At first glance, these look like big blocks of text. Big blocks of text can strain the eyes (and the will to read on). Plugging it into word, the meat of this query (the story summary, before you get to the title) is 302 words. That's a bit long.
When a mysterious caller offers twenty-three-year-old Edessa Scottwood information about her mother’s death, Edessa doesn’t think twice about secretly meeting the contact. This isn't bad, but you're opening with the inciting incident, which is a good one, but is also overshadowing charcter a little bit. Having lost my mother at a young age, I can certainly sympathize with Edessa's situation, but I want to sympathize with who she is, first. She’s desperate for answers and would meet them on the moon if she had to. I like this. Good voice and good characterization. There’s only one catch, in exchange for information, the contact wants the Anchor protein her mother was working on. Mom was a bio-chemist or something? Trouble is, Edessa doesn’t know a damn thing about the protein and when she comes up empty-handed, the contact tries to kill her, with magic. It turns out, Edessa’s mother kept many secrets, like the fact Edessa was born a witch. Oh, and here’s another, vampires are real, and one of them just saved Edessa’s life.
Okay. Hmm. This is mostly cool. A lot of interesting elements, some unique (Anchor proteins), some not (vampires) but ... it takes a lot of words to get through this inciting incident, and I'm not sure that's helping it build to tension with tight enough pacing. Here are the points you want to cover:
- Edessa (introduce her first so we know who she is, not just what happens, and so that we care)
- Lost her mom
- Stranger calls with answers
- Wants protein info in exchange
- Tries to kill Edessa when she can't provide it (with magic)
I would maybe leave it at that, at least for your opening paragraph. Remember, the opening is really just meant to be a hook. I understand what you're going for with the kind of irreverent voice in the way you introduce the surprises, and I'm not saying it doesn't work, I just think it reads too long for an opening hook.
I'm not going to go into whether or not there is still a market for vampire books. The job of these posts is to make queries as good as they can be, not to judge the market for the story (and there will always be a market for every kind of story, even if vampires might be a tougher sell right now).
Following the attack, (I would maybe introduce the vampire here) Edessa is taken to her estranged aunt’s house where she meets an extraordinary family she never knew she had, discovers (and you could maybe introduce her being a witch here) powers she never thought possible, and develops feelings for a vampire that makes her heart do triple flips against her better judgment. But everything changes when Edessa discovers her mother’s research is being replicated by vampires of the House of the Immortal Blood. If they succeed, they’ll have the power to visually mark human carriers of the vampire gene and bring chaos to the world. One person can stop the House, the Witch of War. No one knows who she is, but many already want her dead.
This middle bit ... is actually pretty damn good. You've got a lot of specific details, and even though witches and vampires have been done, you make it clear that your story has it's own take on the details, which is certainly good. The only real problem I see here is that again it's taking a lot of words to get the point across, which takes a bit of the zing out of it.
Also, one potential logistical problem I see is that if the House is already replicating her mother's research, what did the contact want in the beginning? I'm sure it all makes sense in the story, but be careful about conflicting information in the query.
Determined, Edessa will do whatever it takes, even if that means risking her life,
THE FALLING WITCH is a 90,000 word New Adult You'll want at least one more word here. Fantasy? Urban Fantasy? Science-fantasy? Something, you know? novel with series potential.
Thank you for your time and consideration. Otherwise, the rest of this ending is perfect. It's your first book, so this is all you need to say.
Okay, to summarize - I think you've actually already got everything here you need. All the building blocks are here (except maybe more of Edessa's character before her story begins). You just need to pare things down so that the details pack more punch. If you could trim this query so that every important detail is still included, but get them all across in 200-250 words, I think this would pack some real punch, and would really do it's job.
You also do need to include more about Edessa. What does she do for a living? What is her life like just before the inciting incident? What kind of person is she before her adventure begins? The query is already good without those details about her character, and you don't need all of them, but introducing her right off the bat, so we care about who she is, before we start to hear about what happens to her, will make us care that much more about all of it.
I hope this helps!
What do you all think? Disagree with me on anything?