Guess the Plot
1. An immortal guy kills Nolan's family, and is now hunting Nolan, when suddenly a crystal falls from the sky, granting Nolan magical powers. But will he use his powers for vengeance, or to do good works?
2. Seems like the sky is falling at some point in every novel, but this time it's literally falling.
3. When a cabal of soulless politicians launches a scheme to anesthetize progressive voters before they can reach the polls, ace investigator Zack Martinez knows two things: This could be the answer to his chronic insomnia, and he'd better get his zzzzzzzzz...
4. An exciting, fictionalized, very-approachable-without-a-
5. Ethan swears to get even with everyone who's ever dissed, harassed or bullied him. Using an old goat skull, he asks Satan to punish them all. No problem, as Satan possesses the Internet.
6. The green fairy descends from the heavens. Or rather it falls, smacks a few pedestrians with insanity, goes for a night on the town, and visits two sisters, giving them divine inspiration only to make them forget it all come morning.
Dear Evil Editor,
Nolan of Greenbrook has no hope of a peaceful death. The immortal Eldest hunts him, intent on finishing what he started when he killed Nolan's family and left him crippled. [#38 on the list of Things I Would Do if I Were an Evil Overlord, paraphrased: "If an enemy I have just killed has offspring anywhere, I will have them killed immediately, instead of letting them grow up to harbor feelings of vengeance toward me." Seems like if Nolan was left crippled, the Eldest's minions would have had no trouble finishing him off. Then again, no one ever said evil overlords were bright.] Now Nolan lives in the shadows, consumed by fear of the Eldest. His luck runs out when he stumbles across a mysterious glowing crystal. When the Eldest's genetically-engineered minions arrive to investigate the crystal, they find Nolan as well. They spirit him away to the Eldest's prison where he awaits an excruciating death.
Though it costs him his freedom, the crystal gives Nolan something in return - strange magical powers. [Did they let him keep the crystal? Can someone else get magic from the crystal now, or is it like an empty Cherry Garcia carton, emptied of its magical contents and ready to be discarded in the rubbish bin?] [Also, calling his magical powers "strange" forces me to wonder what's strange about them. Are there people who have magical powers that aren't strange?] They are weak at first, but in Nolan’s hands they become a formidable tool. After a daring magic-enabled escape, Nolan falls in with a band of fellow outcasts marked for death. They embark on a journey to a haven beyond the Eldest's reach.
The hopes of Nolan's companions grow along with his powers as he fights off the Eldest's repeated attacks, [I thought they were beyond the Eldest's reach. Are they still en route?] even defeating creatures thought to be invincible. [Although you said his luck ran out when he found the crystal, it could be argued that his luck changed for the better when he found it. In fact, he's gone from being a disabled, frightened victim hiding in the shadows to a warrior protecting his friends and defeating invincible creatures. Finding the crystal was the luckiest thing that ever happened to him.] But Nolan is not the Eldest-slaying hero his allies want. His past still haunts him, and he desires only to live without fear and rebuild his shattered life. Even when he discovers that his powers can be spread to others, he refuses to trade peace and safety for an unwinnable war. [What peace and safety? He's being repeatedly attacked by the Eldest and the creatures.] [Also, if he doesn't want to fight, and his companions do, why not spread his powers to them, and let them go fight the unwinnable war.
Then the Eldest strikes again, and safety proves an illusion. Nolan flees once more, unable to save those he loves. Driven to despair and pursued to the very edge of the earth, he finally understands why he is being hunted. The Eldest is also afraid.
He fears what Nolan will become when he stops running.
ETHERFALL is a 123K-word fantasy that will appeal to readers of Brandon Sanderson or E. E. Knight. Thank you for your time and consideration.
The title refers to the substance that lets the main character work magic, which falls from the sky in a crystal at the start of the book. [It just falls from the sky? If that happened right when he most needed it we'd call it a deus ex machina, so I guess it's good that it happens a couple chapters before he needs it. Still, is there an explanation of where it fell from?]
Why did the Eldest want Nolan dead even before he found the crystal? Was his entire family a threat to the Eldest? The guy has genetically engineered minions and invincible creatures under his command, and yet he's obsessed with wiping out one family? Did the Eldest's seer predict someone named Nolan of Greenbrook would one day rule the world?
It reads well. Maybe it goes back and forth more than necessary. He has no hope, but then he gets the crystal, but then he's captured, but then he escapes, but then he's attacked but then he reaches the safe haven, but then it's not safe after all and he flees... If we had less of this we'd have room for a specific example of what Nolan's magic can (or can't) do. And what the Eldest's ultimate goal is. And what Nolan's plan is now that he's on the run yet again.