My first reader is done. She inhaled the book in a few two hour sessions and we talked about it afterwards. Her take on DLN was "I love this, but..."
And all her 'buts' were dead-on. They were things I was concerned about, but had glossed over in my mind.
1) There's too much backstory, which she said was understandable considering what I'm trying to do - you know, world building and trying to work this into a series - but really... too much backstory distracts from the main story.
2) There aren't enough bodies. More people should be dying. There ought to be more destruction. (I think her exact words were 'more blood' but even the people who do die in the book aren't really bloody - just dead.)
3) And that part where I strayed from the secondary plot? Well, it sort of seems like I forgot about it until almost the end and then wrapped it up too quick. (Of course, she also said she didn't notice this until about pg 313 - out of a 318 pg book - so it's not as tragic as it could be.)
As always, my first reader is none other than Daughter. LOL, I didn't know when I started homeschooling that I'd be training my own beta reader, but she does a damn good job. Of course, since she mainlines paranormal, I'm just happy she didn't make up some excuse to get out of reading this book. She's a member of my target market, after all. (No, this book isn't YA. Even though Daughter is 16, she doesn't really read much YA.)
So, what do I do now? I still have one person beta reading for me (Hi Natalie) and I'm at a point where I'm considering a rewrite to fix the above. :heavy sigh: I really don't want to do a total rewrite, but if that's what this book takes, then so be it. We'll see what Nat has to say and go from there.
Time will tell, but I'm guessing that I won't be ready to query by the end of next month. :shrug: C'est la vie.