Thursday, April 1, 2010

Cover Judging - Black Jack

First Glance: I feel like romance covers had a real renaissance in the 80s-90s, what with Fabio and all, and they've been reaching for that second lightning strike ever since. Quite literally, in the case of Black Jack. This book was, surprisingly, published this year, 2010. But the cover styling is so very 80s, with the black and neon blue color scheme. The fella, the titular Black Jack presumably, checks the boxes: ab definition, waxed pectorals, cleft chin. It's all very by the numbers, thus I'm having a hard time finding anything funny to say. Score: 3 out of 5



Title: Black Jack - Pretty good. Perhaps a tale of an international playboy named Jack, who spends too much time in Monte Carlo, playing blackjack while women in sparkly dresses cling to his arm. Perhaps the story of a man with a dark past or a dangerous dark side which he's redeemed from once he meets our heroine. Very good. Score: 4 out of 5

Back-of-the-Book: Here's where it becomes great:
The Secret Service can't control him. The British government can't silence him.
I feel like 8th grade essay composition teachers should use this as an example of a strong opening sentence, as it really draws the reader in and makes them want to learn more.
But renegade agent Travis Caine [!] is one loose cannon you don't want to mess with [!], so his commanders cut him a break - and cut him loose.
Again with the sentence structure! I love the idea of cutting loose an already loose cannon. And cutting a break and cutting loose, all in one sentence! It's as though they were intent on including any phrase that dealt with "cutting" and "loose".
His new HQ is America's top intelligence force, Elite Ops. His new code name is 'Black Jack.' And his new assignment is to die for.
I'm so intrigued! What could this assignment be?
She's smart, sexy, scintillating - and one of Elite Ops' savviest agents.
Stop! Eighth grade English teachers, what better way to teach your students alliteration AND adjectives than this sentence. She's smart, sexy, scintillating - and just when you think they're through, she also savvy!
Lillian Belle's code name is 'Night Hawk,' and Travis certainly wouldn't mind flying a few midnight maneuvers with her.
More alliteration. . . although, I'm not sure that double-entendre is part of the eighth grade curriculum.
But when their mission turns into a red-hot game of danger, deceit, and double-crossed signals [even more alliteration!], Travis begins to wonder: Can he trust her? Can he resist her?
I believe the answer to both questions is no. Score: 5 out of 5

Final Score: 12 out of 15 - qualifying Black Jack for the Silver Deveraux. Congratulations, you captivatingly comely loose cannon!

2 comments:

Lord Admiral said...

I always like your Cover Judgings, but this one is among the best. I still want to know why they call him "Black Jack" when his name is Travis Caine, though.

Maren said...

Thanks, Benny!

I guess he's going deep undercover? Who even knows.