Thank you to everyone who critique my query or read it. I will definitely critique in return. Here is my rewrite.
When Stephen “Merlin” Johnson, a poor but gifted student, steals an iPad on the train, he’s just trying to earn some extra cash to support himself and his mother. He doesn’t expect to end up with a secret book of spells and an Angel in his bedroom offering him the most powerful magical weapons in history. [I get that you're going for ironic understatemen with this opening, but I'm not certain it 100% works. It's got some really good ideas but they're not quite arranged for maximum impact yet. I mean NOBODY expects a stolen ipad to generate a secret book of spells, do they? It feels a little bit 'well, duh!'. Could it maybe be phrased without the too-obvious understatement? The second sentence is unfortunately also a bit too long now, compared to your first draft. Could it be shortened or split into two, or divided into two clauses linked with a hyphen or such?]
After tracking Merlin and seeing the Angel speak to him, a secret society—the Order of Melchizedek—wants to recruit him. They believe his powers could bring the Angel back and lead them to the weapons they’ve been seeking for centuries. Wanting to support his family and avoid jail for stealing the iPad, Merlin dives into what feels like the pages of a comic book and joins the Order’s school of magic.[Ok, so far so good. This paragraph is quite clear and you're doing a good job of avoiding too many confusing names and new concepts]
Through a series of educational tests with his new friends
Julie and Patsy [if their names don't appear anywhere else in the query, it is probably ok not to name them here either. Description is good but no need to be giving an agent unecessary proper nouns to remember :)], Merlin learns to harness spells to attack and defend. But he soon discovers the hard way that there are other secret societies that want Merlin and the secret book he found. After an attack on his school, he is forced to go on the run across America. The Melchizedek believe the Angel’s long-lost weapons are in San Francisco, and Merlin must track them down if he wants to save his own skin from the demons that are after him, visiting safe houses and picking up advice and totemic objects along the way. Other societies join in to help him, but they all have their own agendas and Merlin can’t figure out which ones truly align with his. [this is fairly clear and you're doing a good job of not losing a reader here, although one thing is starting to feel plot-holey without a bit more explanation: why is Merlin's school not able to protect him from the people after him? There's probably a good reason for this in your novel, but right here it seems a little improbable, just based on what's been said, that Merlin has the one thing everyone wants AND he's got no magical relatives or guardians or teachers to stand between him and the demons. This is a good plot structure to drive lots of confrontations and stand-offs between Merlin and his enemies, for sure, but why is it he is 'the chosen one' or the only person targeted for these attacks? Could Merlin also not hide the secret book somewhere, if keeping it with him is putting him in danger? A little more detail might help]
With war rising between the Order and the other secret societies, Merlin must decide whether he should use his gift of magic to support his Order’s elitism and exploitation of poor people like him or lead the fight to overthrow the current system. [This sentence is a bit too long but I REALLY like the concept you introduce here. I actually wish you'd introduced it a bit earlier, because I think it's one thing that will make your query distinct and unique amongst other stories about magic. The existing stories I know of about magical schools - The Worst Witch series, Harry Potter, and Antony Horowitz' earlier one Groosham Grange all come off as upper-middle-class. The young protagonist in each comes from either a nice middle class family or an upper-crust background, and it does leave you wondering about the class structure in the wizarding world. It's mentioned a bit, but never made much of. Are there no shitty inner-city wizarding comprehensive schools? Or are there not young wizards from working-class backgrounds who find the private-school Eton elitism of their school a bit pretentious, and want to break down the system a bit? I seriously think this is a fruitful idea to explore and you could include a bit more of it throughout your query]
My urban fantasy novel AMERICAN APOCALYPSE is complete at 87,000 words
and intended to be the first book in a series.[ I know it's tempting to put this in, and we probably ALL want to find an agent who will ask us to write multiple sequels - heck, I have secretly, in the privacy on my own mind and in front of no-one else, picked out actors to play my characters in the movie adaptation of my book, and I KNOW I am not alone in having done this! Just because I would never tell anyone my wistful writerly fantasies doesn't mean I haven't privately had them in secret. :D Still, I don't think including this line adds anything and it can sound presumptuous. Let the agent be the judge of whether your idea will support multiple sequels or not]. It will appeal to fans of Neil Gaiman’s American Gods, as well as the television series, and readers of magical school novels like Lev Grossman’s The Magicians series.
I write for a living as a lawyer and lobbyist.
This is my first novel.[again, if you don't mention any previous novels it's taken as given that this is your first]
Thank you for your consideration.