I got sidetracked at work and followed a link to the sample chapters of a new fantasy novel, Vessel, by Sarah Beth Durst.
The book is due next month from Simon & Schuster, which continues to impress me with the quality and quantity of their YA offerings.
The premise is compelling: What if you prepared your whole life to become a sacrifice to a goddess that would save your people, and then the goddess did not accept your sacrifice?
The sample reads very well. The pace is great, and the descriptions draw a solid world, full of textures, smells, sounds, and characters. I have small quibbles with the dialogue and the use of alliteration. Small quibbles indeed.
The protagonist is a girl, about 16 years old, and I think the crossover appeal to boys would be less than for The Hunger Games, but it's still possible. Then again, I'm not a teenage boy, so I don't mind.
The invitation that drew me in includes high praise from Tamora Pearce. If you're a fan of hers, as I am, this will certainly appeal.
Oh, and nice cover design.
- Steve Shea
- A 40-ish publisher (editor, project manager, etc.), husband, and father of an even number of offspring, I grew up, or failed to, reading fantasy and sci-fi. I still enjoy reading, and now am trying to write. My favorite books include YA fantasy, manga, biography, and advice to authors. I'm also a former history major/grad student/high school teacher and assessment writer. Now I work for a school supplement publisher, specializing in high-low chapter books. I spend a lot of my time controlling reading levels. At night, I cut loose and use long words. W00t!