View Full Version : Matthew Newman - Urban Fantasy. Need Betas

Charlie Horse
09-04-2009, 09:58 PM
Sorry I can't offer anything in return other than my endearing gratitude and the experience you'll get by critiquing an unpubbed author's work. Book is around 100k words and is probably in the same vein as a Terry Pratchett or Neil Gaiman work. Even on my second read through I found it extremely amusing.

Willing to send all or part to anyone interested.

Here's the opening:

There are many ways one might go about finding true and everlasting love, many of them ill advised. Direct defiance of the Almighty, maker of the all the heavens and the earth is probably the least recommended of them all.
Then again, no one ever said such things would be easy.
Now since the very beginning of time countless stories much like this one have been told, where princely young men ward off fierce challenges in the pursuit of living happily ever after. From the start there will be no pretense claiming Matthew’s tale to be any different, save for maybe the insertion of a dung beetle over a toad or the swapping out of an ogre for a frost giant.
One variation right away, though, will be the jumping off point, since many times these tales, especially at the very, very beginning, tend to drag along at a pace equal to that of a poisoned rat. Being fully aware of such a pitfall, this tale will pick up somewhere in the middle of the beginning—or more appropriately, the middle of a beginning, as this story has many beginnings and many ends. Regardless, in order to grab immediate interest, there will first be a polite bit of setup followed by a rather fun action sequence. After that you’re on your own.
So now let us join our hero, whom we shall call Matthew just to keep things from being too confusing, who foolishly made it the goal of his existence to attempt something most impossible.
He had to pee. Or at least that is the best way to describe the feeling that sent him in search of the departing station’s restroom facilities. Quite nervous and already late when the time had come for his first human birth, this was how Matthew’s soul had its first and most significant chance encounter with the Untouchable One; the soul that had inhabited the In Between longer than any other save for the Father. Confined to a room, and for the most part lost to time, Matthew only happened upon her thanks in large part to his faulty sense of direction and a bit of help from The Universe.
“I could have sworn they said the relieving room was down this way somewhere,” he spoke to himself as he floated aimlessly through the corridors of the Great Monolith.
After several wrong turns and unnerving looks from bored cleaner uppers, he found himself in a long hallway with walls so shiny smooth as to drive a spider to madness. At the end of the hallway, as was the case with most long featureless hallways, was a single door. While it didn’t at all look like the door to the little boy soul’s room, Matthew found no harm in checking into it anyway just in case.
Of course it was locked. Such was the case of all doors at the end of long featureless hallways.
But as he turned away, feeling he could no longer contain his need for relief, the door sprung open and a chill spread throughout the small space in the Universe he currently occupied. He turned back toward the door, partly out of curiosity, and partly out of desperation.
Flooded by darkness cast from the protective layer of energy surrounding the room, a foreboding presence that made him want to weep and lash out in anger all at the same time swept over him. Never before had he felt so dismal. Suddenly there was no point in making his scheduled assignment. The unborn bit of flesh waiting on that horrid little planet down below could jolly well spend its existence without a soul for all he cared. Probably be just as well off. In all the heavens and the planets, he had lost all meaning. The only thing he wanted now was a nice secluded little spot where he could spend the rest of eternity in solitude, at least until the inevitable time came when the horror of his existence would be snuffed out, at which time he could relinquish his spirit to the nothingness. The thought of eternal nothingness seemed a relief compared to the black cloud that filled every crevice of his being.
Then everything got better—much, much better.
Through his thoughts of defeat, thoughts that maybe there was no point in going on with anything anymore, in the midst of the darkness, he sensed the most beautiful, warm, and kind light he had ever known. Not that he had known many. As souls go he was still quite young. But he was pretty sure he was able to tell the difference between an everyday average kindness and one that was brighter than any in all the Universe.
“Why have you come here?” the spirit asked. It was a girl spirit, of course. And despite the Untouchable One’s age, it carried the radiance of youth—beautiful and spirited.
He was humbled, and fell to his knees. “I mean no harm. I was only looking for the restroom.
“You seem nice,” he felt the Untouchable One say as she reached into his inner core and probed him. It sort of tickled.
“Thank you,” he replied, for lack of a cleverer response. “But why are you kept at the end of this long strange hallway away from everything? And might you direct me to the way out?”
“You ask two totally separate questions, of which I can only give one answer.”
“Which question…”
“Please do not add another to the list,” she interrupted. “As I told you, I am only able to answer one question at a time. If you ask another I will then be forced to chose between three.”
“Only one question at a time?”
“Is that yet another question?”
“Oh, no, I was just muttering out loud. You know, more like restating the facts that have already been presented.”
“Thank goodness. So kind spirit, in answer to your question, it’s down the hall and to the left.”
“The restroom?”
“No. The reason why I am kept here.”
“Are you being funny?”
“See, this is good. You ask a question and I respond with an answer. This is how it should be. And no, I am not being funny.”
“And what is ‘down the hall and to the left’?”
“My father, the One, the Almighty, ruler of all the heavens and the earth, who in all his infinite and infallible wisdom has decided that I am too perfect for the world he has created. In short, he cannot bear the thought of me leaving and becoming one of ‘them’.”
“What if I should go talk to your father? You know, plead your case as it were.” He wasn’t sure why he was offering, but for some reason he seemed compelled to do so.
“Some have tried, all have failed. You are welcome, but be warned. What you find waiting down the hall and to the left is all things both good and bad, merciful yet full of wrath. I am his only possession; the only thing over which he has total control. All else he has created yet nothing bends to his will. When you find him bow down before his majesty and pray he does not smite you.”
“Are you serious?”
“Corny sounding I know, but yes it is true.”
At this point there was no question about what should be done. “I will free you,” he proclaimed.
Then he was pulled, as if a rope had been tied to his waist, and all went dark.

Thanks in advance.