Thursday, May 31, 2012

Cover Snark: The Longer the Series, the Less Clothes the Women Wear

We have complained a lot about the unnecessarily sexualised and frankly ridiculous covers on so many Urban Fantasy novels. In particular we have complained at how the covers so often do not reflect the people who are actually in the book - there is no way the protagonist we know would dress or pose like that.

What is unique this week is that we have looked at the Chicagoland Vampire series, a series we really like by Chloe Neill - and I have to pity Ms. Neill for having to watch her cover artists gradually lose their ever loving minds.

The cover of Some Girls Bite, the first book in the series. And it’s pretty much perfect - maybe the t-shirt isn’t entirely Merit, but this isn’t too far from how I pictured her and the cover looks pretty intriguing anyway. A good cover.

Now we move to book 2, Friday Night Bites, and we’re slipping. High heels have creeped in. There’s some navel peeking. We have a sexy lean.

On to book 3! Twice Bitten and the cover artist has hit the good booze. We have skin tight vinyl, a halter top, cleavage and navel peeking through. Not very Merit.

Book 4, I hear you ask with dread? Hard Bitten and the halter top has gotten smaller, the vinyl trousers tighter (with a sheen to highlight that butt) and we’ve dispensed with that pesky head. And here’s book 5, Drink Deep, she has her head back but those trousers are now hip huggers. She, a warrior and sentinel is walking around in hip huggers.

It’s rather shocking to see it all together in one series like this - the devolution of the covers from the Merit we know and like - kick arse, capable, a fighter but not overly concerned with clothes and fashion - to a leather clad, heels wearing, cleavage flashing, naval baring seductress. Which isn’t Merit. And it’s all the more glaring in a series we’ve enjoyed and with a character we like.