REVISION #4 (8/28):
Reality contains holes just like the ozone layer—and one of them resides over Jean’s new apartment complex. [I like this!]
Flutes trill within the walls. Dark shapes watch her as she sleeps. Worst of all, she keeps seeing the ghost of the kid who wandered up a nearby mountain and died of exposure.
It all reminds Jean of the “Fair Folk” legends—woodland spirits who steal children’s souls and take them to the Otherworld.I don't see what this adds.
Even so, that rotting inn she bought across town isn’t going to repair itself. Nor will the women she’ll soon shelter there. After all, she moved to rural North Carolina to ditch security [comfort?] and truly help people.[as opposed to what? I don't think I understand her motivation.] Plant gardens, raise consciousness, start a revolution. [too vague- what kind of revolution? consciousness of what?]
But when dead bodies start piling up at the apartment complex, Jean begins eyeing her neighbors suspiciously. There’s Miles, her roommate, who is (ugh) falling in love with her. There’s Crazy Mad, an elderly recluse who communicates with a lump under her carpet. There’s Devin, an adorable single father who convinced his wife to commit suicide. And there’s the psychedelic entity that visits Jean in her bedroom—an entity that calls itself “the Landlord.”[I found this paragraph really amusing. But after reading the rest of the query I'm not sure how it fits in and it takes up quite a bit of your query... I really like it but I need to see more of how it connects to the conflict.]
Pagan, hostile forces are commencing their own revolution, and Jean has been chosen to help.[and they've chosen Jean to help. - less passive.] She knows a renewed devotion to nature might be the only thing that can save the dying planet. [There is a leap here that I don't quite follow. How did she come to this conclusion? What do you mean by devotion to nature?] But at what price? [I don't get what the stakes are. And I think that's because I don't know what the pagan forces want or really what they're doing besides maybe killing people?] There isn’t much time to decide where she stands. [Again not sure what even what the two sides are...]
Because soon the mountain will open up. And the culling will begin. [Sounds cool, but ultimately vague.]
A DARKNESS IN SPRING is a horror novel of 75,000 words. Thank you for your time.
I was really digging this till the 'Pagan' paragraph. You've set up some great mood and I like all the creepy details, but I'm unclear on what exactly the plot is and what role Jean plays in it. I'd try to keep as much of that atmosphere you have while clearing up the main drive of the novel.
And thanks for critiquing my query. I'll use your suggestions in my edits :)