I have yet to receive anything other than a form rejection from an agent with this query. To me it feels 'ok' but on life support, meaning it's alive, but barely. I feel that I just need an extra oomph to get it up and running in a manner that would garner attention. This is why I'm fully tossing the chum in the water in hopes of getting a bite.
Dear Query Shark:
Eighteen-year-old Adira never imagined herself a hero, much less a savior of the kingdom, but she found herself in the middle of a dark war nonetheless. After learning that a dark entity, thought to have been banished generations ago, has resurfaced, she finds herself targeted for death, just for knowing of its return.
I'd stop reading here. There is absolutely nothing new or compelling about what you've described. You absolutely must make a story your own, and you haven't. "Dark entity" is too generic to be interesting. Darth Vader is a dark entity but what made him scary as all hell was the face mask, the breathing, and his menacing intentions. Even his name sounded evil.
Telling me something is a dark entity is boring. Showing me that he can strangle someone just by raising his hand and using The Force for evil...well, that's much more compelling.
Forced to flee her home after her adoptive father is killed by men who pledged their allegiance to the entity, Adira vows revenge.
Of course she does. Again, this is too generic to be interesting.
Seeking refuge at a faraway outpost, Adira hones her fighting skills alongside well-trained soldiers. When an ageless and powerful Seer arrives, Adira finally decides to reveal what she knows. This knowledge, coupled with a shocking revelation about her adoptive father, convinces the Seer that Adira may be the key to stopping the evil from spreading across the land.
Of course she is. So far you don't have anything different that the fifty other YA queries like this that I see every week.
As Adira begins seeking her own personal revenge and fighting alongside new friends to defend the kingdom, a conspiracy begins to unravel and could lead to death for everyone. The entity’s true motives come to light and Adira learns that the only chance for victory may be sacrificing her own life.
Of course it is.
THE WARRIOR’S CROWN is a Young Adult fantasy novel with series potential, complete at 90,000 words. It may appeal to readers of Joe Abercrombie’s First Law series.
I have your email address already since my email inbox shows the return address, and the place for your twitter handle below your name.
Thank you for your time and consideration,
There's nothing here that's fresh and new.
You haven't put your spin on any of this.
Everything is too generic to be interesting (dark entity, faraway outpost, ageless seer). This could be Star Wars...but would you know?
One of the things that made Guardians of the Galaxy so fun was how the movie played with standard character tropes.
I don't know if the query doesn't do justice to the book, or you haven't written a book I want to read.
Go back to your favorite books in this category and read them again. This time watch for how the author surprises you, or twists a plot. That's what makes a story individual. Watch for how the characters are described that lifts them from generic to interesting.
It takes a long time to write something all your own. It's not a character flaw or failure that this doesn't work. It's a step on the writing path. Every single writer learns how to do this exactly the way you are: by doing.