While Sidhe’s Call did not make the top three YA novels for the 2012 Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award, I am pleased to have made it into the top 50 – which means the top 1% of entries. It was an exciting process to have gone through, and the improvements I made to both my pitch and ms seem to have paid off with the results. Granted, I would have loved to make the final cut, but there was such a slim margin for victory anyway.
What I enjoyed about the contest was receiving feedback about my pitch, excerpt, and ms. Below you will find the review from Publishers Weekly.
This overly busy if inventive tale is derived from a supernatural shape-shifting race mired in Irish mythology. In present day Idaho, 16-year-old motherless Morgan stands before a procession of her mentors, peers, and her two twin sisters, Bridget and Branna, in a christening ritual in which she leaps off of a cliff to take flight in bird-form. As a newly minted Ban Sidhe, she is charged with “calling” or foretelling the deaths of others. Her first call is that of teenaged Aidan Tanner, a mortal who is stuck on a 12-hour car trip to see his estranged Uncle Quinn, who is dying of cancer. This, coupled with the news that his father has strayed, begins stripping away the controlled, self-contained world he’s always known. Trailing Aidan in crow-form, Morgan soon wrestles with her blood-borne destiny to carry out her “calling,” while her heart refuses to acknowledge any death she has the ability to prevent. This problem is compounded by the two-year mysterious absence of her father and a prophecy among the Sidhe’s Inner Ring telling of a raging evil attempting to decimate their kingdom and the “new Queen” who saves the day. The narrative’s point of view demonstrates some impressive work on the author’s part. The novel seamlessly shifts from Morgan’s first-person perspective to Aidan’s in the third-person, a literary device that presents some interesting vantage points from which to view all the mystical, melodramatic goings-on. And there’s plenty of it — and a kicker of a denouement which seems purposefully left open-ended for more magical adventures on the horizon. Fantastical, portentous fantasy fiction, this could hit the sweet spot for younger readers after they’ve burned through The Hunger Games.