Thursday, January 12, 2012

Cover Snark: When we Wish we Could Judge the Book on its Cover

This week on cover snark we’re going to take a little twist from what we do usually. As you can see above, there is nothing wrong with this cover. It’s beautiful. It is evocative of darkness and power and fear and heart breaking grief. It’s one of the most beautiful and emotional covers I’ve ever seen in the genre. And it’s a cover for Fallen. A book about an angsty teenager, a love triangle and lots of teen moping with a brief flare of supernatural action going on in the closing chapters. The contrast is jarring. I feel inclined to sue for false advertising.

 Single White Vampire by Lynsay Sands falls under the category of paranormal romance and some would even say paranormal comedy.  As you can see from the cover, it is light and fluffy. It clearly sets the scene for a romantic dinner for two.  From the cover you are led to expect something different, from the usual angsting that goes on in paranormal romance but what you cannot assume that difference and romance is based in an onslaught of homophobia. In a way it’s almost false advertising.



And then we get this. Bullet by Laurell K Hamilton. And Narcissus in Chains. Both are books from the infamous Anita Blake series; a series so full of pointless sex that the covers should surely be covered in brown paper and suspicious stains? How do so many great stories have disembodied women on the cover, or twisted spines to show unnecessary T&A, yet the borderline porn of Anita Blake - of Narcissus in Chains, of all books! - gets these intriguing, restrained and slightly spooky covers?

We need a special kind of snark for severely troubling books behind amazing covers. They raise so much wonderful expectation - and then it all comes plummeting down. It just goes to show that, no matter how professional and impressive the book cover is - it's no indication of the quality of its content. Not least of which because the author usually has so little control over the cover of their book