Seventeen-year-old Piper wants nothing more than for life to go back to the way things were ten years ago, before the Others attacked Earth. After a three-day war, they retreated, leaving behind flattened cities and a shattered government. After years of rebuilding, Piper farms, hunts and scavenges to put food on the table. But as life settles back into the ordinary, her eyes still dart to the sky, wondering if the Others will ever be back.
That is, until the newly-reformed government shows up unannounced and reinstates the military draft, despite not being at war. Piper and her friends are dragged away from the town and families that depend on them. Piper struggles with leaving her family behind, but resolves to serve her time, hoping she can rise quickly through the ranks and send money home.
In basic training, rumors stir of the Resistance, an underground group stealing food and supplies from towns. They claim the government is holding back repairs and communications in order to control its citizens. Piper doesn’t believe them and wants to protect her family and town. As she prepares to fight against these rebels, she learns the truth- the Resistance is fighting against the Others. It turns out, they never left, and now they secretly control the government and its citizens. I get that a secret society can take over the government, but you make it sound like the Others are imbedded in the civilian population as well by saying that they control the governments citizens. Is that the effect you are going for?
If Piper joins the Resistance, she’ll help start another war. If she doesn’t, she’ll stay a slave to those who already destroyed her world once.
As far as I can tell, you’ve established well that Piper is a girl willing to do almost if not anything for her family. She does hard labor (hunting, scavenging) to provide for them, risks her life as a soldier for a government she doesn’t know or trust to send her family money, wants to fight the resistance to protect her families town from their raids. It’s a well established and moving motive. However, you make the point in your closing a conflict between a peaceful but oppressed status quo vs a violent war with the potential to create a more free world. This feels thematically off from the rest of your query, where the tension seems to be between Piper’s personal goals (not being drafted for example) and helping her family.
I only elaborate on this ending because I really liked the rest of the query. Hope that this helped!
BLACK STARS FALLING is a YA sci-fi complete at 93,000 words.