I’m going to be seriously contrary this week - for we have a string of book covers I love; but I am dissatisfied with in some way. Largely because all of them scream “that’s not in the book” to me. Even when I really like them
Unbound (Magic Ex Libris #3) by Jim C Hines
Take this cover. I love it, it’s beautiful (and more than a little sexy). I love the background, the colours, the cover mode. What’s not to love? Well, I just don’t see Isaac here. I see someone who is very cool and badass. Not that Isaac isn’t cool and badass - but he’s also geeky. Where’s the geeky? Needs more nerd!
The Way of All Flesh by Tim Waggoner
And this cover - an excellent depiction of a zombie. It’s gruesome and gross and scary and nasty. Zombie book ahoy, can there be any doubt?
But… this book is so very different from every other zombie book out there and I get no sense of that from this cover. This book is too original for a cover that just yells “zombies!”
Dragonfly in Amber (Outlander #2) by Diana Gabaldon
It’s a cup. Random object cover strikes again. I have no idea why this is supposed to be evocative of, well, anything. It’s too ill-defined, too vague. And eye-searing orange doesn’t help.
Velicious by Shelique Lize
A rose. It’s a very pretty rose. In fact it’s a beautiful cover. Except the blood - that’s just awful, it looks like clip-art. And I think the blood is a last ditch effort to un-generic-ise this cover. Because it’s a rose on a black background, Beautiful, artistic, a joy to look at - and that book could be anything from a romance to a gardening manual to a cook book to… ANYTHING. So random blood is slapped on to at least try to bring out the vampire. This is the kind of cover that would draw my eye - but not intrigue me enough to read the blurb. I appreciate it’s prettyiness but as art, it doesn’t make me care about the book. In turn, it’s sheer genericness feels slapped together - cheap and doesn’t speak volumes of a quality book.
Hideous by Devon McCormack
We have another sexy sexy cover. Very sexy. I like it… but this is so far from the book. Yes we have the one eye, but the whole reason this book is called Hideous is because he has the self-esteem of quasimodo at maudlin hour at the pub. Now, yes, he’s attractive and obsesses more about his scars than is warranted - but making him this classically model handsome seems unnecessary. More, the facial expression completely loses me - even if Luke was this classically gorgeous, his self-esteem would not have him smoulder at us from a book cover. Sizzle sizzle yum is not Luke.
And it loses the book and what makes it rich and special and different. Because I look at this cover and see hot sexy romance, possibly involving a pirate. This is just a few steps below a mantitteh cover.