I first want to say thank you for the comments and kind words. I knew the response was going to be good, but I never imagined it would be so phenomenal. Because of this, I would like to share the (first draft) opening I am currently using for my novel.
Before I comment on the things I'm uncomfortable with, I want to clarify that my novel is an Upper Middle Grade designated for boys 10 and up (or equal to the age range of Percy Jackson). I would like for you to pay close attention to the diction in the piece and determine if it's suitable for such a demographic, or "over their heads" as some say.
I would also like for you to ascertain if my opening sentence makes sense or is "good" in any way. I am not pleased with it at all and I really need a second opinion. The sentences I hate are bold.
All righty then, let's get started.
Bane Hollow and the Apocalypse of Judgment
Upper Middle Grade Fantasy/Mystery/Adventure
Valeous Rex knew it had to be done, yet no matter how hard he tried to remain focused, he couldn't help but admire the earth.
Its people were weak but full of hope...
Its lands were rich and fertile...
Everything lived with vim and vigor--every life was filled with silver dreams...
It was such a pity--oh, what an aweful shame--that all of this was about to end.
Valeous looked at the man on his right. He was as bright as the sun, had two short spiraled horns and robed in sheer white with yellow, feathered wings spread wide. He, in turn, glanced at the Arseraph on his right, who did the same to his neighbor, and so it continued like dominos around the globe, until the Arseraph on Valeous's left looked at him at last.
"It is nearly time."
Valeous inclined his head and folded his arms. Anticipation surged through every juvenile bone in his body. Soon he would be unleashed and this precious planet would cease. But he had to wait in this suffocating blackness of eternal silence.
Yearning...for the sign.
And then it came: earth's rainbow of blues, greens and whites turned from pink to orange, like metal over a flame.
Valeous fixed his white tie, loosened the last button on his black tuxedo and smiled. As quick as a comet, he dashed into earth's atmosphere with a thundering boom. He slit through the stratosphere and dove toward a roaring sea of fire. The Arseraphs at his sides pointed their fingers at the inferno and it parted to create a deep hole. He flew into its fiery depths, heat licking his skin, until patches of land came into view.
After a second or two, tiny bumps expanded into buildings, and Valeous came to a halt near a green statue of a woman holding a torch. He surveyed the helicopters that whizzed nearby -- at the people gaping at the fiery heavens with fingers held high. Funnels of flames were twisting down all over the sky, and he knew, right then and there, it had to end.
Valeous held out his hand, palm up, and said, "Atomos Fissum!"
A blinding silver flash swallowed everything in its light. When it faded alltogether, every life and object was as stiff as board: moving cars were stationary, the helicopters were pinned in mid air and folks were frozen with an expression of awe.
Valeous turned up his nose, absorbing his work with the deepest satisfaction.
All at once, the tornadoes dug their tails into the ground and sucked doors, cars and people into its rabid heat. The Arseraphs sped across the city, scooped the rigid bodies into their arms and flew them to safety. Then, as impressive as the twisters, the sea changed from a shade of light orange to deep red, and rose some fifty stories high, as if hoisted by an unseen hand.
BOOM! A sewer lid shot off, followed by another...and another, sending thick, ruby red water gushing into the air. Chaos boiled all around him, but Valeous simply hovered beside the Statue of Liberty, arms folded.
"Amazing, isn't it?" an Arseraph said, floating beside him. "He can't so much as utter a word, yet look at what he can do."
I actually like this one. Do you? Of all my openings this is the most imminent and mysterious--it makes me want to learn more no matter how many times I re-read it. I admit, it can be polished a lot more (like a WHOLE LOT), but at its very core, it is indeed a hook-y piece.
Thank you for taking the time out of your busy day to help me. And I can't wait to read the comments.