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About My Query: EMBROL

treefeetIt looks like we’re continuing the theme of aliens from last week’s About My Query. Read on to find out more:

Dear Ms. Unfeasible,
Seventeen-year-old Olivia Ryan knows her grief has finally broken her when two boys she’s only met in her dreams show up at her mom’s funeral.

Jack, the boy she’s been kissing in her dreams, is a welcome distraction. But when she finds out he’s not only real, but he was driving the truck that killed her mom, she just wants to forget he ever existed. His claim that, like him, she’s a member of a powerful alien race, the antecedents to humans, only seals her desire to push him away.

Kole, the boy from her nightmares, has no interest in kissing her. Not yet, anyway. In his demented alien mind, Olivia is the reincarnated daughter of the universe’s creator. He believes if he can control her in the dream world, he’ll have unlimited access to her power—a massive force hidden within the earth more than 75,000 years ago. He plans to use that power to hijack the universe. And of course, when he’s done with that, she can take her place by his side as queen. Clearly, he’s a total nut job, but even if he’s the sanest man in the galaxy, Olivia’s sure he has the wrong girl. Jack and Kole both do.

But when Kole almost succeeds in trapping Olivia in a dream, she’s forced to choose. She can continue to reject her true self and risk involuntarily destroying the universe with her own hands. Or she can find a way to trust Jack, the only one with the power to protect her and train her to use her abilities. The choice should be simple, but trusting the boy who killed her mom might be beyond the capabilities of even her advanced alien heart.

Complete at 75,000 words, EMBROL is a work of YA science fiction. Thank you for your time and consideration.


This is a killer first line, but it’s a total fake out, because we never get a chance to see Olivia as “broken”. Wanting to forget the boy who killed her mother (and hey, another death by driving!), doesn’t feel like the decision of a broken girl, but rather one entirely within her right mind. As does the idea that when someone tells you you’re an alien like them, the correct thing to do is push them away.

The third paragraph seems to go back and forth between Kole and Olivia’s point of views. I believe Olivia is the one describing Kole’s “demented alien mind,” but the bit about Olivia taking “her place by his side as queen” seems to come from Kole’s P.O.V. I think you’d be better served keeping this firmly in Olivia’s perspective.

The final plot paragraph presents Olivia’s choice, but it seems to be its a lot more complicated than you lay out here. You’ve somehow skipped right over the fact that, either way, she’s accepted that she’s an alien, and that she can somehow weild this enormous power. I’d have liked to have seen more about that choice, long before the choice of whether to trust Jack comes into play.

In all, I think this is an interesting query to look at after last week’s especially for seeing how often the same themes repeat in an agent’s inbox. I’ve spoken often before about how often I see the “chosen one” theme, and how tired it feels. I’d love to see you really throw that trope on its head.

Readers, your thoughts?

Image above my Flickr user Madelinetosh, used under a Creative Commons license.

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