Friday, February 13, 2015

LABYRINTH: Query and First Page Critique

Genre: Young Adult Fantasy
Word Count: Work-in-Progress


Seventeen-year-old Kallis eats people.

She doesn't want to, but being sacrificed on an altar and waking up a minotaur really changes your taste buds. To make matters worse, a year into her transition, a sorcerer goes and imprisons her in her own personal labyrinth-shaped pocket universe. What feels like a three-year incarceration to Kallis turns out to be two thousand years to the rest of the universe. She escapes into a world where Zeus is nothing but a myth and togas are only worn at frat parties.

Kallis adapts: she buys a hair-straightener, a pair of Keds, and even has a cute boy band to default to. Except for that whole eating people thing, she'd be an average teenager. But the labyrinth won't let her go so easily. When she and her friends visit the ancient Greek ruins which were once Kallis's home, they're sucked into the labyrinth. And this time they're not alone. Another minotaur has taken up residence.

To survive the labyrinth, and the man-eating monster that roams it, Kallis will have to stay one step ahead of her brother-in-species under the suspicious eyes of her friends—who, after a few days, start to look like walking honey cakes. Their only hope is to escape, but when escape means death for Kallis, the choice becomes living for eternity in a maze versus never having the chance to live at all.

Complete at XX,XXX words, LABYRINTH is a stand-alone young adult fantasy set in both the mystical world of the labyrinth and modern day L'Escala, Spain.

First 250:

My breath mists the air, blasting snowflakes into a frantic dance.

Not today. I won’t let it happen. I try to clench my fists, but my fingers are frozen rocks. My eyes find the night sky through thick spruce branches weighed down by snow. I seek out the seven stars of the Hesperides, the sisters charged by the goddess Hera to protect the apples of immortality.

They did a horrid job.

“You can’t hold it off any longer, Kallistrate,” Isidora says, crouching at my left. Her auburn hair lays untouched by the falling flakes, as does her chiton, the linen dyed indigo and sparkling with tiny ornaments. Her feet, tucked in leather sandals, are submerged in a pile of snow. She doesn’t shiver and her cheeks glow pink.

My lips twitch downward. At least, I think they do. I can’t feel my face.

“Take a breath.” Isidora trails her hand down my tangled locks, brushing away a layer of white. “One breath, and it will be over.”

I mush my lips together and shift my head. I won’t do it. I can crouch here forever, without air or warmth, and never die. An ache stabs my chest, and my mind begs me to inhale.

I won’t, I won’t, I won’t.


I gasp. Frigid air crashes into my throat. The scent of something warm and spicy invades. My belly groans, and my mouth waters. Red floods my vision, pulsing to the beat of my heart.

No, not my heart. The heart of my prey.