What, the Elf? by Michael Matula

A modern, fast-paced urban fantasy adventure. Manhattan like you've never seen it before.

Fourteen-year-old Whatrigal Madugal would give just about anything to be normal. Kids his age shouldn't be out picking pockets in the glitzy Manhattan streets, working for crime kingpins with anger management issues. Normal kids don't usually have outlandish names like “What,” and don't need to hide their pointed ears beneath their long black hair. But then, Whatrigal isn't most kids: he's an elf, an orphan, and a thief, which basically means he doesn't get invited to many parties.

He fled his war-torn homeland six years ago, only to be taken in by Pegrimus Perrywinkle, an elven crime boss with more skeletons in his closet than suits. All Whatrigal has to do is tough it out a while longer and he can use a few of those skeletons to his advantage, cutting his boss down to size. He never counted on his chatty best friend, Nik, letting his plans slip.

Now What's on a series of missions to prove his loyalty or die trying. With his loose-lipped friend along for the ride, he'll have to sneak into a castle in Central Park to swipe a mysterious weapon, and that's only the beginning.

  • Classification: Universal
  • Work is: Extract only on Authonomy
  • First submitted Oct. 3, 2012
  • Last updated Oct. 3, 2012
What, the Elf?
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  • On 77 bookshelves
  • 251 comments
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  • Simon R. Willis's avatar
    Simon R. Willis wrote 11 months, 2 weeks ago

    Great writing. A story that's reminiscent of Eoin's Coifer's Atremis Fowl. Thoroughly enjoying reading it.
    Backed.

  • Retired user
    JosephIsaacs wrote 11 months, 3 weeks ago
    WTF- write the fantasy WTE- What the Elf Hmm- only 5 chapters? Are they very long ones? :-) More coming I presume. Ha ha What the elf- and his name is Whatrigal and he starts out stealing a necklace, love it the fourteen-year old thief- this might be considered a clunky way to tell us his age, it didn't bother me a lot, but not sure it would fly with an agent. Might be better to work it in later, ...
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  • Wiglaf's avatar
    Wiglaf wrote 11 months, 3 weeks ago
    WTF review Sorry. I haven't got much useful to say here. What's character is great, your writing is highly enjoyable and engaging and the world remains completely convincing. I'm nitpicking to find a single criticism here, but you describe a "darkness" in the dark elves' eyes and yet also say they're a "brilliant blue" colour - maybe darkness around the eyes or malice in them to make both descriptions fit? As all the other comments say in true Schwarzenegger fashion... ...
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  • Retired user
    lizjrnm [Retired] wrote 11 months, 4 weeks ago

    It is so evident that you've spent much time and purpose on editing this since you first uploaded it. This is a polished piece of work, a unique and clever story line, well-written and worthy of shelving. liz

  • Susan oops's avatar
    Susan oops wrote 1 year ago

    great enjoyable read so far will be back starred and on my wl x

    susan -
    Obsession
    Pain
    Shorts
    Mixed Bag
    Feelings
    All About Sex

  • kimkaranikolaou's avatar
    kimkaranikolaou wrote 1 year ago
    Just read the first couple of chapters of this and it's really grabbed my interest. Fast paced and extremely well written, I love the concept of this contemporary urban fantasy in which criminals of the elven underworld roam the streets of Manhattan. This is well pitched for children and young adults, but I feel it will appeal to a much wider audience. Have added it to my WL and will come back when I have read more. Good luck and ...
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  • Rob-Gregson's avatar
    Rob-Gregson wrote 1 year, 1 month ago
    Hi Michael, What The Elf gets off to a great start - by which I mean all of the first five chapters. Lively and fast-paced (as promised), the story is perfectly structured for a YA audience and I'm confident there must be a strong market for this. The juxtaposition of the modern setting and the various creatures of fantasy works very well - the atmosphere is a kind of YA-friendly version of 'Hell Boy', with which it also shares a ...
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  • KristiL's avatar
    KristiL wrote 1 year, 2 months ago
    YARG Review Hi Michael, Thanks so much for your review of Galaxias and the Unnaturals. I’ve already made some changes with the help of your insightful feedback. In your pitch, you mentioned the castle in Central Park. I’ve always loved that place and plan on using it in my second book in the Galaxias series. Cool place. You hooked me from the beginning with What considering his guilt. This first chapter is very powerful, full of action and movement. You ...
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  • Bender Rodriguez 's avatar
    Bender Rodriguez wrote 1 year, 2 months ago
    WTF Review A great, solid pitch, rife with humour, originality and intrigue. Your plot is excellent, and i could only imagine the fun you had writing this story. I'll bet it flowed out nicely and left you smiling each time you wrote it. You set the scene of Manhattan well after the opening paragraphs. I could almost hear the drone of the horns blaring, and i would share What's desire to be in a quieter place. You mentioned the advertisements, ...
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  • fantasygirl88's avatar
    fantasygirl88 wrote 1 year, 2 months ago

    I like your storyline and What's position as a thief is interesting, but his name is very confusing, it kept making me stumble while reading it. Your pace is fairly decent but a tad wordy at times, but just my opinion. It definitely has a future if you plan on publishing it or otherwise, seeing as you're climbing up to the Editor's Desk. High stars!
    Jessica (Symphony of Steel)

  • DARIUS 1's avatar
    DARIUS 1 wrote 1 year, 2 months ago
    What, the Elf? Michael Matula Hi Michael - you ended your long pitch with : - "Sometimes, it's good to be unusual." Have read Chapter One and Two inclusive There is not a lot I can add to the comments listed below except to compliment you on a remarkable piece of work Integration, assimilation, cohabiting, secretive, dangerous, amusing, original - I could go on but all these things sprang to mind during my read I was looking at the listings ...
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  • Retired user
    MichaelDorman wrote 1 year, 3 months ago
    This is a YARG review Hi Michael (great name), Let me just say how much I enjoy this, right from the gate. I like the narrative voice thing you're doing, with those string of short sentences. It really gives it a cool pace and lets us into the mind of the protaganist a bit. I found myself liking the protagonist from the get-go as well: great opening. This is nit-picky and your call, but I tend to dis-like the shorter ...
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  • JCGG's avatar
    JCGG wrote 1 year, 3 months ago
    This is based on the first chapter. I’ll claim it as a wtf review. It’s a nice setup, you inserted a fair bit of backstory without huge infodumps, which was very good. The writing is very clean. By far, the worst thing is the name of your main character, particularly when you call him What! Very confusing. You do have a tendency to throw in a few unnecessary words; I’ve only commented on this a few times, below. I do ...
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  • Retired user
    Michael Jones [Retired] wrote 1 year, 3 months ago
    CWOG review Great title. Good pitches. I enjoyed the first three chapters. Nice imagery throughout. What is well fleshed out and I particularly liked the scene with the Dark Elves. In chapter two you bring June to life and I enjoyed the dialogue between the two of them. In fact the dialogue is very natural and not overdone. Chapter three brought us to the cavern and the place where the stolen articles end up. Perrywinkle is portrayed as dark and ...
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  • Ry Guyiam's avatar
    Ry Guyiam wrote 1 year, 3 months ago

    A very original concept and nicely written. I have only begun reading but look forward to continuing. I will comment more later.

  • Poppygb1415's avatar
    Poppygb1415 wrote 1 year, 3 months ago
    Chapter Three Oooh, finally we get to the nitty gritty! So much so that - and feel free to slap me for this - I almost want you to put this, or maybe a glimpse of it, the interview with Perrywinkle - to the top of your story. Lead in with it. Then go back to rehash the history, how What got to this situation. And was the fab penny sequence meant to remind me of Oompa Loompas in a ...
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  • Retired user
    Monte Thompson [Retired] wrote 1 year, 3 months ago

    A YARG review
    A wonderfully creative story that's built for a movie deal. The writing flows easily and the pace is exciting right from the start. You've stacked the odds heavily against our hero, a feature of the story that keeps the reader glued to the page. I will certainly be returning to read more (any chance you'd send me the ms for ePub?). Solid work by a clearly talented writer.

    Montgomery Thompson
    (The Shielding of Mortimer Townes)

  • July's World's avatar
    July's World wrote 1 year, 4 months ago
    Back for another read (WTF review) Hi Michael! I read all you've posted of your lovely story! What is such a lovely character, I felt with him when Mr Pennywinkle spoke with him in his office. And I like the way you introduce the later history of Marrelon, it fits right there where you've put it. Nik and Dungary are lovely, too. :) But Dungary seems to be a bit too confused for his young age. End of chap 6 ...
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  • Poppygb1415's avatar
    Poppygb1415 wrote 1 year, 4 months ago
    Hi Michael, Have followed What as far as the dragon's lair at the end of Chapter Two now... And still want to know if you read Colfer? If not, I think you might enjoy him. He still knew she worked for... I'd add a 'first and foremost' there. I did enjoy the image of yor nyade's desk and appliances blooming around her. Your concealed lift down to the secret lair is clever... But for some reason it reminded me a ...
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  • VelvetCiara's avatar
    VelvetCiara wrote 1 year, 4 months ago

    What a great book, I'm thoroughly enjoying this.