Final 4 Send-Off

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For the Final 4, we have saved the last pitches from the authors to help all of you voters pick a wonderful new book to read. The Top 2's pitches will be showcased in the final round.

These are the pitches of the remaining two from the Final 4. Both of these stories are wonderful reads and we hope you check them out!

This is not a voting page. This is a page for appreciation of great writing and amazing fans and readers. The Top 2's round will be on the next page, coming soon.

Let's send off them off with a big round of applause and send their stories some love!

Let's send off them off with a big round of applause and send their stories some love!

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Cross-Warrior - Midnight

You know, I joked that I might need someone to comment an entire essay to help ensure my chance to go on to round 6, and now that's basically what I'm going to do. Because dang nab it, Midnight is worth fighting for, and maybe I'm the best to do it since I know things others don't yet.

Retellings is a genre really hard to stand out in. I hear a lot of distaste for it actually. What's the point of even reading a retelling when it's just a story that I've already read in a different way after all? I don't follow this same philosophy, but people with that hang up aren't going to have a problem with Midnight. Yes, it's a retelling, but I mostly use the retelling aspects to build my characters. I have a Hansel and Gretel retelling set of siblings, but aside from a mention to their past, the main focus is on who they are and how their lives shaped them rather than that tale everyone knows. I cannot say the same for Ash, whose Cinderella roots are dwelled on for a few chapters, but after that, the main Cinderella influences are on who Ash is and the Prince she is chasing. And even though it's technically where the Little Mermaid retelling begins, that isn't obvious until chapters after. My focus is on the characters from the fairy tales rather than the fairy tales themselves, and I believe that does Midnight a lot of favors because it becomes truly character driven as opposed to the familiar plot driving forward that people expect, putting it a step above some others.

And speaking of those characters, I truly try my best to breath life into them. Every aspect of them I decide with care as I explore their backgrounds. My driving force as I shape them is simple: What has happened to them and what does that do to them? Ash has been constantly degraded for years, first a bit subtly by her mother and then extensively by her step-family after her mother died. Lorica is very motherly and caring to the cursed because of her own treatment for being different, and she's aware they have such a more difficult time. Edris was greatly wronged in the past (Don't want to spoil this), so she believes she has reason to treat Ash as she does. Caspian has experienced great lost and believes he is too dangerous to return to land, so he is guarded from people he doesn't think will truly be part of the crew. Every character - and there are a lot - has a thought through backstory and reasoning for every aspect of their character. Midnight has great care given to their characters to make them realistic, relatable (though not always at first), and alive in a way I don't see in many stories.

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