Wednesday, February 19, 2014


Title: The Book of Adam

Genre: YA Urban Fantasy


Sixteen-year-old ADAM SHELLEY is ticked. His Nana keeps riding his ass about the hordes of angry demons chasing him. Which is crap, because demons aren’t real.

Too bad he doesn’t know about the devil's deal his mom broke for a Philosopher's Stone. Otherwise he might’ve paid the warnings more attention.

When the demons come for the Stone, Adam’s house is destroyed. His mom is vaporized. All clues point to the demons having run off with the Stone. And Adam— despite his guts dangling from the trees— isn’t dead.

His mom used the Elixir of Life to make him Immortal.

Now he’s caught in the crossfire between the demons and the Immortal Council, rulers of the Spirit World, who fear the Stone falling into the wrong hands could lead to an apocalypse. The Council grants Adam one-thousand days to retrieve the Stone or suffer eternal confinement in Hell... 

First Sentence:
Lenore loved her father’s stories, especially the ones about their ancestors— the alchemists of ancient Persia— and their pursuit of the Great Work.


  1. First off, I like the idea a lot. It's a new spin on some classic story inspiring ideas - but the query needs more punch.

    The first line is very MG. I'm not sure how old your YA hero is, but "ticked" is very mellow. I'm not saying you have to cuss but unless you're telling the story of a super mellow guy, maybe try something with more stakes.

    By far the best line is "... despite his guts dangling from the trees..." I'd try leading with that and see where it takes you.

    Something like, "Despite the fact he's guts are dangling from the tree, sixteen-year-old ADAM SHELLEY isn’t dead and it's all because his mother made a deal with the devil."

    ALSO - and for me it's a BIG also, who is Lenore? I just read all this info about Adam and his story, but the first line is about Lenore and her feelings and thoughts. I have no idea who she is and that's a red flag. If the agent has been hooked by Adam - they want to read about Adam. If Lenore is part of the story you need to add her to the query. If this is a prologue or something, (and I'm not knocking them) you still need to set those stakes. If Lenore is the grandma or mother add her my name so we get our bearings right away.

    Ok - that's all. Hopefully it helps and GOOD LUCK! :)

  2. I agree with the hook being too mellow here, and the line about demons doesn't make sense to me - does he think Grandma's nutso?

    I really like Shannon's suggestion about where to start. It would give you a great hook and definitely create interest.

    One other thing to think about is that this reads a lot like a synopsis - especially with including the info about Lenore's death and his mom making him immortal. Try to keep the tension up and give only the key critical points of the story.

    Good Luck!

  3. Really interesting concept here. I agree with Shannon's comments. There's a definite MG to the early portion of the pitch, and I'm seriously confused about why the story doesn't start from your main character's point of view. Some awesome potential here though! :)

  4. What I like: I love the twist with the ‘guts dangling from the trees’ – really sharp.

    What I would like: I felt a bit distracted by all the proper names of items – ‘Philosopher’s Stone,’ ‘Elixir of Life’ –generally we’re told to keep characters names to a minimum and for me it goes for Proper Nouns too- it’s tough to keep up with in a short pitch.

    Great job!

  5. An interesting pitch, but I'm a little confused about the POV. The first line is in Adam's, but the rest is omniscient. I know it's difficult with a 150 word limit, but maybe giving it all from one perspective would bring the reader into Adam's world. I agree with the other suggestions about the guts danging from the tree - a great visual, and would seem to be an interesting place to start the pitch and maybe Adam's question of whether demons are real or not. Good luck!


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