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Covers, Blurbs, 1st Line, Query > YA SciFi with Fantasy elements Query

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message 1: by Elisa (new)

Elisa | 164 comments Seventeen-year-old Hiromi became a virology intern to cure a man-made virus turning people into tentacle-tongued mutants. When infected tissue samples run low, she decides to venture outside the city’s wall and into the ruins of Caara Island.

Hiromi convinces her childhood friend Kenji and his military unit to join her, hoping his fire-magic abilities will keep them safe. During the mission, their friend Tidus is bitten by an infected known as Konadai. Since he’s not showing any signs of infection, Hiromi considers he’s immune. But extracting his immunity source could end his life. Kenji wants to keep this a secret. Tidus wants to help not knowing he could die.

If Hiromi agrees to keep quiet, she’ll risk losing the last chance for a cure. Or she can betray Kenji’s trust and sacrifice Tidus’ life to save thousands.

KONADAI is a young adult science fantasy novel complete at 77,000 words. It has similar genre blending elements as ALL THE BIRDS IN THE SKY by Charlie Jane Anders and an apocalyptic focus reminiscent of PARTIALS by Dan Wells. It is a standalone with series potential told from Hiromi and Kenji’s points of view.


message 2: by Ashley (new)

Ashley | 23 comments Reading it I'm a little confused because at first I think okay it's sci-fi with a virus running loose. But then you're next paragraph talking about magic. So idk that throws me off a bit. Maybe you should mention that there is magic and science at play some point near the beginning so the fire-magic doesn't throw people reading it so much??
Also what is the Kondai? I'm confused what that is. Maybe just say he was bitten by an infected and leave out your name for it because when you throw too many official names of things it gets overwhelming. Like you're introducing too many names at once when I now need to remember three different names if that makes sense.
I think your query should focus on one character or maybe two. Introducing so many characters causes unnecessary confusion.

Did that help? I can clarify anything if you want. And again, it's only my opinion reading it and I'm definitely not an expert. I'm still trying to figure out how to edit mine too!


message 3: by Elisa (new)

Elisa | 164 comments I said the infected known as Konadai which means the infected people are called Konadai. But thanks


message 4: by Elisa (new)

Elisa | 164 comments Seventeen-year-old virology intern Hiromi is racing against time, cultivating a vaccine against the dreaded Konadai virus, a lab-created nightmare that turns its victims into flesh-hungry mutants. When the essential testing ingredient, virus-infected tissue, runs critically low, Hiromi ventures out of the city walls to the ruins of Caara Island, where hoards of infected Konadai roam.

Joined by her childhood friend Kenji, Hiromi hopes his fire-magic abilities and a military unit will be enough to keep them safe. Kenji doesn’t mind the danger as it’s better than gate patrol. But when their friend and squad mate Tidus is bitten and appears to be immune to the Konadai virus, Kenji demands they keep it a secret fearing he’ll be dissected and used for experiments.

Hiromi must choose between Kenji's trust, the life of their friend—and the lives of thousands.


message 5: by Ashley (new)

Ashley | 23 comments It sounds a lot better now. The first paragraph really draws me in and I think it’s great!
But the magic still throws me off Bc it comes kind of out of nowhere.
I would take out the second sentence of the second paragraph the “Kenji doesn’t mind the danger” because it changes focus of the story kind of suddenly and I think especially if you are introducing that many characters you should stick to one major viewpoint and that is Hiromi. Like if you just cut that sentence I think the second paragraph will be stronger.
And I think your last sentence is really strong now. The “Hiromi must choose” now it really draws me in.

((Also about me not knowing what the Konadai were on the first readthrough — it’s because you were throwing around too many names and it got overwhelming and confusing to keep track of. It’s a lot better now.))


message 6: by Elisa (new)

Elisa | 164 comments Thanks :) glad it’s better now. I’ll cut the sentence about Kenji not minding the danger. I wasn’t sure how else to include the magic without giving too much info. The virus itself is created from mixing magic and science. I was trying to ease it in there


message 7: by Keith (new)

Keith Oxenrider (mitakeet) | 1167 comments Perhaps if you put your book description first, so that the reader can see the sci/fantasy blend right off, the magic won't be distracting.

I agree that the second version reads much better. Since Tidus is mentioned once, you might want to stick with just "friend and squad mate." Generally only name characters in a blurb/synopsis if they show up more than once. In keeping with that, you don't need to name the city either and could go with this:

"Hiromi ventures to the ruins outside the city walls, where hoards of the infected roam."

As a by the by, 17 years old sounds rather young for what seems like a responsible position. If, on the other hand, she somehow f-ed up and ruined the ample material available, then, tries to duck responsibility by taking on a personal mission to get replacement material, it makes more sense to me.

Good luck!


message 8: by Elisa (new)

Elisa | 164 comments I explained why she’s doing what she does in the manuscript itself. She’s an intern and she actually convinces her mentor to go with her and Kenji and his squad. Didn’t want to mention the mentor since she isn’t important.

I agree with the other stuff. Thanks :)


message 9: by Ashley (new)

Ashley | 23 comments That thing you told us about the virus being created by mixing science and magic is very interesting and you might want to add that description of it into the first paragraph of your query. That would make the fire-magic seem less out of nowhere and honestly makes the whole virus more intriguing (for me anyway).


message 10: by Elisa (new)

Elisa | 164 comments Something like:

Seventeen-year-old virology intern Hiromi is racing against time, cultivating a vaccine against the dreaded Konadai virus, a lab-created nightmare of magic and science that turns its victims into flesh-hungry mutants. When the essential testing ingredient, virus-infected tissue, runs critically low, Hiromi ventures to the ruins outside the city walls, where hoards of the infected roam.

Joined by her childhood friend Kenji, Hiromi hopes his fire-magic abilities and a military unit will be enough to keep them safe. But when their friend and squadmate Tidus is bitten and appears to be immune to the Konadai virus, Kenji demands they keep it a secret fearing he’ll be dissected and used for experiments.

Hiromi must choose between Kenji's trust, the life of their friend—and the lives of thousands.


message 11: by Keith (new)

Keith Oxenrider (mitakeet) | 1167 comments Sounds good to me.


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