Here's the first 13 to a new novel I've begun working titled, Roads. Let me know what you think of it. Thanks. Oh, and one part is supposed to be italicized (gov't official dumb ass), meaning he's thinking that.
Jason picked up the cup with his ever so shaky hand. The liquid that swirled within was as dark as the rest he had been staring at for the last couple minutes. He raised it up to his lips. No, he thought, and set it back down in its place among the thousands of cups. His time was running out. “Pick your poison Mr. Road, you have twenty seconds before I choose one for you” said the guard standing behind him. “Oh shut up. If you had to choose one, you would take your time too.” Government official dumb ass. His mind was beginning to race. Yes he had been in this place dozens of times before, ever since he could walk on his own, and every time he had chosen right. That never kept him calm though, every year was a new risk. His whole body was on edge
I like this premise, and immediately I wonder why he's been here so often, ever since he was a toddler. Is this is a punishment for a crime, or something else? These types of questions are good for a hook.
I would recommend cutting out all the unnecessary words, because you want that first page to fly. Examples: Say, "Jason picked up the cup with a shaky hand." Say "He raised it to his lips," cutting out the "up." You could even cut out "His time was running out" since the next paragraph shows that he has exactly 20 seconds left to make a decision. These are ticky little things, but they help.
Just a note: the tone feels very contemporary ("shut up," "Government Official Dumb *!&"). I'm assuming that's intentional, but if not, just be aware of it.
Again, I like the hook, and I really want to know why he has to pick a poison (or not poison, I'm assuming). Good job.
This is a wonderful opening! Intriguing and addictive. I did trip over the second sentence, though. It is kind of long and awkward, and it made no sense at all until I had read a few more sentences.
Other than that, looks spectacular! I'll be looking for it on bookshelves in a couple years, I'm sure!