When sixteen-year-old, hardcore gamer Malory seeks her best friends’ help in debugging a video game, she knows it could lead to a fatal error. Like getting sucked into the game without a clue about how to play. Yep. I'm interested.
Malory must face it: she hasn’t leveled up as a flawless heroine. She’s more of a coward who has tricked her two best friends into an alternate world. <--- This is where I scratch my head. She "tricks her friends into a game" under the pretense of fixing it? You need to clarify this before you move on. Malory has been addicted to that world for years. Nobody knows Knows what? That she tricked her friends or that she's addicted to the game? except J-L, the mysterious boss of the game. He knows who Malory is He knows who she is but WE don't! and what kind of life she escapes when she travels into the virtual lands. <--- This sentence is clunky. Re-word. The more he twists Malory’s dreamworld Dreamworld? I thought it was a video game! and establishes his authority, the more she takes it as a challenge and tries to regain the upper hand.
But now J-L is twisting the game beyond nightmare. Each new journey turns out to be more violent and dangerous for Malory. Then why does she keep playing? She just wants a challenge? If that's the case, then the stakes are high enough -- at least not in the query. She misses the time when her cupcakes were not swarming with his cockroaches, when her meadows were not haunted by his sneaky monsters "Sneaky" isn't a very menacing word..., when the sun rose, when innocents were not found dead—and of course, when his teen slaves were not watching her every move. <--- Okay, this information definitely needs to come sooner!
Malory no longer feels up to facing J-L alone. That’s why she needs reliable help. I don't think this merits a standalone paragraph.
Once in the game, there are no cheat codes, no rage quit. Nice. Not even a map. Malory and her two best friends have to use their wits to beat the boss. Their only chance to return home in one sane piece—or more simply to stay alive—is to know their weapons. But they’d better know J-L’s as well. They got stuck in the game without meaning to?
MADNESS RIDERS: THE HERO SYNDROME (62,390 words) is a YA dark fantasy. My concept is a modern-day Jumanji that blends the plotline of Dreamscape: Saving Alex with the eerie atmosphere of American McGee’s Alice. This will appeal to fans of fantasy, anime lovers and gamers alike.
I have a BA in French language and literature. My most recent publication is a collection of dark erotica short stories titled Les Agonies de l’Innocence (Tabou Editions, June 2013).
Thank you for your time and consideration.
This seems like an awesome book. However, I don't think the story is quite on the page yet. Along with motive/stakes, I really think you should clarify the "rules" of this world. They... go inside video games? Can you alert the reader to this sci-fi setting sooner? And what this process entails? Help us out a bit more here.