I think it's an effective cover. It looks like you put a lot of effort into the manip. The only issue is that it doesn't look very clear. There are too many heads in my opinion and makes the cover overwhelming to look at. The title and author name are a good size and color and stand out, and that's good.
Your blurb has a lot of passive voice and uses the past participle too much. This means "had done" or "had hit". This makes it repetitive and can repulse readers who like a fast-paced novel. Passive voice has a reputation for dragging on the novel because sentences are longer than they should be.
I would cut out a lot of filler words like any words that end with "ly", and try to stay away from be verbs.
This is how I would change the first sentence: Five years ago, three meteors hit the Earth's surface.
I think this is better because its short.
Chapter Analysis: 7/10
I like the introduction to this chapter. It sets up the world very well and brings up a bunch of great questions that the readers were probably already thinking. As we progress, we learn more and more about the conflicts in this world and how countries are trying to stop them. We see the HPV virus and how it affects the people called Hydroids.
Now, I can already imagine what havoc that would cause in the world. If people's mentalities are turned into cannibalistic ways, then the world would be a madhouse. In a state of this emergency, it would make sense if all rationality flew out the window and people were crazy desperate for a cure. Because of this, I would expect more bickering in the board room and less regard for the effects of the cure, just anyway to control the escalating crisis. I would think the meeting would be much more explosive and reckless in real life.
I felt like this chapter was one big info dump. Sure, I learned that the virus inhibits cells and causes them to die so more can be created that lead to more insanity, but I want to see one in action. The last chapter was enough teasing to get the reader interested, but I find that when authors build up something so much, it ends up not working to its full effect because we know everything about the subject of interest.
The introduction of R is very mysterious and I like it. The unknown around him makes it very very intriguing and knowing the danger he possesses makes him a darn good plot device. I like the introduction of the device that can control them, the command dominator. While it's nice to have sympathetic characters, in real life, public safety would trump them because they're dangerous and long gone. Now what I think would be interesting is if they were planning an all-out genocide of the Hydrops, and then Alexa met one, realized their still human, and worked against the government.
The action scene was pretty awesome, not gonna lie.
So this chapter reflects on the aftermath of the attack, and it's a necessary filler to bring the reader down from the high stakes place they were in. In the process, we got to learn more about David, her father, and we see his protective instincts shine through. Along with this, we are shown Tom, her brother.
This chapter introduced the future conflict well and points of interest. That being said, it wasn't ver memorbale to say the least, and I have nothing much to comment.
This is just a nitpick, but when her father says "Don't die on me", it confused me beacuse I thought he was pleading for her not to die then and there, when he was just telling her to stay safe. Typcially deseperate pleas like "Don't die on me" come in despreate times when a character is close to death or assumed to be dead. To make it more clear, I would switch the wording to "Stay safe"
I love Sonya's attitude! Her comment to the guy commeting on her ass was so clever and provided comic relief in such a tense chapter.
Personally, I think Alexa reacted a little too unrealisitclly when she met R and the other pysco's. From hearing about them, I would think that she would be wary of them. She talks to them as if they are old friends and like they're not insane.
I also couln't catch R's entrence, and I read the chapter more than once. It really confused me to where he popped in. I think a look into that section would be preferable.
Writing Style: 7/10
Your writing style, from what I read in this book, is very info-dumpy. It's a common mistake writers do and it's respectable because we can see how much work you put into worldbuilding, but blatantly telling us facts about the world in stretched out paragraphs or inserting it between every line of dialogue drags the pace and takes away readers.
You also lean towards the telling side of the show not tell bar. Often times you tell the readers what Alexa sees and thinks and feels when insteasd, to give authors another experience, you need to paint out the picture. Instead of saying "He was a businessman," I would word it this way.
-"The lapels of his crisp suit were freshly ironed and his pant legs fit perfectly, tailored to the tee. Judging by his slick-back hair and pompous attitude, Alexa could conclude that the businessman had not come for purposes of charity, but his own gain."
Another way to mediate this issue is by adding more action to your scenes. This doesn't necessarily mean fight scenes, but just actions to the dialogue.
-"I-I didn't know-"
"What do you mean you didn't know!" he screeched, slamming his fist on the table. Papers scattered to the ground. Lila jumped back in her seat and tears welled in her eyes. Her lip trembled. "I don't know...I'm sorry!"
You write actions scenes very well. I was very encapsulated with the scene at the end of chapter two.
I think the plot, as I analyzed in the chapter analysis, is setting up for a really interesting premise. I'm curious to see how even with all the backstory of the virus, we as readers can come to trust these pyschos. It also does get confusing. When I thought of the infected I thought danger, not mission buddies. It does make for a cool concpet, but it needs cleaning. I found myself getting lost in thparagraphscs and the info dumps and not realyl retaining the plotline, and then having to go back and re-red. I fell like the plot issue would be lessened if you decided to cut out some of that extensive detail. While it is impressive, it makes readers lost within your work.
Overall, I think this book is a solid 6.5/10. The premise is interesting, and since it's for the open novella contest it is the first draft, so inconsistencies and discrepancies are 100% understandable. I think Alexa is a good character and she fully has caught my attention. I docked points because the writing style lacked the life that could add much more flavor to the story. It felt drab at times and like it was going on forever, and other times I felt like I was reading a history book describing the world.
What I think would be great is if you started off with a high energy scene like a character being mauled by an infected person so we get a initial feeling of what the virus does, and then only dedicate one or two chapters to meetings. Teh rule of thumb should be double the planning of the action, but often writers, even professional ones like Victoria Aveyard, do too much planning and not enough action. The first five chapters are really crucial to selling your book to readers, so your priority should be characters, action, plot, and a good record.
I also think your book is mising some color that could be added with graphics. Graphics to me always personlize and impirve the aestheic quality and readability of a book.
I think this was a good read, and with some polishing, it could jump up a lot. Great Job!
YOU ARE READING
In this book you will find your next favourite read: some of the best - as of yet - undiscorvered books on Wattpad. This is our attempt to help them a step further to getting discovered.