I have a second draft of what will hopefully be my debut novel (titled A Plaything Called Humanity, in case that's important) typed up but not quite ready to go, so I really need some fresh eyes on it to tell me what's working and what's not. I don't have a query letter type thing ready, but here's a brief rundown of what it's about:
The story is about this fantasy race called syiks, who need to kill things (preferably humans) to absorb life force, and who are (almost) all psychopaths. The main character, Nero, is kinda an outcast because he's meek, empathetic, cautious, and most importantly, an easy target. On top of that, he's sick of watching the syiks be unnecessarily cruel to humans, so he decides to try to switch sides and help the humans fight back against the syiks. And then there's some drama where like Nero isn't able to be as human as he thought he could be, and doesn't do great, socially speaking, with them? And as he gets farther along in the stop-the-syiks plans, he starts getting bolder and more desperate, and generally more... syik-like. And his intentions become more selfish than heroic.
Anyways the "literary" aspect I mentioned is that I wrote in kinda an experimental style: I don't use any dialog (that aspect was originally a characterization exercise, but I liked how it was turning out and now... novel), and I try to keep a narrative distance that's supposed to make the reader feel more like they're just watching events play out in front of them instead of like they're along for the ride or part of the story, or whatever.
I guess the kind of critique I'm looking for is that I really need to know what's working, what isn't, is the pacing of the plot okay, does everything make sense, which characters/concepts/locations/plot points need fleshed out more and which ones should I pull back from a little... That kinda stuff.
So, yeah, I've got about 60k words I need an overall critique on, and I'll beta or critique pretty much anything in exchange. PM me if you're at all interested.
PS: I already messaged a few people looking for an MS exchange with this book, but those leads seem to have gone cold? So I'm just putting up my own ad. If one of those people I already messaged is reading this, here's your signal to follow up on that, if you're interested, I guess? I don't know if it's, like... bad etiquette to take people up on their ads and then go post your own a few days later...