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A Reader of Fictions: Cover Snark (24)

A Reader of Fictions

Book Reviews for Just About Every Kind of Book

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Cover Snark (24)

Hello, my people! Are you ready to snark it up with me? There's PLENTY of material this week, so get excited! First, I have some changes to announce. I used to organize Cover Snark by the order I found the cover reveals. Now, I've got the COVER BATTLES broken out to the end, with a final indie surprise to cap the experience. Get out your mental red pen and tell me where these covers went wrong...or, less often, right!

So, which covers do you guys like best this week? Hate the most?

Fireblood (Fireblood #1) - Trisha Wolfe
 Thoughts: .... Maybe if I stand really far away, this will look good.This is just a hot mess, mostly because of the models. If you look at just the lower half, it does look okay, though that sword looks kinda fake. The worst part for me is the girl's expression. There are NO LIGHTS ON UPSTAIRS. She looks so incredibly vacant. Has he roofied her? What is this? Then, there's the dude, who, I'm sorry, looks a bit like a creeper. At first, I thought he looked a bit roguish with the scar on his forehead, but then realized, no, that was just a line from the awful title font.

Transfusion (Aurora Sky: Vampire Hunter #1) - Nikki Jefford
Thoughts: Mostly meh. I like the wickedness of that knife, but I'm not a huge fan of the art style. Also, a personal pet peeve of mine is when the series name is bigger than the book title, because then I always mix them up!

Fractured Soul (Fractured Light #2) - Rachel McClellan
Thoughts: Not good, but not the worst. Her hair is interesting, and overall it's definitely an improvement on book one's cover.

The Perfect Clone - M. L. Stephens
Thoughts: lol whut. So creepy doll girl holds a key. Perhaps it opens that wall in some sort of Alice in Wonderland scenario? Terrifying cherubim statures. No worries, though. Dove, which may or may not represent Jesus, has got her back and will save her from the statues, which are probably about to attack "Blink" style.

The Holders (Holders #1) - Julianna Scott
 Thoughts: Yawn. I totally thought this was an indie at first glance, because of the awful font choices. This one's especially disappointing, since the other Strange Chemistry covers I've seen have been great. I guess the designers were tired from all that hard work on the others.

'Til the World Ends - Short stories by Julie Kagawa, Ann Aguirre, & Karen Duvall
 Thoughts: Simple and gorgeous. I like that there's clearly something behind the font, but it's not clear what. I also think it's awesome how there are veins instead of filigree. The one thing I don't like is how much bigger Kagawa's name is than the other contributors' names. Unless her story is as long as the other two combined, that's bullshit.

Flee - Miranda Kavi
 Thoughts: In the words of River Tam, "TOO. MUCH. HAIR." That aside, this is pretty, though unoriginal and conveying nothing about the plot. This isn't on GR, but I've linked to the author's blog which revealed the cover and the blurb.

Kitty Rocks the House (Kitty Norville #11) - Carrie Vaughn
Thoughts: My goodness but these covers are unfortunate. The biggest problem with them is that each one has a poorly photoshopped animal. This is actually the best animal of the bunch. Also, FAR TOO MUCH YELLOW. Just STOP it with the yellow already, okay? Look how much better the ones are that aren't YELLOW!

Starglass - Phoebe North 
Thoughts: I really like the color scheme, but meh. I'm just not really feeling the cover. The font for the title feels wrong and that jacket doesn't look like it fits her very well.

If I Should Die (Revenants #3) - Amy Plum 
Thoughts: Boo. This is disappointing. This cover just does not live up to the gorgeousness of the previous two. First problem: the lack of a definitive color scheme, deep and rich. The scheme seems to be 'brown-ish,' which isn't exactly the best shade to roll with. Second problem: Awkward posing. She looks like she was staring at the river and is now turning away to start to walk. Only her progress is limited, since she's being CAPTURED BY PLUM VINES. Final problem: They decided that they should stop having random filigree and make it DO something, namely chomp the heroine and form a lame-ass heart in the sky. Things I do like: the Paris backdrop and the creepy shadow on the bottom left.

How to Marry an Alien (My Alien Romance #3) - Magan Vernon
Thoughts: These are pretty well made so far as indies go, which is why I think it's a damn shame they end up looking like THIS. What is this cover? Is she the alien? And we know that because she is wearing absurdly huge glasses? I DON'T KNOW.

Widow's Web (Elemental Assassin #7) - Jennifer Estep
Thoughts: I like the covers for this series, quite a bit (most of them). They're rocking the UF powerful heroine vibe and I dig it. This one's definitely the worst of the lot, though. It just has this cheesy vibe to it that feels really out of place. I blame the font.

Midnight Blue-Light Special (InCryptid #2) - Seanan McGuire
Thoughts: I'm not personally a big fan of these claymation style looking covers. I will say, though, that this one looks WAY better than book one. If these books are anything like her Mira Grant ones, there's no way the author name should be in pink. EVER.

 Sacrifices (Shadow Grail #3) - Mercedes Lackey & Rosemary Edghill
Thoughts: The fuck is this? I mean, for real, how did anyone look at this cover and think 'oh, yeah, this is JUST right?' This looks poorly made and is in poor taste. I just can't even handle this. Someone please snark on this in the comments, because I am too grossed out to do so properly right now. This cover is even worse than THIS ONE, which is one of the worst big 6 covers I've seen.

Abandon (Possession #3) - Elana Johnson
 Thoughts: I really like the simplicity of these covers. However, am I the only one who cracks up every time I look at that test tube? Something about the combination of pregnancy test pink and that shape makes me think condom. So inappropro, I know, but that's what I see.

Undone - Cat Clarke
Thoughts: "How far would you fall for the truth?" Oh, I'd say about three stories. You know, it's enough that you'll take some significant injury, but still be alive to enjoy the truth you just got. Tag lines, please stop. As for the rest of the cover, I really like it. The title treatment is totally stealing the show and I love it.

Cover Battle: Solstice - P. J. Hoover
 Self-Pub vs. Tor: Let's be honest: there's no contest here. The self-pub cover way overuses the shiny sun effect and it just screams self-pub. I do like, though, that the new cover retains the color sceme and some of the ideas of the first. Okay, so I have some issues with this one, like the font choices, but really when I look at this new cover I just think 'PRETTY.' Also, I seriously love the partially domed city in the background. Also, you almost never see a cover model in shorts. AND these don't show her bum. Hurrah!

Cover Battle: The Scorpio Races - Maggie Stiefvater
Hardcover vs Paperback: The paperback cover is freaking BADASS. Look at that horse! I am somewhat tempted to go buy this book even though odds are fairly high I won't like it just because the cover rocks so hard.

Cover Battle: What the Spell? (Life's a Witch #1) - Brittany Geragotelis
 Self-Pub vs. S&S Take 1 vs. S&S Take 2: Clearly Simon & Schuster is having difficulties with this book. They revealed the cover in the middle a couple months ago, I think it was. I really don't like it, so I'm glad they redid it, but...it's still not doing anything for me. Yet again, I'm going to do somethin rare and declare the self-pub cover the winner. It's just much more unique than these. The author treatment isn't great, but otherwise, I like it quite a bit. It also makes the book look a bit darker and less superficial.

Ashfall (Ashfall #1) - Mike Mullin
Hardback vs. Paperback: Tanglewood, a small press, has decided to get in on the changing covers mid-series action. You know you've made it as a publisher when you can afford to annoy your fan base by giving them non-matching covers, so CONGRATS, GUYS! Okay, that's not the real reason. Mike Mullin wrote a post about that and it's apparently because B&N rules the book world. No, really. Anyway, though I'm not in love with the original, it makes more sense to me than the new one. I do think it's interesting that the hands have lost their grip going to book two, but...for some reason I also find the hands off-putting.

Spittake of the Week: Women's Island - Ashley Nicole Shelton
Thoughts: Photoshop can be your best friend or your worst enemy. Seriously, she looks like some sort of Frankenstein's monster compiled by someone who once saw a picture of a whole human and may also have seen some owls. This doesn't appear to be on GR yet, so I'm afraid I can't link you up. I know you're all crying because you're desperate to read this now.

Outstanding Cover of the Week: The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater (paperback cover)



Blogger Kayla Beck said...

Someone stole an Alice in Wonderland dress from the toy section at Wal-mart and her friend swiped some Hefty bags, thinking she would look Victorian if she glued it together right. AND THE PUBLISHER ALLOWED THIS TO HAPPEN!

*breathes heavily*

I'll be back for more when things die down at work... I mean home! *runs away*

September 20, 2012 at 3:37 PM  
Blogger Kayla Beck said...

Or maybe she just chopped up a Cinderella dress? Okay, okay, I'm really leaving now. These are almost all terrible!

September 20, 2012 at 3:38 PM  
Blogger Kara_Malinczak said...

#1-I agree. She looks dead inside. Plus her expression is just terrible. The sword looks likt it's hovering in midair.

#2- How is is that the scarf is blowing like it's in a hurricane but her hair hasn't moved an inch?

#3-I actually like this one, but her hair looks like a damn bird's nest.

#4-The cherubs look like the sides of their heads are mashed in.


#6-I agree with you about the name sizes. Really not fair.

#7-Too much hair and I hate her outfit. It looks like old lady clothing. And is that a brown haired Taylor Swift?

#8-I know you don't like it but I do. It's consistent with the other covers (yay), and I have nothing against yellow. Though it looks orange to me anyway.

#9-I was looking forward to the unveiling of this cover as this is a book I REALLY want to read, but I don't like this cover much at all. It's sooo...MEH.

#10-It's okay but not as pretty as the other two. I feel like the girl feels placed on a green-screened background. Weird.

#11-Meh. Cheesy. They all are. Doesn't inspire me to read it. Stupid title as well.

#12- NO, NO, NO. I LOVE this creepy-ass cover. Boooooo.

#13-Fire the artist. They are all TERRIBLE.

#14-I'm not sure why it's in poor taste, I must b missing something, but I don't like it. They look like Halloween costumes. The image is grainy. It's bad.

#15-I kinda like it. I see your point, but I really love the colors and the simplicity like you said.

#16-Love this and the dark tone. Love the title font. I don't even notice the tagline unless I am looking for it.

#17- I actually quite like this one. Love the colors and the font because it is original. The girl, the city, and the dome have been done before. But my eyes are still drawn to it.

#18-Not a fan of Maggie, but this cover is bad-ass. Love the artwork and I'm almost tempted to read it though the blurb did nothing for me.

#19-I agree. I LOVE the self-pub cover so much more. What is S&S thinking?? They should just move the author's name and replace it with a different font and they are good to go!

#20- I love both Ashfall covers so I am okay with the cover switch, but really? B&N controlling book covers now? No. Just...NO.

#21-She looks like an amalgamation of different body parts. Not. Good. Shame on whoever thought this was a good idea.

Entertaining post this week. :)

September 20, 2012 at 3:40 PM  
Blogger Christina said...


September 20, 2012 at 3:47 PM  
Blogger Christina said...

#1- Yes, yes, she does. The sword DOES sort of look like it's hovering. OR like he's holding it up with the tip of his finger.

#2- Little known fact: Aurora Sky's hair is weighted down by all of the stakes she keeps in there for vampire slaying.

#3- It does, but it's still better than the hair on book one's cover, so...


#6- Truth. Unless Julie Kagawa's story is at least half the book. Which could be the case. Jury's still out.

#7- Brown-haired tay-tay sighting? Maybe. I sort of like her outfit and sort of hate it.

#8- I do think this is one of the better covers for the series, bc the wolf is more realistic. The background is orange, but the font is yellow. Haha.

#9- Yeah, I was expecting something...more. The name is so interesting and this just isn't.

#10- I have copies of the first two books I won, but I'm not sure if I'll like them. Probs not.

#12- Really? You think it's creepy? Interesting. Haha.

#13- And they don't fit Seanan McGuire at all.

#14- Right? I could see the stupid costumes being to convey humor or something, but why the shitty quality?

#15- I Do like these covers, especially as a series, but this one makes me laugh when I look at it.

#16- I've learned to look for tag lines doing this! This was my second choice for cover of the week. :)

#17- I'm undecided a bit on the title font. I kind of like it, but I don't know. The author font is boring.

#18- Isn't this cover badass? LOVE IT. I've yet to read a Stiefvater book I really like, and from what I've heard, if I don't like Scorpio Races, I need to give up on her entirely.

#19- Exactly! There covers are good for a tweener market maybe, but I'm pretty sure they want the older teens and adult crossover market and those aren't it.

#20- Weird, right? I had NO idea they had so much power.

#21- Yes, yes, she does. O_O

September 20, 2012 at 3:59 PM  
Blogger Steena said...

Fireblood: BAHAHAHA!Did they steal LARPers for this book cover? Raid a Renaissance fair?

Aurora Sky Vampire Hunter: At least she's dressed for the weather.

The Perfect Clone: I tried squinting to see if it helped this cover. It did not. Her eyes are WAY wonky too.

The Holders: This tells me nothing about this book. Do they not know that people totally judge books by their covers?

Flee: Are we fleeing from the hair? Because seriously. Also, I really like that she's wearing a business, office outfit. I hope this book is about a zombie apocalypse, just for kicks.

Kitty Series: For a series with a heroine named 'Kitty', I'm assuming. There is a distinct lack of kitties on these covers, two of eleven. Canine predominance makes this a fail.

Starglass: I like the concept - windswept hair, facing the stars - but the execution did not turn out.

How to Marry an Alien: If she is the alien are we to assume that the hipster revolution came from outer space?

Discount Armageddon: *cries* A pink, school-girl cheesecake cover, WHY?! No one fights in a plaid skirt and heeled mary-janes! Midnight Blue-light Special you don't get off the hook either. I don't care if you are wearing a tweed skirt and fabulous sweater! Also, third random person on the roof, what are you doing?

Scorpio Races: I love, love, love this cover.

Sacrifices: Buffy Summers (cover 1) is Hermione Granger (cover 2) in The Snow Queen & Black Widow Go to Prom.

Abandon: They sound like non-descript perfumes sold by a retail clothier.

Life's a Witch/What the Spell: The Self-Pub is definitely the best. I think the author name would be better tucked up into a corner and the red should match her shoes. I think the S&S Take 1 was better than 2, it at least kept the b/w with a pop of color theme.

Women's Island: What? Are we looking at her front or back? I see the back of her knee but what is her head doing? And why is she wearing fur on a tropical island? Is this Tesla's secret island get away? What is going on here?!

September 20, 2012 at 4:00 PM  
Blogger Christina said...

Fireblood: I think you've hit the nail on the head. Saves on model fees. Just get some drunken Ren-festers to sign a waiver and pose...sort of.

Aurora Sky: Except that she's wearing tights as pants!

Perfect Clone: This cover is horrifying. I was hoping you could help me out with the religious symbols.


Flee: The blurb says she can FLY. I bet hair like that can get you sucked into an airplanes engines much like a cape would do. BAD PLAN.

Kitty: Kitty's the girl, but, yes, it does seem to be much more about wolves.

Starglass: Yeah, I see some promise in it, but it just doesn't pop. It's too monochromatic. Her hair also looks fake.

How to Marry an Alien: I like this theory.

Discount Armageddon: I don't know. These make me SAD. I can't imagine her books under her real name are THAT different in tone from Newsflesh...

Scorpio Races: RIGHT? My childhood self is drooling everywhere.

Sacrifices: Truth. *headdesks*

Abandon: ?

Life's a Witch: I like take 2 better, because her outfit makes me want to punch things in the first S&S attempt. But yeah, that would be awesome if the author name matched the shoes. :)

I don't know. I'm pretty sure it's her back, but not one hundred percent. IT'S SO COLD ON THIS TROPICAL ISLAND! Maybe to prove she's a hunter?

September 20, 2012 at 4:22 PM  
Blogger Steena said...

Those are supposed to be religious symbols? Okay then. Uh, a dove is usually the Holy Spirit or some kind of promise/blessing. Maybe protection from the TERRIFYING cherubs? What is her hair doing, by the way? It's like normal and then it's like viney??

Possesion, Surrender, and Abandon sound like perfumes and the kind of perfume that gets sold in a clothing store, Gap or American Eagle or something. Maybe it's because I was in a Gap not long ago and everything was like "Dream" or "Close". Very simple bottles with a single word name.

September 20, 2012 at 5:00 PM  
Blogger Christina said...

The dove is the holy spirit! Oops! I don't know if they are, but they sort of SEEM that way? I don't know what anything in that cover is doing.

OHHHHHHH! And, yes, you're right about that. Those perfumes always look so sad.

September 20, 2012 at 5:04 PM  
Blogger kara-karina@Nocturnal Book Reviews said...

The last one... Yes, I'm crying, Christina! I just couldn't stop laughing when I saw Frankenstein Amazon. Why? Why? Is the designer blind and deranged or a 5-year-old (in which case, congrats, kiddo, you've got potential).
Undone is the winner for me - beautiful and simplistic.
Also, wanted to thank you for an endless supply of redheads with your cover snark, Christina. I'm featuring a hell of a lot of them this Saturday.
As for InCryptid novels, they are funny and sassy, not like Mira Grant series at all, so pink and neon blue suits them really well.

September 20, 2012 at 5:48 PM  
Blogger M.A.D. said...

Fireblood - looks like two students from the jr. high drama club. I can't take this one seriously. At all.

The Perfect Clone - *creepy doll girl* ROTFLMAO!!!

'Til The World Ends - I liked this one, too! Tidy but eye catching, especially with the artery thing.

Women's Island - It hurts me to look at this. This girl's been in a terrible accident. Her legs are on backwards. Or her head. I can't tell. But she needs help. Or a chiropractor. ASAP.

Ashfall - Tanglewood, why? There's an old saying .. "if it ain't broke, don't fix it." Apparently Tanglewood has never heard this old saying.

September 20, 2012 at 6:03 PM  
Anonymous Audrey (Bibliosaurus Text) said...

I always love reading your commentaries on these. You crack me up so hard.

How to Marry an Alien reminds me of this: http://hellyeshipsterdisney.tumblr.com/

September 20, 2012 at 6:36 PM  
Blogger Lynn K. said...

Fireblood - I hate the title treatment

If I Should Die - Not a fan of peachy colors so maybe that's why I don't like it that much.

Scorpio Races - I'm really kicking myself for getting the UK paperback because I really like the new cover. Argh.

September 20, 2012 at 9:50 PM  
Blogger Kimberly @ Midnight Book Girl said...

I tried leaving a comment earlier on my phone, but obviously my phone is stupid. As I comment on my blog I don't like the new cover for Ashfall. I hate when they change covers in the middle of a series and the original cover is one of the few covers that actually made complete sense with the book.

As far as Abandon goes... I was totally thinking condom too.

September 20, 2012 at 10:04 PM  
Blogger Christina said...

I decided I should save my worst indie find of the week for the last, because then people can end with some nice hearty laughter. Always does a body good.

You're welcome for the redheads. I just feature what I find.

I like Undone a lot as well, but you just can't beat that flaming horse!

Really? Wearing tiny short skirt and heels on a roof sassy?

September 21, 2012 at 12:06 AM  
Blogger Christina said...

BAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA: "This girl's been in a terrible accident. Her legs are on backwards. Or her head. I can't tell. But she needs help."

You are precisely correct. That's just how I feel about that cover. I have spent SO long looking at it trying to decide which way they think she's facing.

September 21, 2012 at 12:07 AM  
Blogger Christina said...

Hahahahahaha, perfect.

Also, I'm glad I make you crack up. :) In the good way, not in the your brains on heroine way.

September 21, 2012 at 12:08 AM  
Blogger Christina said...

Fireblood: Me too.

If I Should Die: If only peach were its ONLY problem.

Scorpio Races: HAHA! I liked the UK one better, but this wins hands down over all of them! VICTORY for me.

September 21, 2012 at 12:09 AM  
Blogger Christina said...


Yeah, I don't mind if they do it to SIGNIFICANTLY improve the covers, but if it's not much better or not at all better, leave it!

THANK YOU. I'm glad I'm not the only one.

September 21, 2012 at 12:11 AM  
Blogger Kat said...

OMG what is with the vacant look girls?! Looking like you've just had a lobotomy does not a good cover make.

I do like the cover of 'Til the World Ends, I stared at it for ages trying to work out what was behind the title.

WTF is up with the photo-shopped animals on the Carrie Vaughan book? Did someone leave their glasses at home the day they designed those? Yuck!

The cover of If I Should Die really disappoints me too - the first two were nice and dark and creepy and now it's all lovey-dovey crap. Big BOO!

The blonde girl on the cover of Sacrifices looks like she's being strangled by a ghost swan.

I didn't get condom from the Abandon cover - MUST TRY HARDER!

I like the new Ashfall covers, because I hated the first one - it made me wanna get out my cleaning rags and clean the freaking mirror (yeah, I know it's supposed to be symbolic ...)

And I just spat tea all over my keyboard when Women's Island came up. Vom!

September 23, 2012 at 7:56 AM  
Blogger Christina said...

I HAVE NO IDEA. I really don't know what some of these cover designers are smoking, but they should stop.

I also tried to work out what was behind the cover of To the World Ends. I bet when you remove the dust jacket, there's a design. :)

If I Should Die's cover should die.

GHOST SWAN!!! She deserves it for that dress.

Hmmmm. I guess Kim and I just have dirty minds.


September 23, 2012 at 9:07 AM  
Blogger Lynn K. said...

If I Should Die: I don't like the heart shaped vines too but the overall color bugs me the most, haha.

Till The World Ends and Undone are beautifully done! I aspire to be able to design typography like that.

September 24, 2012 at 5:26 AM  
Blogger Christina said...

They really are gorgeous!

September 25, 2012 at 10:04 AM  
Blogger Susan said...

OMG this is the best feature I've ever seen. Like ever. LMAO. A++++ I cannot believe I haven't found this blog until now. Need to follow you everywhere. Are you this snarky all the time? LOL.

Firefly fan too! :)

And that one cover really does look like a pregnancy test! LOL.

September 25, 2012 at 9:46 PM  
Blogger Christina said...

Awwww, thanks so much! I'm glad you like this. I'm not really this snarky in my reviews, because I try to be fair, BUT I am often this snarky on Twitter. :) And, of course, every Thursday in Cover Snark, because covers only sort of matter.

FIREFLY IS THE BEST. *whedonite fistbumps*

September 25, 2012 at 10:10 PM  

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