…but I think I’m on to something with this one.  What do you think?

THE ONLY HOPE FOR THE LAST FREE STARS NOW LIES ON THE PATH OF BLOOD AND GLORY.

The princess of Shinihon could not have picked a worse time to run away. The galaxy is at war, and the massive Hameji battle fleets threaten to overrun the last of the free stars. Only the boy emperor Katsuichi dares to stand against them, but with his sister gone missing, the burden of command may be too much for him to bear.

The job falls on Captain Danica Nova and her band of mercenaries to bring the princess safely home. Among them, Master Sergeant Roman is one of the few still old enough to remember the homeworld. But he’s an old cyborg, and his humanity is fading. Death is a mercy he doesn’t expect to find on this mission.

They aren’t the only ones after the princess, however. Sholpan’s son Abaqa is eager to win honor and glory by making the girl his slave. Though only a boy, he’ll stop at nothing to prove himself to his Hameji brethren.

With the Federation in disarray, the bloody end of the war may come too soon for some of them. But one thing is certain—not all of them will live to see it.

This is, of course, for my upcoming novel Stars of Blood and Glory.  I just got back the first round of edits from my editor, and it looks pretty good.  There’s just one scene we agree needs some extra work, and that shouldn’t take longer than a week.  The cover art might take a little longer, but if the book’s not published this month it definitely will be in the next.

But first, I’ve got to really nail the teaser.  So what do you guys think?

3 Comments

  1. You asked for honesty, so here goes. This feels like character soup. Instead of being intrigued, I’m left muddled. There’s no clear distinction of who the main character is, nor do I get a real sense of what’s at stake. Also, tracking down a runaway princess does not seem to equal blood and glory to me, so these two ideas seem really contradictory. Also contradictory is the fact that the princess is a runaway, but you state that Danica needs to bring her home, which implies that she’s already been found.

    I’ve been following Query Shark for awhile. She’s an agent that will critique people’s queries. You can learn a lot from her, since the process of writing a good query pitch is the same as writing a good book teaser. I would especially recommend reading query 213. There, she reiterates her common refrain that a pitch should “simply tell us who the main character is, what problem s/he faces, and what’s at stake.” Course, that’s harder than it sounds. :)

    I’ve only read the first chapter of this novel, so my suggestions will probably be off. So take the following with a grain of salt. I would cut mention of Sholpan’s son and the boy emperor. Focus on Danica and Roman, why they took this job (I assume there’s a more personal reason than just the money), and what their obstacles are.

    Hope that helps.

  2. Thanks for the critique, Andy! I’m not sure if you fit the target audience, but I appreciate the advice, and the stuff on query shark has been quite interesting. There is a subtle difference between book teasers (here’s why you want to read this book) and queries (here’s why readers will want to buy this book), but there is a lot of good information on there as well.

    After getting some feedback from other readers, I’ve made some changes. Here they are:

    THE ONLY HOPE FOR THE LAST FREE STARS NOW LIES ON THE PATH OF BLOOD AND GLORY.

    The princess of Shinihon could not have picked a worse time to run away. The largest Hameji battle fleet ever gathered threatens to overrun the last of the free stars. To make matters worse, a rogue assassin from an unknown faction has killed the high admiral of the Federation. Without clear leadership, the war may be lost before the princess can be found.

    But Danica Nova and her band of Tajji mercenaries are no strangers to lost causes. They’ve fought the Hameji before, and they’ll fight them again—not for honor or for glory, but the cash they need to survive. Ever since the Tajji diaspora, war has been their way of life.

    Master Sergeant Roman Krikoryan is one of the few among them still old enough to remember the homeworld. But he’s an old cyborg, and his humanity is fading. Death is a mercy he doesn’t expect to find on this mission.

    They aren’t the only ones after the princess, however. Hungry for glory and eager to make a name for himself, Sholpan’s son Abaqa seeks to make the girl his slave. Though only a boy, he’ll stop at nothing to prove himself to his Hameji brethren.

    With the Federation in disarray, the bloody end of the war may come too soon for some of them. But one thing is certain—not all of them will live to see it.

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