Random (but not really)

Tuesday, July 16, 2019

The Books of Midyear 2019: Great Covers

I do yearly wraps ups, but it’s summer and it’s hot and I know you’re looking for something to read, so I decided that y’all need a midyear wrap up of some of my favorite books.

As is my habit, I’ll start with some of the covers I really liked. Shockingly, I don’t have any terrible covers so far this year! (This probably means I haven’t ready any Avon books.)

To make this list, a book had to be published in 2018 or 2019.


An Artless Demise (2019) Anna Lee Huber (Berkley)

She always gets lovely covers, but I think this one is particularly beautiful.

The color is gorgeous, with everything sepia-ish with that pop of red. The way she’s in motion. The feeling of atmosphere that tells you this is a mystery.

I love this.


A Dangerous Collaboration (2019) Deanna Raybourn (Berkley)

This matches the previous books in the series, and I love that they didn’t got with a model. The silhouette is gorgeous and striking, and obviously of the main character (since she has a butterfly net).

It’s just a very good cover that draws me right in.


Who Slays the Wicked (2019) C.S. Harris  (Berkley)

She always has good covers, although I admit that I preferred her first covers that didn’t have people in them at all. But if we are going to have a person, then this is perfect for this book.

I love that everything is grayscale except for the title.

Berkley has knocked everything out of the park for me so far this year.

Good job y’all.


Murder Takes the High Road (2018) Josh Lanyon (Carina Press)

For a publisher that does erotica, they have some really good covers. (Sorry, I just expect boinking books to have covers that I want to hide in a brown paper package (like a lot of the epic fantasy I read in the early 90s.))

This is clearly a mystery, which is what drew me in initially (this was the first of MANY Josh Lanyon books I read this year).

Another cover with mostly grays and that spurt of red of the title and an eerie splash of yellow.

But the birds are really what make the cover. Very nice.



Mrs. Martin’s Incomparable Adventure (2019) Courtney Milan (Courtney Milan)

I’d like to point out this is a self-published book. So although there are a couple issues with the production, I am NOT going to quibble.

First and foremost, I LOVE LOVE LOVE this model! The main characters are older women, and here we have a lady who is clearly gray haired and past what would have been considered her prime for that era. Yet she is clearly comfortable with herself and her place in the world.



The Duke I Tempted (2018) Scarlett Peckham (NYLA)

Straight up. This is just a really pretty cover.



Circle of the Moon (2019) Faith Hunter (Ace)

I have liked pretty much every cover Faith Hunter has gotten with Ace. Even when they clearly didn’t have much of a budget, they were clearly trying to stay true to her characters, and as the books became more popular, they kept the same feel but everything was just nicer.

The covers for this series have all been gorgeous, with the strong colors and the sense of circular movement. I can tell at a glance this is a Soulwood book.


Lies Sleeping (2018) Ben Aaronovitch  (DAW)

Although the initial US release for the first couple books of the series were fine, I love that they have switched to the map based covers.

I keep meaning to zoom in on a high res version of these covers and see all the details, but I never quite get around to it.

The October Man (2019) Ben Aaronovitch (Subterranean Press)

Although this novella has a different publisher, it keeps the map and river theme. If I have a quibble, it’s that for a related novella it’s not truly clear enough this is NOT a Peter Grant story.

In theory it shouldn’t matter that much, but I think it does, because the Rivers of London series is very much Peter at its heart, so it needs to be a little more distinctive to separate this story a bit.

The Phoenix Illusion (2018) Lisa Shearin (Murwood Media, LLC)

This is another self-published book, and I think she did an excellent job matching the feel of the previous books in the series. It’s nowhere close to my favorite cover in this series, but for self-published it’s pretty excellent.

Family Matters (2018) Angel Martinez (Mischief Corner Books, LLC)

This is a delightful cover and it fits the book perfectly.

You’re getting a Minotaur librarian. What more could you possibly want?

The Wolf at the Door (2018) Charlie Adhara (Carina Press), The Wolf at Bay (2018) Charlie Adhara (Carina Press), Thrown to the Wolves (2019) Charlie Adhara (Carina Press)

Three more for Carina Press.

These are supernatural mysteries, and I love how the theme carries across all three books in its color and simplicity.

Skin and Bone (2019) TA Moore (Dreamspinner Press)

This is another series I found because the covers caught my eye. The colors are gorgeous. And although it’s clear there is a dog in the story, it’s not floating or looming or weirdly presented, it’s just hanging out in the background, precisely as it does in the story.

And those are the book covers I’ve loved so far this year.

Three from Berkley, four from Carina Press, and two self-published.

HUZZAH to all!

The Books of Midyear 2019: Romance
The Books of Midyear 2019: Mysteries
The Books of Midyear 2019: Supernatural Fantasy

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