Hi, Ray. This was tough. I liked the political tension and all that, but what threw me was the photo looking up. His face can look up from the cover of Time, but the photo looking up was just bizarre and made the rest of the passage feel surreal until I got the hang of things. It even made me question Kurt's loyalty to the president because of the whole gun thing.
As a reader, I expect the first character introduced to be the MC, and this is the character I will be ‘rooting’ for so I need a brief ‘picture’ of him. I also like to know where the action is taking place, and in what era. There should also be a hook that makes me want to read further. The hook does not necessarily have to be action. It could be characters that jump off the page, or a setting so beautifully described that it makes me ‘want to be there’.
I have to confess that I felt cheated by your first sentence – it was similar to ‘and then he woke up.”
Sorry, it all felt a bit muddled to me, but I am not a fan of this genre so that could account for some of my negativity.