If there’s one thing I can say about beta reading, it’s take what you need and discard the rest. I love this beginning. From the first line you know there is a child aboard because the text says once the storm had broken A few stray flakes flew into the headlight beams. Matt and the other adults on the bus exhaled the breath they’d all been holding. A comment I got in a critique said, “I understood there were children aboard, but other people might not. You should definitely change that.”
This whole world is set up so that the people making the decisions know what is what, but there is this massive fear that someone less intelligent might not understand as much. I don’t write to please everyone, I write for people who would get a small burst of pleasure in their head when they realize there’s at least one child on board, and that child is important to the main character. Because there is, and he is.
Changeling is 10% off right now.