12.16.2006

HH Com 96

What would happen if your existence was never destined to be? If, as a teenager, you discover your birth was never part of the master plan?

For Chance Cooper, being a modern-day 13-year-old is tough enough: dodging a beating by the school bully and always being the ‘new kid’ because his family moves annually. Finding out he’s a divined descendant of Zeus and that his very being was secretly orchestrated by a Greek god for an unknown – possibly sinister – purpose makes teen angst doubly unbearable.

(your hook starts here)
In THE FATED BOY, Chance’s life takes a turn for the weird in the eighth grade. His father has taken the top post at Chance’s newest school, the Olympia Secondary Academy & College of Hades, an institution that teaches the divined. There, Chance’s destiny begins to play out when he befriends the Leto twins, the first divined offspring in their family in centuries, and child prodigy Waldo Egan, who, unintentionally, leaves smoke and flames in his wake. As the year unfolds, Chance questions his divinity and must endure his classmates’ taunts when they discover he’s the first-ever ‘fated boy’ in the history of time. But their whispered rumors are nothing compared to the unintelligible calling reverberating in Chance’s head; a calling he alone hears. It drives him to embark on a reckless journey that leads to heartache – and opens up questions about Chance’s true identity.


Every 8th grader in the world wants to be a god AND find he has different parents. It's the equivilent fantasy of working as a bartender in a strip club for 16 year old boys.

You've got nothing here thats going to raise this past "usual".

In fact, the crux of the book..the journy...is glossed over like it doesn't matter.

Refocus. Revise.

16 comments:

Elektra said...

Most schools don't have 50's-style "bullies" anymore. After one beating, there's usually a suspension. After two, expulsion.

Kate said...

Chance questions his divinity and must endure his classmates’ taunts when they discover he’s the first-ever ‘fated boy’ in the history of time
There's far too much of the best at this or the first of that in fiction these days. Can't we have someone who's just...y'know...average?

Anonymous said...

Also, with the raging success of THE LIGHTNING THIEF and the rest of Rick Riordan's YA series, this, unfortunately, comes off as very derivative.


$.02, spend em freely.

Anonymous said...

Rick Riordan, The Lightning Thief (and sequels):

http://www.amazon.com/Percy-Jackson-Olympians-Lightning-Thief/dp/0786838655/sr=1-3/qid=1166309039/ref=pd_bbs_sr_3/103-6114262-0368606?ie=UTF8&s=books

Anonymous said...

So wait. Was he never destined to be, or was his very being secretly orchestrated? You have to choose!

Anon 753 said...

My first thought when I read this was, "Wait- I already read this book. It's called the Lightning Thief."

Has the author read it? If not, perhaps he/she should read more into the MG/YA genre. If so, you've got a very big problem.

Anonymous said...

I am certain I have read about a character named Chance Cooper somewhere before now.

shelby said...

I think you would really benefit from reading "The Writer's Journey" by Chris Vogler. If you make Chance's journey your focus, it's a much more compelling story.

Dave said...

The journey is everything. The journey is everything.

Anonymous said...

elektra,

This is probably the wrong place - but I talk about bullies for a living and I never let a chance get past me.

You're right. The 50's style 'kick your butt on the playground every day' bully is gone. He's been replaced by the 'I'll wait for you just outside of school boundaries so I don't get expelled and if you tell anyone I'll smear your name across the internet' variety.

Bullies didn't go away. They just got sneakier.

BuffySquirrel said...

I think the opening needs to be punchier, because at first it comes across as "my mother told me I was an accident and ruined her life" rather than something momentous.

Virginia Miss said...

I immediately thought of Riordan, too. The author must emphasize what's different about his story. And of course, what Miss Snark said. Focus on the calling and the journey, so we understand the central conflict.

shannon said...

Your existence was never meant to be and your name is "Chance"? Are you sure he wouldn't figure it out earlier, when he asks his parents why the hell they gave him such a >< name?!

I think you'd want to avoid a name that can conjure up so many puns, unless it's a spoof.

jamiehall said...

I also have to disagree with elektra. I've worked in schools, and I know. Bullies still exist, and are just as capable of terrorizing as they ever were. If nothing else, they can manipulate adults into thinking of their victims as the real antagonists. They can threaten to plant evidence on other students to get THEM kicked out of school. And they can take advantage of the fact that school authorities don't have the patience, time or energy to take every last complaint seriously.

Danielle B said...

I don't think the bully situation is the real problem with this book. The real problem is that this book has already been written. As others have pointed out, the plot sounds too similar Rick Riordan's series.

If you haven't read The Lightning Thief, here are some of the major plot points:

A teenaged boy discovers he is the son of a major god. His birth was not supposed to happen. He has trouble at school. He goes off to a special school/camp for children of the divine. He goes on a journey and faces obstacles.

In the second book, Sea of Monsters, he alone hears a voice from within the earth.

There are just too many basic plot similarities for me to accept The Fated Boy as new and original.

batgirl said...

I'm being confused by the use of 'divined', which ought to mean 'discovered by means of augury' or something. Here it's being used pretty much as a synonym for 'divine' - is it? Please don't depend on oddly-used words to convey vital information. It leaves some of us behind.