Wednesday, March 21, 2012

What The 2012 ABNA Experts Thought of The Shadow Harvest

Mind you, this was only based off of the first ten pages, so you can imagine that my second novel, The Shadow Harvest, is even more compelling than the few pages the experts were allowed to read. The unfortunate part is that the experts didn't get the pitch to go along with the first ten pages of my manuscript, so they couldn't fully grasp how the story could possibly unfold. See below the pitch that they were unable to read. I will be releasing the first ten pages at some point here on my blog, so that you guys can tell me what you think.


                                                      The Shadow Harvest

Most teenagers believe that they are immortal, but unlike fifteen-year-old Vincent, they are wrong. As strange accidents befall hundreds of teenagers around the world, Vincent is unknowingly recruited to fight a secret, supernatural conflict that spans back to the earliest days of human civilization. He soon learns the dark truth about some immortals and their ability to exert an invisible influence over every aspect of humankind’s modern society.
Immortals are not gods, though some have chosen to be worshipped as such. They are not wizards, but can perform acts filled with great magic when it serves them. Although they are not vampires, many of them prefer to deal with humans from behind the cloak of a specter in the shadows of the night. Now, for the first time in thousands of years, immortals have been blessed with the ability to have children, yet, at the same time, cursed with the possible theft of their own immortality.
When Vincent becomes ensnared with a forbidden love from his past, he discovers that deceit, jealousy, and lust capture his once perfect heart. As his friends become enemies, his enemies become his only source of redemption. When the face of wickedness is revealed, and true love slips like grains of sand through his fingers, the good that Vincent has done in the service of strangers seems pointless when he is unable to stop the death of his closest friend.
In The Shadow Harvest, some immortals will risk everything for love, while others struggle to collect power and fame. One will fight for honor, while another seeks redemption for past sins. Vincent comes to understand that his immortality is an enchanted gift, and like all enchanted gifts, it has rules. The spell of life everlasting can be broken, and he, like anyone else, can die.


Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award Reviews

ABNA Expert Reviewer

What is the strongest aspect of this excerpt?

In my opinion, the strongest aspect of this story is the actual writing itself. There are lots of descriptual details, giving me an excellent mental image of what everybody looks like and what it must be like to be waiting down there for the subway. I can almost see the littered pavement and feel the grunge of it all. I like Jak. He seems to really care for his brother as he attempts to get Vincent to turn from his wicked ways and come back home with him. It seems like a good story so far.

What aspect needs the most work?

As of right now, I don't have any complaints or think anything needs any work as far as the writing is concerned. The characters are well drawn and are as believable as two immortal characters can be. It seems the plot could use a unique twist, though. I have read so many books about supernatural creatures duking it out here on Earth, I'm not sure what there is about this particular story that makes it different from all the others I've read. The first group is bent on human destruction, the second group is determined to save humans from the first group. So far, I don't see anything uniquely different about this plot. I still like the way this story is written, though.

What is your overall opinion of this excerpt?

Overall, I like it so far. I like Jak, he seems like he has a good head on his shoulders. Everyone should have a brother like him. The author gives us rich and numerous details, which I love. Although I have read many seemingly similar books, I still do enjoy this particular plot. Overall, I like the direction the story is going.

ABNA Expert Reviewer

What is the strongest aspect of this excerpt?

Shades of Highlander, the Immortals have returned! Throw in a little brother against brother feud and the possibility that some hybrid offspring may pose a threat to Immortals and you have the beginnings of what could have been an epic saga. Even if the author didn't intend it to be so, it's not hard to find parallels between the conflicts of immortals and humans to those between the powerful and ordinary citizens in our own very mortal world.


  1. Wow Joel! This is some amazing feedback! And may I just say after reading the excerpt I'm dying to read this! Can't wait for the 10 page sample. This sounds like the kind of story I would be fangirling over. :-)

  2. Thanks for the wonderful compliment, Jess. To those who are unaware, Jess has an awesome blog that you guys really need to check out at So follow the link and give her a shout.