My comments are bold and in ORANGE.
Name: JW Troemner
Title: The Bones of Babylon
Genre: YA Post-Apocalyptic Fantasy
Word count: 69,000
Chicago never thought herself trapped—the Administration drives away
the monsters and the plague they carry—until Babylon offered her
freedom. She’s fallen for him...too bad he’s out to finish what the
Shelley's Comments: I love this pitch. I'm a sucker for post-apocalyptics.
The empty holes of a human skull leered up at me from its bed of
slime. Exhumed by spring rain, the skull and its hoard of bones
squelched out of the mud at the edge of the woods. Most days the
thought of corpses didn't bother me, but this one spilled a clammy
tremor down my spine.
Shelley's Comments: Wow. What an opening line. Just reading this, I have high hopes for the rest of the book. The entire first paragraph has me itching to beg to read the rest. :)
"I thought you buried all the bodies," I said. All the skeletons for
miles around had been hidden away in a burial mound a decade ago.
Shelley's Comments: The "All the skeletons for miles around" sentence is a bit clunky and I don't quite understand it. If the protag is asking if the person buried the bodies, it feels like it's something that just happened, but the second sentence makes it sound like it happened decades ago.
"I did." Quito knelt in the mud to get a better look at the bones.
Anybody else might have seemed smaller on their knees, but not Quito.
A mountain of a man, his vast sloping shoulders still loomed over me
while he crouched knee-deep in the mud. He drew one of the longer
bones from of the pile and wiped it clean with the edge of his hand,
leaving it ghastly white against his work-stained hands.
Shelley's Comments: Not sure how his shoulders can loom over the protag if he's on his knees? Anyway - overall I REALLY like what you've done here. I would absolutely keep reading.
Okay commenters! Your turn! Remember the critiquing rules. Be nice. Provide constructive criticism. Any nastiness will be deleted at my discretion.