Query Critique #9: The Devil’s Utopia

This week is Query Week on Let the Words Flow!  We’re offering in-depth critiques from ourselves and several agents, so you’ll definitely want to stop by!

Today is we have my close friend Amanda Plavich at bat — the same lady who took my fabulous author photos (isn’t she a multitalented Renaissance gal?) , so please leave your thoughts in the comment section.  If you anything rude, I will <insert horrible fate> you.  Now go out and spread the word so Amanda  can get tons of helpful feedback!


Dear Agent,

Sixteen-year-old Adelaide’s existence is defined by her role: she’s a Forsaken, and as such must always serve the Cherished.

Her remote village in the rainforest was founded on the utopian ideals of Erich Schwartz and is still ruled by this charismatic, yet cruel man.  The strict lines that have always separated the society blur for Adelaide when her assigned Cherished and best friend Felix confesses he loves her, despite the consequences. The Forsaken are forbidden to love, and the punishment for disobedience is death. Adelaide shouldn’t return Felix’s affections, but his admission introduces her to feelings she never thought she’d have.  Turning them off now would feel like a kind of death.

Matters only worsen as Adelaide is sent to tend to an imprisoned outsider – a boy recently found wandering close to the village’s heavily guarded borders. With each word this strange boy speaks about the outside, a spark of rebellion grows in Adelaide’s heart — perhaps there is a world outside of the slavery and self-loathing she was born into.  As Adelaide starts to see the full extent of Erich’s cruelty — violent abuse of prisoners and even unethical experiments conducted on the both Forsaken and Cherished — her desperation for salvation grows.  

After the imprisoned outsider plants the idea of escape into her mind, Adelaide must decide if her autonomy and freedom are worth losing the life she’s always known — and also losing the boy she loves.

THE DEVIL’S UTOPIA is an 80,000-word YA dystopian novel based loosely on Nazi Josef Mengele’s rumored time in a Brazilian village post-World War II.  I’ve pasted the first few pages below and the full manuscript is available upon request.  Thank you for taking the time to consider THE DEVIL’S UTOPIA and I look forward to hearing from you soon.


Amanda Plavich


Leave your comments below, and be sure to keep your eyes peeled for more queries!  This is the second to last day of queries, and it’s up to YOU all to help each other.  Thanks, friends and fellow writers!!