Great first line. Does Ted self-identify as intelligent though? Adjectives, and adverbs, strengths are their capacity to express commentary, and thus voice facets for closing narrative distance. "Intelligent" feels a little vanilla narrator recital to me. Consider another modifier that comes from Ted's perspective. The second clause does close narrative distance artfully. I'm not sure about repetition of "like" though.Watcher55 wrote:Ted, like any other intelligent seventeen-year-old 21st Century boy, should know things – like his name and his past. The gods, whose origins lie in an alternate future, enslave Ted and wipe his memory in their effort to add a new Universe to their Interversal Empire. During their voyage into the ancient past, Ted derails the inter-dimensional transport, lands in Nero’s Rome and accidentally sets the city aflame with the power of Jupiter.
Second and third sentences, similar syntax to the first. Not so great. Consider mixing up the variety. Long, short, and fewer prefatory dependent clauses, fewer parenthetical clauses for more punch.
This is the gist of it I see:
[modifier] seventeen-year-old 21st Century boy Ted should know things – like his name and his past. Alternate-future gods enslave Ted and warp his memory. Voyaging toward the ancient past, Ted derails their interdimensional transport. He lands in Nero’s Rome and sets the city aflame.
However, for the sake of reader surrogate centrality, which is important for young adult genre, I feel Ted should be the cause of his memory loss. What if him derailing the transport causes his memory loss? That way he's the direct cause of his hardships, with the gods as proximal causes. Why that's important, not so much social indoctrination as readers self-identifying with his flawed nobility. Then his insuperable struggle to recover his memory and thus self-identity is him adjusting and failing at every turn, until he learns enough to address that complication.