Wednesday, November 03, 2010
Guess the Plot
Lullaby of Allat
1. Legend speaks of the demon-child Allat, who will bring ruin to the world should he awake. The Sacred Order of Choristers are sworn to prevent this from happening, but every year their numbers grow fewer. Can a cocky young inventor with wax cylinder technology save the day?
2. Young Sir Allat is heir to the family secret: a melody that puts its hearers to sleep for 100 years. Everyone in the kingdom is at pains to amuse him, because he has a wicked sense of ironic humor and god only knows what he'd do if somebody bored him.
3. When Dr. Alison Grayden finds a copy of the legendary Medieval poem "Lullaby of Allat" in her late aunt's safe deposit box, she's thrilled. Only--how did the manuscript, lost for 600 years, end up in a safe deposit box in Burbank? Also, a djinn.
4. For years Thea has been tormented by music in her head. But when the demon Acreosate invades, she realizes her destiny: to sing him to sleep! Right after she convinces the king to put a 13 year old girl in charge of the army.
5. When a zombie shows up on her doorstep seeking an explanation for his reanimation, Louisa is thrust into an adventure that takes her to Bulgaria and the tomb of an ancient bandit who worshiped Allat, the Mesopotamian goddess of the underworld. Does Allat's lullaby have the power to wake the dead?
6. When permanent insomnia strikes the king and queen of Khobistan, their health is at risk. Then a troubadour named Allat arrives, claiming his songs can bring sleep--but for a price: their first-born. Is that price worth the nightmares that will accompany the . . . Lullaby of Allat?
Louisa Dove is the practical, hardworking assistant of a prominent archaeologist in Victorian era London. Things [What things?] take a turn for the strange, however, [That transitional phrase makes no sense here, as you haven't described or declared a situation in which "things" weren't strange. Quite the opposite, in fact: a female archaeologist in Victorian-era London is pretty strange to begin with. To clarify, in which of the following does the transition work:
Bob's job making pads by gluing the top edge of sheets of paper together is so boring, the most exciting part of his day is when a telemarketer phones to suggest he switch long-distance carriers. However, his life takes a turn for the bizarre when . . .
Bob is a unicycle mechanic. However, his life becomes strange when . . .]
when formerly deceased pickpocket Pete Daggney [Never use terms like "formerly deceased" or "undead" when you can instead use "zombie." In fact, even if Daggney isn't a zombie, I recommend calling him "zombie-like" or saying, . . . when Pete Daggney, who gives every indication of being . . . a ZOMBIE! . . . ] turns up on her doorstep, seeking an explanation for his sudden reanimation. [He doesn't need her for an explanation. If he craves blood, he's a vampire. If he craves brains he's a zombie. And if neither of those is the case, he's the son of God.] [By the way, what makes him think she has an explanation?] An occult artifact of unknown origin is to blame, [I have an artifact, and I have no idea where it came from, but I know it is responsible for turning you into a zombie.] but to undo Daggney's unfortunate state, Louisa and her mentor must track the object back to its source. [How do they know they must do this?]
Along the way, their journey is riddled with complications, thanks to the meddling of the charming Mr. Villiers, amature [amateur] treasure hunter and future English Earl, unexpected Bulgarian railway bandits, [No need to call Bulgarian railway bandits "unexpected." No one expects Bulgarian railway bandits.] [For that matter, no one expects Bulgarians.] and not one, but two secret societies [If one secret society is a drawing card, two is a major attraction. Of course, the more secret societies you have in one place, the harder it is for them to stay secret.] seeking the same prize. [If you mean the same prize that Louisa is seeking, I didn't know she was seeking a prize. What is the prize?] Now, Louisa is caught up in a race to locate the tomb of an ancient [Bulgarian] bandit king, before what is contained within can be used to raise an army of the dead [zombies], and threaten the sanctity of the British Empire. [Is "sanctity" the word you want? I was thinking "stability" or "security." Or "braaaaaiiiiins."]
LULLABY OF ALLAT is an updated version of the Victorian pulp serial, with elements taken from turn of the century [Turn of which century?] gothic novels and traditional scientific romance. [Traditional scientific romance:
It is action-packed, fast-paced and complete at 90,000 words.
[Not part of query: ((Allat is a Mesopotamian goddess of the underworld, whom the aforementioned bandit king worshipped.))]
Was the bandit king the king of some bandits or a king who was also a bandit? I don't see why a king would want to be a bandit or why bandits would want a king, but then I'm not Bulgarian.
Louisa goes to an awful lot of trouble to make Pete the pickpocket dead again. Assuming Pete wants to be dead again, can't they just burn him at the stake?
The first paragraph is a useful setup, but I think I'd prefer the second paragraph focus on what's in the tomb and who wants to use it to destroy Britain than on secret societies and bandits and an annoying earl.
For those who like to keep track of such things, this is the first appearance of Bulgarians in a query since Face-Lift 280.