Malaysia is the setting. Maybe I should stick that in the top, somehow. The blurb version is a bit clearer, but doesn’t give as much synopsis as the query letter version.
Thanks for the feedback. It’s become very clear that I need to make the query letter much clearer. My familiarity with my own work working against me here. Essentially it’s a love triangle that gets interrupted by crisis. The target audience is in South East Asia, so they should understand better what an apostate is (someone who left Islam). By tradition, apostasy is punishable with death.
Perhaps you’d find it more helpful if I show you what I wrote in my other thread when comparing the two styles:
Quirky vs Professional
“Some like quirky and clever, some like professional and reserved (most lean towards professional and reserved, so use quirky sparingly).” -Query Tracker website
Specifically, the Shark prefers letters which immediately portrays voice and hook, and commenters notice that “off-kilter” voices (or to paraphrase, quirky and clever sounding) seem to churn out winners more often than not. Interesting considering Janet specializes in “narrative non-fiction and compelling crime fiction” according to her website.
See the query letter for FIVE MINUTES: http://queryshark.blogspot.com/2008/12/86.html
Then see the comment section in: http://queryshark.blogspot.com/2009/03/103.html
The winning examples I read on Nelson are a bit more on the latter; standard, professional and reserved. After going through the Shark’s opinion so much I found myself ticking of the various things the Shark told the authors NOT to do.
I think yours fits the standard mold like I read on Nelson more.