My comments are bold and in ORANGE.
Name: Jamie K.
Title: The Adviera Adventures: Abducted
Genre: YA Science Fiction
Word count: 63,000
Gary’s abduction left him with an amazing ability that comes with a price - service to the aliens who gifted it. He must learn to control his ability and discover why he’s their prime interest.
Shelley's Comments: This pitch is *almost* there. What are the stakes? What happens if he doesn't control his ability and discover why he's their prime interest?
From within a brick wall, Sandy and her Hasis trainer, Es, watched a man in a black overcoat scavenge a pile of cardboard boxes. The shadowy alley, capped by a chain link fence, lay littered with a colony of stray cats searching for food. One trashcan fell to the ground with a loud clang and a tabby emerged from the can.
Shelley's Comments: I stumbled over this opening sentence. They are actually IN the brick wall, or behind? There is some passive wording - "lay littered". With passive wording happening in the first paragraph, I wonder if the rest of the ms is like this? Other than that, I like the imagery. I think a little tightening would strengthen this opening.
The man pulled a small gun from his coat pocket and fired at the cat. The purple laser missed the animal by inches and it skittered past him escaping through a small gap under the fence. Using the distraction as a cover, Sandy crept through the brick wall, straightened her jeans and t-shirt, and reached back into the solid surface to pull her companion out by the arm.
Shelley's Comments: The brick wall is still tripping me up - how is she creeping THROUGH the brick wall? The last part of the sentence clues me in that something is not "normal", but I'm still thoroughly confused.
“It’s a dead end,” she said pointing towards the man.
“He’s trapped like a rat in a cage.” Es smirked. Sandy smiled at the use of a human cliché.
Shelley's Comments: The pitch was strong, and had me wanting to read on. But I wasn't pulled in by the passage. I like the imagery, but starting out with someone watching THROUGH a brick wall and them moving through it, when you haven't given me the parameters of your world yet, was jarring. I had a hard time getting into the story because of that.
Okay commenters! Your turn! Remember the critiquing rules. Be nice. Provide constructive criticism. Any nastiness will be deleted at my discretion.