Book Jacket


rank 2106
word count 15717
date submitted 16.11.2011
date updated 11.02.2012
genres: Fiction, Fantasy, Young Adult
classification: moderate

Opening Night

Christopher Penn-Wright

Demons exist. Witches are real. Magick is all around us. But can two teenagers rescue the world from Syndicate - an elite, demonic organisation?


Stop the press: the Chosen One has finally been found!

Will Forsythe might be a lot of things; a teenager, an orphan, a student, a clairvoyant but one thing he certainly is not, is normal.

Will has a destiny; a destiny that lies outside the safe enclosures of Madame Avery’s Boarding School. Syndicate will stop at nothing to find him and cut short that destiny before it’s even had a chance to begin.

Charms have protected Will up to now but as All Hallow’s Eve approaches – the same day as Will’s sixteenth birthday – the charms will dissipate, leaving Syndicate with an opportunity they’ve waited millennia for.

A failed assassination attempt results in a chance encounter with a girl that claims to be Will’s sister but can she really be his sister? And why choose now to reveal her existence? A prophecy unearthed over two-thousand years ago states that a paragon of good will overcome a great evil and Syndicate will stop at nothing to undo the prophecy and kill Will. One thing becomes clear though, there’s more than one Chosen One out there...

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demons, magick, prophecy, romance, suspense, witches

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Wanttobeawriter wrote 730 days ago

This is an interesting story. You have a good main character in Will; he’s likable because he’s a bit of a loner; he’s sympathetic because of the strange dreams. I like the way you’ve sprinkled them through the story rather than showing them all at once; lets your reader know what’s happening but keeps your story moving. I think you’re going to find a young adult audience for this, especially since it takes place at Halloween. I’m starring it and adding it to my shelf. Wanttobeawriter: Who Killed the President?

ELAdams wrote 758 days ago

This has an action-packed storyline which will appeal to young readers. The prologue is gripping and exciting, and the dream is intriguing; you create some great imagery which enables the reader to vividly picture the scene. I do think that you do a fair bit of 'telling' the reader what the characters are like rather than showing us, such as when Will describes Madame Avery and when he tells us about his psychic powers. The visions he experiences would have more of an impact on the reader if you didn't inform us of his powers beforehand.

That said, I enjoyed reading your opening chapter, and I think you have the start to a gripping fantasy story here. The characters are well-defined and Will is a sympathetic protagonist. I love the idea of the 'visions' he experiences. I'm sure this will appeal to young readers, and I'll be rating it highly!

Emma, 'The Puppet Spell'

Andrew Hughes wrote 840 days ago

Hi Chris,

I read the first section and made some notes.

I like the voice you’ve created for Will, he’s a very engaging main character. I have to say I’m not a fan of prologues so I’d prefer if the book started at ch 1. The writing in the prologue is fine but since the reader doesn’t know who’s speaking or what the situation is, it’s just difficult to connect with.

By contrast, the scene at the start of the Madame Avery chapter is rendered really well – back story and character are teased out; I like the details Will notices around the grave. I think you should say the branch is covering the inscription first and then write out what’s visible. The first time it’s transcribed it doesn’t necessarily look like anything is missing.

The line ‘I always got the feeling I was being watched’ is cool and creepy but a bit told. Perhaps we can see Will get that feeling, and how he reacts because of the sensation.

You used raged twice to describe the wind, which chimed a bit.

It’s a cool way to end the dream, as we wonder whether or not the voice was real. I like the portrait you draw of Madam Avery and the boarding school. I thought Will’s gift of seeing into the future was introduced a bit abruptly. I wonder is there a way to be more subtle? Perhaps he checks a newspaper to see if some fairly innocuous event he predicted has come to pass – and if so explain his gift then. (Just a thought!)

The flashback to Avery in the corridor is well-done. It seems she burst my basketball!

You might explain how Will was able to follow Avery into her office during his vision. You used ‘tremors’ three times in quick succession in this part. And I thought Mr Clarke’s reaction to Will’s accurate answer was a bit much. Maybe he just memorised it.

Small typo, it should be ‘their killer’ in reference to the foster parents’ murder. I like the back story here. And the token system makes the boarding school seem real. I also like the portrait of Sam, just by her description she’s a likeable character. I found his turn at the end of the chapter and Sam giving him mouth-to-mouth a bit odd. Sam seemed to think Will’s life was in danger but then it was all shrugged off.

Overall though it was a very good start. Very interesting characters and setting. Highly starred. Best of luck with it.

The Morning Drop.

ChristineRees wrote 877 days ago

Hey Christopher,

I’m here for my part of our read swap. I’d like to start with your prologue. It’s captivating, starting off with “the end” kind of idea. I liked it a lot. The only real problem I’ve found is more of a superficial flaw than any. It was how the grave stones appear in your story… or how the names are written as if they are on gravestones. I only mention this because it would make it look nicer (although it really isn't important).

I really like your first chapter and the way Will wakes up from the dream, thinking he’s being called by someone when in reality, no one woke him. It’s so mysterious and eerie. I hope that these themes stick throughout your story. As I read on, it kind of reminds me of something from Harry Potter. Not a big deal, but I just thought I’d mention it.

And I definitely like that he can see the future, it puts more of a twist to your first chapter.
I also enjoyed your description of Madame Avery. I can picture her clearly in my head, and it’s funny because she kind of reminds me of a teacher I once had. One thing I’d like to mention is that you should show a little bit more than telling. Instead of saying that Will “felt” a certain way, you could just tell the reader. I know the advice is a bit confusing, when I first got it, it took me a while to understand, but it really had helped me with my writing.

Anyway, I really enjoyed what I’ve read of your story. Will is a charismatic character, and someone that I can definitely relate to. I hope to read more of this when more chapters are posted.

Highly starred!
Looking forward to hearing what you think of Spark.

Christine Rees

gemmat wrote 889 days ago

Really love your story so far (on chapter 3). You have great characters and set up the plot well to leave the reader wanting more. There are some moments in your writing which need clearing up. For example at the end of chapter one from 'It all seemed to take place in a split second' till the end is a bit confused. Does he collapse? Why was Sam suddenly giving him mouth to mouth? Does he have another vision? it needs some explaining I think. Look forward to you posting some more!
The Protectors of Ealinga

Julio Guzman wrote 892 days ago

Wow, this is really great work. I love the way you write, I think you have a very unique and fresh way of explaining things. Your descriptions are vivid and your characters are captivating and believable. There's definitely a great amount of mystery here which makes me want to read on. Unfortunately, I've only read the first chapter cuz I couldn't wait to comment! Despite your "long" chapters (which only seem longer because they're on a computer screen), they still read fast.

Six stars!
Best of luck :)

sassychick wrote 897 days ago

Love your novel. I've only had time to read one chapter but still thats all i need to read to know this is a winner. if i read a book on here and i dont like it i dont bother leaving any feedback, but here i was captivated.
ill admit your chapters seem long on the computer but i have been havin the same issue with my story. on the screen they seem to run on and on, but on paper the chapters are average length so i cant complain about its length. that being said, i think that even with the length of your chapters, you make it very easy to read.
I love your storyline and your chacters are very intruging. I instantly want to find out moer about Will's past and his mother who had a child he wasnt aware of.
I also like your pitch, which makes me want to read more to find out about what happens with Sam and how Will saves her. (Or at least I hope he saves her)
You are very talented so mostly i just want to say trust your instincts.
Great job, six stars

Simon R. Willis wrote 915 days ago

I must admit that the quote at the start of your long pitch put me off a little ( I know, I'm fickle!), but when I dipped into your novel I found it very readable. Before I knew it I'd finished 2 chapters! Having said that, though, I agree with the other reader: the chapters felt very long. Then again, they kept me reading, so they couldn't be that bad, eh? Keep writing in this style, it's very easy on the eye!

scoz512 wrote 958 days ago

Hey, you've been moving up I see. Nice work!

jestersjibberish wrote 975 days ago

Wow, you are a great writer. These are long chapters to read on the computer though.

A question: The red haired lady pushed the desk out of her way to grab the demonic woman by the throat. After letting her crumple to the floor she reached for a snow globe on an adjacent shelf, and the water from it spilled out onto the desk,) that had been thrown out of the way?)

The red headed lady of extraordinary beauty strode towards him, then suddenly Madam Avery is speaking to him. What happened? Where did the witch go and how is Avery talking to him in, I guess the hall still. Maybe they passed each other with out circumstance and he went uninvited into the office?

"I'm perfectly OK (okay) Ms. Avery but thanks for the offer," I responded, trying me(my) best not to offend her or enrage her.

Uh, he watched her, in his magical vision, throw a desk out of her way magically, put spells on so the kids in the hall couldn't hear the crash, and then he doesn't believe in the supernatural?

The vision at the end, what happened? Did she kiss him, did she really resuscitate him, what? And where did the creature that was less than human come from, there was nothing to denote any such vision.???

AlastairI wrote 975 days ago

Hooked from the first chapter. I really like your writing style and the build up in this story. Fantastic work.

earthlover wrote 977 days ago

I read the first chapter. It's very well written and I didn't find any obvious mistakes.
You have a gift for writing. Good luck on authonomy and with your book! Highly starred!

Lisa Lawton wrote 977 days ago

Hi, Chris, like I said I would, I gave "Open Night" a read.
I liked the story and I liked your characters, their dialogue felt smooth, not forced or stunted, like some books I've read here.
What halted me a little was your prologue, the reason being adverbs, like 'blindly' I know its the only one you used in your prologue, but it doesn't need to be there. Plus, how many times you used 'had'. At first I was going to ask you to delete them, or as many of them as you could, without ruining the flow of words. But like I am, and probably always will be, I got carried away with what at first was to be a small edit of your prologue, but ended up as a complete edit.

Your bio says you like to edit other writers' work, guess i should put that in my bio too!
Anyhoo, below is the edit I was talking about, feel free to use a little of it, use all of it, or totally ignore it. The choice is yours, Chris.

Backed with top marks,
Lisa. x

This wasn’t right. I didn’t see it coming. And now it’s too late. She’d succeeded, found the flaw in my gift. A gap, miniscule in existence, but nonetheless there, allowing her to engineer her plan, to show her true intentions, and confounding me in the process.
I was right where she wanted me, and, blinded by the simplicity of the web she crafted so well, I lead us all in. All that was left for us now was to stand our ground.
To my right stood the only person I trusted enough to call friend, and we had powers at our disposal. However, the beast before us commanded an array powers beyond all imagination.
For good reason and millennia past, its subterranean prison held it dormant, but now the chains once binding it trailed the ground as it prowled this land, its leather-like throat, still encased in a collar of steel spikes.
We made our move, dashed forward, but before I knew ... the end had already begun...

scoz512 wrote 978 days ago

Your short synopsis: Awesome. Got me reading right away! I'd probably shorten that lengthier long pitch, though.
Loved Will's voice, it definitely reads like a teenager without sounding too...well...dumb. Loved the gum and detention bit. Nice visuals, great prologue. Overall-I was drawn in.

I'm putting it on my watchlist and I'll venture past the second chapter soon. Until then-you could always check out "War of the Wastelands" if you feel like it. No pressure, just would appreciate any comments.