Our second First Impression of the month comes from Bob Sweet. Here is the first page of his YA novel, THE MIGHTY MILO. My comments will be in purple and if you want to see what Dianne Salerni had to say about this first page, head on over to her blog, In High Spirits. We also have one slot left for this month if anyone is interested in having their first page critiqued. Go on, be brave!
My parents left yesterday to save the world and still haven’t returned.
I rolled out of bed and opened the door, where a dark hallway swallowed me.
No light, no movement. Like a ghost town. No Dad singing in the shower, no clinking plates with Mom pumping iron in the gym.
Never, in all of my 14 years, have I awakened to a dark, empty apartment. I rubbed my arms, cold inside and out.
I walked from room to room, calling out, “Hello? Mom? Dad?” Turning on the lights didn’t help much. “Mom? Dad?”
I rubbed my eyes, trying to remember. Did they say anything at dinner? No. Am I missing something? Nope. Nothing but my parents, the superheroes Big Mouth and Medusa.
My phone. They must have left a message.
I ran back to the bedroom for my Moto X. And found the text Mom sent just after 2 a.m. “Dad n I workin late. dk when return. Will text l8r.”
Warmth flooded me, and my body relaxed.
For about a second. Then breath fled from my lungs, and my shoulders stiffened.
That message isn’t good news.
My mother, Carrie Minor, works as a beautician. But hair never keeps her out late. My father is Maximus Minor, the food critic. His job doesn’t keep him up at night, either – unless a chef serves bad shellfish. This is a little confusing. Are the parents superheroes or regular joes? If those are their day jobs I might say so to be clear.
If superheroes tell you they don’t know when they’ll get back from work, worry.
How long I sat there worrying, I can’t say.
“We were made to be courageous …”
The bass line burst into my ears like a gunman kicking down a door.
That song and a dozen more like it were my parents’ brilliant idea. Ever since they discovered I don’t have superpowers, they’ve worked hard to convince me I can still be a hero. So every morning I wake up to a song on my phone designed to, as Mom likes to say, empower me.
But I don’t need empowerment because I do have superpowers. I just can’t tell my parents – or anyone else – about them. All the encouraging songs in the world won’t change that fact. Ooh, interesting. He has a secret!
There's a lot of great stuff here; superhero parents who are suddenly MIA (and just exactly does that mean, saving the world? I want details!), their son who secretly possesses some power of his own, and the mystery therein. The only suggestion I might make is to try to work in a name
and/or an age (maybe mention what year he's in?), and a little more characterization. Are there any mannerisms he has that might show us how he's feeling? How worried is he? This is the sort of stuff that will really make the reader feel for the main character.
Now, what do you guys think? Have any suggestions for Bob?