Would you read this book?

My next, long-overdue science thriller novel The Han Agent will finally hit bookstores in August. I’ll be sharing more with you about the origin of this story, but for now I need your feedback. To prepare advance reader copies for reviewers, I need to write a compelling back cover summary.

If you flipped over a book and read this on the back, would you take the book home?

The Han Agent by Amy Rogers

In the 1930s, Japanese scientists sought a biological weapon to give them victory over their enemies.

The war ended. Their mission did not.

Japanese-American scientist Amika Nakamura won’t let rules stand in the way of her quest for scientific glory. When the ambitious young virologist defies a ban on the genetic manipulation of influenza (flu) viruses, she loses her university job and derails her career. Enter Hiroshi Naito, scion of a powerful old Japanese clan, who offers her a position doing vaccine research with his family’s pharmaceutical company.

A few months after moving to Tokyo, Amika eagerly accepts an invitation to accompany her rich, eligible boss on a short camping trip to a remote tropical island. No one warns her the Senkaku Islands are disputed territory. An attack on the island by Chinese protesters entangles her and Hiroshi in a high-profile geopolitical struggle. Applying her singular expertise with bird flu in a risky experiment may be the only way out. Little does she know that Japanese ultranationalists and a legacy of unpunished war crimes lurk in the shadows, manipulating people, politics, and science.

But DNA doesn’t lie. Amika uncovers a shocking truth: a deadly virus is about to put the “gene” in genocide.

That’s the 200-word version. Next is an abbreviated form (150 words). Which do you like better?

Japanese-American scientist Amika Nakamura won’t let rules stand in the way of her quest for scientific glory. When the ambitious young virologist defies a ban on the genetic manipulation of influenza, she loses her university job. Desperate to save her career, she accepts a position with a pharmaceutical company in Tokyo. Soon after, a trip with her boss to a disputed island entangles her in a high-profile geopolitical struggle with China. Applying her singular expertise with bird flu in a risky experiment may be the only way out. Little does she know that Japanese ultranationalists and a legacy of unpunished war crimes lurk in the shadows, manipulating people, politics, and science.

But DNA doesn’t lie. Amika uncovers a shocking truth: a deadly virus is about to put the “gene” in genocide.

Please leave a comment if you can suggest any improvements, or tell me what you like about this summary. If you would prefer to keep your suggestions private, email me.

Coming soon: First public reveal of the cover of The Han Agent!

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9 Responses to Would you read this book?

  1. Techeditor says:

    I think you’re better off with the shorter version. You risk losing readers with the longer version.

  2. Joe Hightower says:

    Another vote for the shorter version, and the great tag line at the end.

    • Amy Rogers says:

      Thank you everyone for your feedback! I’m getting similar responses on FB too. I will tweak the shorter version for the final cover.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Hi Amy,
    I prefer the short version as it leaves more to discover. It’s just enough of a tease.

  4. Carrie Rubin says:

    I like the shorter version better, mostly because I think people prefer shorter bits of information than longer. I think it’s great as is. I particularly love the “a deadly virus is about to put the ‘gene’ in genocide” part. That’s a brilliant tagline.

    I look forward to reading it!

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