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Welcome to Son of a Pitch! The first entry… Please save comment area for the participating authors’ feedback. I will put my thoughts at the bottom of the post. Because I can. If you don’t want to know what I think, close your eyes. If you read my opinions and agree, want to add, or completely disagree… GO FOR IT!

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Title: Beyond the North Star

Category and Genre: YA SF

Word Count: 71,000

 

Query: 

Captain Tethys can cut a beast in half with her wicked, hooked swords, navigate the black waves of space, and break a man’s pinky before he can finish his indecent remark. She’s the Resistance’s most loyal officer, but when Pan— the Nevean prince crash lands in her path, she’s sucked into his quest to regain his planet.

For years Tethys has trained to become a captain. She has put her faith in the Resistance and ignored those who have branded her a soulless pirate. While visiting a neighboring planet, not only does Tethys capture the exiled Nevean Prince and his friend, but she discovers her uncle has gone missing and his ship burned to the ground. All signs point back to the Resistance and helping the Neveans becomes a chance at redemption. While searching for her uncle, she’ll never admit the Prince’s warm kindness has thawed her icy heart, and Tethys will follow Pan’s innocence to regain her own.

With Tethys’ ancient ship able to traverse the galaxy undetected, the Captain and her new rag-tag crew land secretly in Nevea— a planet just beyond the North Star. They’ll need to escape the notice of Wendowlyn, the malicious Nevean conqueror, and arrive in the deadly Dark Isle where magic and danger thrive. There lies the salvation of Pan’s people, an ancient rite that can either prove to be myth or a chance for Pan to gain the power to take back his planet. They’ll need to battle murderous mermaids, a tribe of furry mercenaries, and the island’s soil which breathes with its own mischief. But Tethys and her crew aren’t the only ones scouring The Dark Isle for its power, and soon the quest to take back Nevea becomes a fight to stay alive.

 

First 250 Words:

It’s here. Today I face my last trial and it’ll finally be mine.

Several levels below, hovering in the sea of stars is the ship that’s navigated my dreams for these past years. And now there it is, real and waiting. It’s an art form of wood and metal docked in the space harbor along with the other warring vessels. Pressing my palm against the cool, curved glass of the training room, I imagine I’m at the helm of my ship with nothing but silver-speckled darkness.

I wonder if I’d be so eager to make captain if it weren’t for the promise of open-space freedom and my very own vessel. If the only promise given to me was war.

Don’t go there, Tethys. If ever I needed confidence, it’d be today.

My gaze wanders to the Guta moon, shining like a sun. It illuminates the empty training hall and casts everything in the hazy glow of early morning. It’s my favorite room in the Acquisition’s space station—cavernous with a domed, starlit ceiling that imitates the chill and quietness of deep space.

I step under one of the thick circular vents, twisting at my waist as the hydrate mist falls across my skin. When no one’s around, I like to stretch out my arms and close my eyes, pretend it’s rain sliding down my cheeks. The soft rain from an unsure day.

My training armor glistens from the moisture and any sleepiness still clinging evaporates as the icy mist hits.

 

My thoughts… if you dare. I’m just kidding, it’s not scary.

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Query: 

Captain Tethys can cut a beast in half with her wicked, hooked swords, navigate the black waves of space, and break a man’s pinky before he can finish his indecent remark. (Well, then…I kinda want to be her.) She’s the Resistance’s most loyal officer, but when Pan— the Nevean prince crash lands in her path, she’s sucked into his quest to regain his planet. (This throws me into what seems to be Pan’s story. Yet as Tethys’ story I want to know what Tethys wants. Do you need this first paragraph?)

For years Tethys has trained to become a captain.(Ah, yes! Her goal!) She has put her faith in the Resistance and ignored those who have branded her a soulless pirate. (Why? What does she do as part of the Resistance? Is she on a ship or somewhere training?) While visiting a neighboring planet,(as captain of a ship?) not only does Tethys capture the exiled Nevean Prince (was that their mission? Or while she was visiting she happened upon him? Is she part of a crew?) and his friend, but she discovers her uncle has gone missing and his ship burned to the ground. (OH NO!) All signs point back to the Resistance (Dude. Conspiracy.) and helping the Neveans becomes a chance at redemption. While searching for her uncle, she’ll never admit the Prince’s warm kindness has thawed her icy heart, and Tethys will follow Pan’s innocence to regain her own. (Okay, she wants to be a captain for her beloved Resistance…What mc wants…but her uncle is gone and maybe the Resistance is involved in some shady stuff!… obstacles to her goal…is her new desire to uncover the truth, to find her uncle, whom I assume she cares for, but she has this Pan along, her prisoner…who is spouting his desire to regain control of his planet, so she’ll help him to uncover the truth? Or is it all about revenge? And a love story thrown in?)

With Tethys’ ancient ship able to traverse the galaxy undetected, the Captain and her new rag-tag crew (as opposed to the old rag-tag crew?) land secretly in Nevea— a planet just beyond the North Star. They’ll need to escape the notice of Wendowlyn, the malicious Nevean conqueror, and arrive in the deadly Dark Isle where magic and danger thrive. (Magic and danger…Too vague…go right for the jugular here and give us the murderous mermaids and mercs, all the details!) There lies the salvation of Pan’s people,(she wants to help save them why? How is this getting her to her goal?) an ancient rite that can either prove to be myth or a chance (Ooohhh…I like magic.) for Pan to gain the power to take back his planet. They’ll need to battle murderous mermaids, a tribe of furry mercenaries, and the island’s soil which breathes with its own mischief. (I’ll be right back…going to this Dark Isle place! *gets on space ship*) But Tethys and her crew aren’t the only ones scouring The Dark Isle for its power (NOOOOO…WHO IS ALSO SCOURING? The Resistance? Are they bad? Did they kill her uncle? Why?), and soon the quest to take back Nevea becomes a fight to stay alive. (Stakes are too vague…what happened to the uncle? The Resistance? How does it all tie together? If they don’t get the power and Pan doesn’t get his world back, then who does? Why don’t they want that to happen? What does all this mean for Tethys? It’s her story, so I want to know how she’s going to change. This Wendowlyn…is he important to the story?)

Overall…feels too long. I don’t think the first paragraph is necessary. I think the meat of the story is in there. However, at the end I felt like it was more Pan’s story, of saving his planet. And I kept wondering, what does Tethys want? How is helping him getting her to what she wants?

Sounds like a fun ride, I’d totally get on that space ship!

 

First 250 Words:

It’s here. Today I face my last trial and it’ll (IT? IT WHAT?) finally be mine. (I like this opener!)

Several levels below, hovering in the sea of stars is the ship that’s navigated my dreams for these past years. (Is she looking at it now?) And now there it is, real and waiting. It’s an art form of wood and metal docked in the space harbor along with the other warring vessels. Pressing my palm against the cool, curved glass of the training room, (and I’m still wondering if she can see it…) I imagine I’m at the helm of my ship with nothing but silver-speckled darkness. (Nice description!)

I wonder if I’d be so eager to make captain if it weren’t for the promise of open-space freedom and my very own vessel. If the only promise given to me was war.

Don’t go there, Tethys. If ever I needed confidence, it’d be today.

My gaze wanders to the Guta moon, shining like a sun. (I am picturing her on a space ship or station…what can she see out the window? A world to go with the moon? More of the station?)  It illuminates the empty training hall (with mats and or practice weapons? Targets? Training for what exactly…she did mention war…) and casts everything in the hazy glow of early morning. It’s my favorite room in the Acquisition’s space station—cavernous with a domed, starlit ceiling that imitates the chill and quietness of deep space.

I step under one of the thick circular vents, twisting at my waist as the hydrate mist falls across my skin. When no one’s around, I like to stretch out my arms and close my eyes, pretend it’s rain sliding down my cheeks. The soft rain from an unsure day. (has she been on a world in the rain…or just heard about it?)

My training armor glistens from the moisture and any sleepiness still clinging evaporates as the icy mist hits. (I don’t understand this hydrate mist and vents…like a shower? In her armor? Or is this something necessary because of being in space?)

Overall…I’d keep reading. The final trial…her apprehension at the thought of war, yet hoping to be captain of a warring vessel…intriguing. I like the writing, but I could use more visual, being sci-fi, world building is important. I want to see everything!

Thanks so much for participating in Son of a Pitch! Hope this helps, and if not, just ignore it.

Writers unite!

 

 

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