when I read "invaded the academy" I didn't think of someone letting them in. But maybe my original assumption is wrong. I took "one of their own" to mean the Black Baron. But does that really refer to the one who let them in? If so, I missed that connection. Just a little more clarity is needed to help the reader connect the dots.

Though not a guardian, I have been involved in multiple conspiracies, most of which revolve around my three children and the mysterious villain who frames them for his crimes.

This is cute but doesn't really add much about you or the ms. I didn't particularly connect with it -- and my rec, based only on my own personal taste, would be to delete it -- but that doesn't mean others won't like it here. So, others? Your thoughts?

1 comment:

AA said...

There were parts of this I didn't get.

"Before they gained their powers" made me wonder how and when this normally happens. This is not a big deal, but usually when something small distracts people from the main purpose of your query it doesn't hurt to change it. I also wondered where the FBI comes in since they don't seem to have anything to do with the story.

Also, how isolated is this academy? I can't help wondering if anyone else even notices that this is going on. Of course you know what this world is like, but I don't, and the way it looks here, it seems to take place in a bubble. There seems to be a "real world" somewhere, if Lincoln was once an average student in a regular high school. At least, that's what I take this :"follows Lincoln as he transforms from average high school freshman, suffering through algebra and Shakespeare, to gifted guardian-in-training" to mean. So is there a real news media covering this? Does the real FBI try to get involved? Or does it all take place in a fantasy world? That doesn't seem likely because of this line: "young Lincoln Taylor shouldn’t be able to," (why shouldn't he?) and the references to the FBI and Shakespeare.

Yes, I am really this confused about this.

I need to know: If this story takes place in our world, why aren't real authorities and non-supernatural people involved?

Also: Assuming the army of hundreds is the same as the legion of abducted guardians, who didn't notice this Black Baron guy was abducting HUNDREDS of kids? I can't believe the premise of this story until I know the answer to this one. You don't "secretly" abduct hundreds of people. I'll assume for now there's something I'm missing here.