Random (but not really)

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Michelle’s Best Book Covers of 2017: Fantasy

There are a lot of reasons for me to like a book cover. I (despite what always being told) have always judged books by their covers when searching for new authors, mostly because I’d usually only have a limited time in the book store whomever I was with got bored, so I tended to gravitate towards covers I liked, and covers similar to books I already liked.

And now, with so many eBooks coming at me from sale emails and book blogs, I still simply bypass a cover that is unappealing, unless that book was specifically recommended.

Publisher Tally
Ace: 4/12
DAW: 2/12

Street Magicks (2016) edited by Paula Guran (Prime Books)

I like a lot of things about this cover, from the woman in an active pose (she is obviously doing something) to the colors and swirls making things look mysterious.

Stiletto (2016) Daniel O’Malley (Little, Brown and Company)

This book is similar to the previous book, letting you know the two are tied. But the simplicity is what I particularly like. It’s not busy and although it tells you very little about the book, it definitely made me take a second glance, as it stands out.

Who Killed Sherlock Holmes (2016) Paul Cornell (Pan)

All three covers in this series so far have foggy and mono-chromatic views of the London skyline, but there is much more that is hidden than shown, which is perfect for the stories.

A Long Day in Lychford (2017) Paul Cornell (Tor.com)

Like his Shadow Police series, these covers are also foggy and mono-chromatic, yet they have a different feel, because the backdrop is a forest road rather than a city skyline. And like the previous books in this series (note: these are novellas) the covers all have a similar look, with a single color pallet for each book. And like the other series, the colors and fog give you a sense of mysteriousness, but in this series feeling less threatening.

One negative: that is not a modern-looking woman which gives the book a slightly historical feel, which it does not have. But it’s still a beautiful cover.

Shadowhouse Fall (2017) Daniel José Older (Arthur A. Levine Books)

This cover is so beautiful.

The model is obviously a teen, obviously a minority, and gorgeous but NOT sexualized. She’s not in an active position, and looks like she thinks someone might be following her, yet she doesn’t appear week. She might perhaps be scared, but she is not going to just let things happen to her.

Battle Hill Bolero (2017) Daniel José Older (Ace)

Sasha is clearly going to kick someone’s ass, and she’s going to kick ass while wearing reasonable clothing–she can totally run in those clothes (as well as kick and slash and stab).

I adore all the covers in this series, although I admit that the Kia cover is my favorite.

The Furthest Station (2017) Ben Aaronovitch

The Hanging Tree (2017) Ben Aaronovitch (DAW)

These continue the pattern of the previous books in the series (if you ignore the first American cover) showing a hand drawn map of the various areas in which the stories take place, with line drawings of various items related to the story. I really like how the drawings are both super simple and extremely complex. I try not to get high res images of the covers, lest I fall down the hole of looking at all the details of all the maps.

You know immediately that this is a new Rivers of London book.

The Ghoul Vendetta (2017) Lisa Shearin (Ace)

This is a series that I started because of its cover–Mac is in an active pose and on an equal footing with her (male) partner. She is not simpering or subservient or clinging. She is going to take care of herself, and she and her partner will take care of each other.

Firebug (2014) Lish McBride (Henry Holt and Co)

This cover immediately drew my attention, because those are the hands of a girl who works with her hands.

And sets things on fire.

Cold Reign (2017) Faith Hunter (Ace)

I adore this series, and the covers for this series. Even when they were not able to get a Native American model, they did their best to play up the way the model looked like Jane–and when they did get a model, the covers became even better.

Additional, from the get-go, Jane is on control and acting. This cover is a perfect example: she’s dressed in her fighting leathers, she’s got her gorget on, and she is definitely going to stab someone.

Even when the outfits were obviously low budget, they did the best they could with what they had, making Jane look as dangerous as they could with what they had. Even in the earlier covers where they have Jane in a sleeveless leather outfit, they make a point of showing how strong her arms are. Which is something you don’t usually see on female covers.

But I have to admit I especially love this one because she is in full fighting leathers here, no skin to be easily broken by fangs and claws

Flame in the Dark (2017) Faith Hunter (Ace)

Same author, but a very different cover here. While Jane is a brawler, Nell is an ex-church woman who has joined PsyLED and generally follows the rules. The swirling around her does a lovely job of portraying all the chaos and change in her life, and even hits at some of the events in this book (while not depicting anything specific).

The one negative is that Nell doesn’t wear sleeveless dresses. But given the rest of the cover, I’ll give that a pass.

The Books of 2017

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