Query Critique #8

  • By: Jessica Faust | Date: Jun 01 2007

I’m an avid reader of your blog, and you mentioned some weeks ago that blending genres is popular. I thought you might like to consider my novel The Last Slayer, an urban fantasy with romantic elements. It’s completed at 100,000 words.

I think this is a really strong opening. You distinguished yourself by reading the blog, knowing what I like, and showing me how your work fits that. It’s compact, and yet intriguing. Good title too. Makes me want to read on.

Ashera del Cid is a demon hunter who takes great pride in her work. But when a triumvirate of demigods wants her dead for killing one of its dragons, the hunter turns hunted. Even though Ramiel, a rival demigod, offers his help, she turns him down. She isn’t naïve enough to trust anyone from the supernatural realm, especially one who arouses her senses like no other.

Ramiel has his own agenda. He has waited decades for revenge on the demigod who humiliated and irreversibly crippled him by ripping out his wing. Ramiel plans to use Ashera to destroy the world order led by his archenemy.

The stakes are raised when a member of the triumvirate poisons Ashera’s best friend. To get the antidote Ashera is forced to accept Ramiel’s help. But as Ashera and Ramiel battle demigods and dragons, there is one thing they could never have planned on: the chemistry sizzling between them despite their mutual distrust.

Couldn’t you condense all three of these paragraphs into one? Try not to get too detailed. Without reading the book it can get confusing. You might be better off simply saying: Ashera del Cid is a demon hunter who takes great pride in her work, but when she kills a dragon the hunter becomes the hunted. Forced to turn to Ramiel (her greatest enemy?) for help, the two work together to battle dragons and demigods . . . and the chemistry sizzling between them.

I’m a member of Romance Writers of America and its special interest chapters RWAOnline, and Futuristic, Fantasy & Paranormal. My previous writing credits include a classical music columnist position for Disceptatio, a webzine featured on CNN.com, a series of essays on western Japan for the Japan Travel Bureau, and several short story publications. An SASE is enclosed for your response.

Very well done. Perfect and definitely impresses me that you know what you’re doing.

Thank you for your time, and I look forward to hearing from you soon.

Good, but might be better to just tell me that you can send the full manuscript at my request.


Angelle Trieste
Encl: SASE, Synopsis, Partial

Overall this is the best I’ve seen so far. I would definitely request a partial based on this letter.


Check back Tuesday for another query critique.

5 responses to “Query Critique #8”

  1. Avatar Gina Black says:

    Yay Angelle!! 🙂

  2. Avatar Jennifer McK says:

    Awesome! Great to see what query letter works for you.
    Great letter. *takes notes*

  3. Avatar Reid says:

    Thank you so much for the Query Letter Clinic. For those of us looking to get a foot in the door, finding the perfect query letter seems like finding two dollar gas at this point. We keep wishing, but we never find it.

  4. Avatar Angelle Trieste says:

    Thank you so much! The manuscript’s going through the final polishing, and at this point only the partial’s ready, which is why I didn’t say anything about the full being available now. It’s going to be ready in about a month or so, and I won’t be querying anyone until it is. 🙂 (Yes, Jessica, Jacky & Kim – I remember your posts about not querying until the book’s completely finished. *VBG*) And yes, I’ll definitely submit my query to BookEnds at that time. Again, thank you so much for your valuable feedback.

  5. Avatar Anonymous says:

    Quick question re “can send full on your request”. I’ve never put that in my letters because I thought agents would go, “Well, duh, of course you can send it on my request… you’re dying to!”

    Apparently not?