What if the world's worst serial killer...was your dad?
Jasper "Jazz" Dent is a likable teenager. A charmer, one might say.
But he's also the son of the world's most infamous serial killer, and for Dear Old Dad, Take Your Son to Work Day was year-round. Jazz has witnessed crime scenes the way cops wish they could—from the criminal's point of view.
And now bodies are piling up in Lobo's Nod.
In an effort to clear his name, Jazz joins the police in a hunt for a new serial killer. But Jazz has a secret—could he be more like his father than anyone knows?
First off, it begins with a one-liner question in italics. Very original. Not everything can be original when you're describing a book in 100 words or less, but really. Eventually it reaches the point where you read the backs of so many books and they all sound the same, so your eyes kind of cross and you struggle to remember which one had that one little promising line near the bottom of it...and you can't really remember which it was, 'cause they're all identical.
And here's the second paragraph:
--Jasper "Jazz" Dent is a likable teenager. A charmer, one might say.--
...Come on, seriously? I hate it when people are described like this. If I don't think he's likable, I'm going to throw the book at the wall and call it a liar. Also, this tells me that everyone in the book's universe will probably think he is likable, which drastically decreases my chances of finding original characters. (Or likable ones.) It also sounds like they're praising the MC for no reason. I detest characters who get nothing but praise. (*cough Clary, Edward Cullen, Rigg, Tom Bombadil cough cough*) When the narrator wastes time praising his own characters, chances are they don't deserve the praise. Why not spend more time just making them praiseworthy, and stop talking about it?
I don't care if this Jasper is a charmer. I don't care if people think he's likable. This paragraph has nothing to do with the rest of the synopsis, it could have been thrown away without consequence. All it does is make me think that either the author or his MC is full of himself. Probably both.
And here's the next paragraph:
--But he's also the son of the world's most infamous serial killer, and for Dear Old Dad, Take Your Son to Work Day was year-round. Jazz has witnessed crime scenes the way cops wish they could—from the criminal's point of view.--
Just who is the world's most infamous serial killer? I bet people in South Africa have different infamous serial killers than people in Turkey. People in California have different infamous serial killers than people in Peru. Am I wrong?
Try this: there are people who live three streets away from a serial killer in Russia, okay? Maybe this serial killer was just arrested a couple of days ago, and all of Russia is talking about it because he murdered a hundred and sixteen people in three months. BUT waaay off in Norway, there's another serial killer who killed three hundred and twenty-seven people over the span of eight years before he was caught.
Who's more infamous? Do the kids living in Russia think more about the Norwegian serial killer, or about the Russian one? I don't think those kids CARE who the world powers call more infamous, they're scared because they live three streets away from a guy who murdered over a hundred people. They don't care that people in other countries are more obsessed with the Norwegian guy.
I'm not saying that this synopsis makes any claims like this. But a killer's a killer, right? Somewhere in Russia, there are kids who just don't care about Jasper and his daddy because they have more urgent problems. It's not like calling Jasper's dad "the most infamous" makes it more ominous or anything, because that's just what the news in his area is reporting.
And here's the next paragraph:
--And now bodies are piling up in Lobo's Nod.--
Umm, where is Lobo's Nod? Nice of the synopsis to be so clear about this. I mean, they don't even tell you that it's a place at all, it could be the name of a street or a town or a warehouse. It could be the name of a swimming pool, for goodness' sake. It's not like any of us would know unless we read the book.
--In an effort to clear his name, Jazz joins the police in a hunt for a new serial killer. But Jazz has a secret—could he be more like his father than anyone knows?--
So, do people know that Jasper's dad is a serial killer? Or don't they? This paragraph makes it sound like they don't know anything, because it's a secret that he could be like his dad. (It's not a secret that you could be like your dad, I don't care what he does with his life. That's not as dramatic as they wanted it to sound...)
Or is it saying that they do know he's a killer's son, and that's why he has to clear his name? Is he under suspicion because of his dad, or because he happens to live in this place called Lobo's Nod? Or is there some other reason? You won't know unless you read the book, because this synopsis wasted time telling you that Jasper is charming, when it should have been trying to grab your attention with some ominous fact/hint about the murders here at the bottom. Yes? No?
Maybe I'm just in a foul mood. Maybe I'll reread the synopsis tomorrow and it'll make perfect sense. Maybe I'm being unfair - I probably am. Just ignore me and I'll shut up now. Maybe I'll read the book instead, and see if the synopsis is more fitting than I think it is...