Random (but not really)

Monday, December 10, 2012

The Year in Books: Good Covers (YA, Romance, and Mystery)

I complain a lot about bad book covers. Some covers are so terrible they make me glad for the advent of the eBook, so I can read whatever I want in public.

On the other hand, when book covers are good, they tend to be very good. I fully admit that I’ve been drawn to books solely by the cover art. So I want to point out some covers for books were published in 2012 that I really liked, because that seems only fair.

First up: YA, Romance, and Mystery covers. Next: Fantasy Covers

YA

Most of the YA covers weren’t bad—I can’t think of anything in particular I hated, but I thought these covers were especially good.

The Far West (2012) Patricia C. Wrede

The Far West

Interestingly, the first book in the series had a very different cover from the next two. I’ve liked all the covers in this series, and I think this one does a very good job of giving you a feel for the tone of the story without giving anything away.

There are strange monsters in the background you can’t quite make out. The dress of the main character is obviously not modern, but also very sensible for what she’s doing.

The first cover in the series didn’t have a picture of main character, I presume in an attempt to appeal to male and female readers.

My review of The Far West.

 
 

Croak (2012) Gina Damico

This is first off, a spot on depiction of the main character. I love that she’s in a hoodie and isn’t made to look the slightest bit sexy. I also like how you can’t immediately tell if she is male or female, which would, again, make it possible appeal to a male or female reader.

My review of Croak

 
 

Romance

Cindy Spencer Pape‘s Moonlight & Mechanicals (2012) and Kilts & Kraken (2012)

Moonlight and Mechhanicals Kilts and Kraken

Despite the fact these are novellas, she has gotten some really wonderful covers for this series. This is one of those cases where I picked up the book for the cover.

The books are steam punk and alternate history where magic exists, which I think the covers do a fabulous job of showing. There are ALSO kissing books, which isn’t (to me) obvious from the covers, but despite all the boinking, I’m really enjoying the series, and in fact, probably would never have read any of these books if they had the typical “romance” cover.

My reviews of Moonlight & Mechanicals and Kilts & Kraken

 
 

Mystery

When Maidens Mourn (2012) C.S. Harris

When Maidens Mourn

This is a well-established series that shifted quickly from mass-market paperback to hard-back for the initial release, so the odds of her getting a crappy cover were relatively low. That said, I haven’t loved all the covers in this series (I rather disliked the cover of What Remains of Heaven (http://klishis.com/reading/archives/1571) because it didn’t feel like it had much to do with the book) but for the most part she has gorgeous covers that portray the tone of the book marvelously.

These are mysteries set in Regency England, and the main character is a British noble who, after time in the Army during the Napoleonic wars, cares far less than his family likes for society and proper behavior, which is how he keeps getting embroiled in murders and their attending mysteries.

Although the covers are gorgeous, their tone also has a sense of mystery (or menace), often with people or objects coming out of the mist.

My review of When Maidens Mourn

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