12.21.2006

HH Com 294

Mai became a thief to kill a murderer. She's waited patiently since childhood, training until she can take revenge on the thief who killed her parents.

Now, at twenty, Mai is practiced in the arts of thievery, stealth, and death. She believes she is ready until the blind and reclusive thief lord, Whisper, calls upon her for aid. The thieves' guild is being torn apart by a war between the gifted and the giftless. If she can help him settle matters, her reward will be power. Knowledge. If she can't, the guild will be destroyed, as will Mai's chances of finding vengeance.

Accepting Whisper's offer does not come without a price. She faces mortal danger as she is used against those she once thought friends and sent on assignments that will emotionally destroy her. Trusts are formed and shattered when she learns truths she never thought possible: who betrayed the guild, and who murdered her parents. The truth presents her with a terrible choice between friendship, duty, and revenge.

You were going great guns until you splatted in paragraph 3.

Let's start with why you chose the oddball construction of "does not come without". A hook is the place for very very plain straigtforward prose. (most agents are reading pretty fast when they read this stuff). "Whisper's offer comes with a price". Then you name the price, only of course you don't. She faces mortal danger ..yea so, big news, my guess is she's done that before if she's trained in thievery, stealth and death.

Then you flail off into blather.

Tighten this up. I'm always interested in fellow alumnae of the Bombaby Sapphire Knife and Gun School for Young Ladies but this one isn't ready for the slush pile yet.

8 comments:

Anonymous said...

The tense is off in the first paragraph.

Mai became a thief to kill a murderer. She's waited patiently since childhood, training until she can take revenge on the thief who killed her parents.

She HAD waited patiently since childhood...training unitl she COULD

Don't these things matter to Miss Snark? It is jarring.

Anonymous said...

This probably only pertains to some of us (the older ones), but when I see Whisper, I think of the bug guy in one of the old James Bond movies. Get an older agent reading the hook and he might do the same. Not sure how to get around that.

Just revealing a little more detail about what it is she has to accomplish in order to achive power might make this work nicely IMO.

Virginia Miss said...

Sounds promising

Kit Whitfield said...

Could be good, but you need to get specific. What kind of assignments? Why are they so upsetting? Who are the people she trusts, and why does she stop trusting them? If you say, 'Mai is heartbroken when her trust is betrayed', for example, that could mean more or less anything, but if you say 'Mai loves and trusts John Doe, seeing in him the father she lost - until the day he sells drugs her coffee and sells her into slavery', then the agent will see why she's heartbroken without you having to say the word. It sounds like you have a nicely epic story going on, but if you want an agent to get worked up about it, you'll have to tell them what actually happens.

Michele said...

Considering that the became a thief to extract revenge on her parents' murderer, I'd like to see the "price" be related to that. For example, to save the guild, she has to ally with the murderer.

Anonymous said...

Wow, this one's awesome. The characters sound tough and the plot and world complex. I'd pick this one up in a heartbeat.

Miss Snark, you really didn't like this one? Really?

heidi said...

Having read some of this novel, I'm wondering why you left out the interesting bits in your hook.

Mai ends up in conflict over her goals. She can't have her cake and eat it too. You allude to it, "The truth presents her with a terrible choice between friendship, duty, and revenge" but don't explain.

I think this could have been stronger if you'd explain what her conflict was. The quandary of her having to choose one or the other is what makes this book interesting.

Anonymous said...

I thought this one was awesome! I love that it's more of an anti-hero angle rather than the pristine and pure hero.

I'd def. pick this one up off the shelf!