Book Cover Smackdown! ‘Death and Resurrection’ vs. ‘Somewhere Beneath Those Waves’ vs. ‘Winning Mars’

Prime your engines, folks! It’s time for another Book Cover Smackdown!

Here are the contenders…

Your Mission (should you choose to accept it): Tell us which cover you like best and why.

Books shown here:

NOTE: Bigger, better cover art images are available by clicking the images or title links.

15 thoughts on “Book Cover Smackdown! ‘Death and Resurrection’ vs. ‘Somewhere Beneath Those Waves’ vs. ‘Winning Mars’”

  1. Although Death and Resurrection has a nice illustration, Somewhere Beneath Those Waves is more dynamic, calling for your attention, I also like its colors the best. For me, the cover for Winning Mars is not that atractive.

  2. Winning Mars is much better than the cover Prime initially released a year or two back with a big eye. But Somewhere Beneath Those Waves is quite beautiful and has a nice magical vide to it.

  3. Death and Resurrection does nothing for me.  The book, I mean.  ;-)

    Somewhere Beneath The Waves is an interesting, beautiful cover.  I like it the best from a visual perspective.

    The one that would get me to buy the book (or at least read the flap) is Winning Mars.  There appears to be a sense of humor and fun not present in the others.


  4. Somewhere Beneath Those Waves cover is by Elena Dudina.    The Macavoy cover reminds me of Don Dos Santos, though obviously not by him.  The Mars book?  No idea.    I guess I’d have to say I like the Dudina illo the best, though it is rather moody and doesn’t do much for the book.

  5. All three covers are bad. WINNING MARS is the least bad of the lad, with its graphical use of text, but the image is too cutesy by far. The other two, while technically adequate, are simply kitsch, the sort of sentimentalized and literal representationalism that has marred science fiction book covers (and con art shows) for several decades now. They demonstrate none of the actual skill with drawing and painting and pure design that marked the great illustrators of the mid- to late-20th Century, (e.g., Mitchell Hooks, Sanford Kossin, Richard Bama, John Schoenherr, etc.), and they wholly abjure the advances made by greats like Richard Powers or Paul Lehr. I would never think to pick up a book with covers like these, unless I had it from unimpeachable sources that the books were better than these dreary covers.

  6. Winning Mars cover is terrible, what are the other people thinking?  I would normally check the book out but that cover might make me bypass it.

    The other two while a bit generic and moody seem related to the contents and well-done.  If my budget could afford it and I was in the bookstore I would buy them both and just based on the cover can’t decide which I would prefer if limited to one.

  7. Winning Mars is the winner for me. It’s got a flush of originality.

    Beneath the Waves is the most accomplished as a drawing, and being beneath the waves hints at drowning, which gives a slight sense of urgency.

    The problem with Death & Resurrection and Beneath the Waves is that they look too okay but too much like every other book cover.

  8. Apologies to the creators, but you have a title like Winning Mars and that is the best idea?  Seems like a non-cover to me, lacking any creativity and whimsy that a title like that deserves. Would I frame it? Put it on a wall? Nope. This is the type of cover that reminds me of the ridiculous notion that book covers should now be primarily designed to appeal on an Amazon thumbnail  ( a notion that I see perpetuated in a variety of sources). It’s truly maddening, and while the blame isn’t on any one cover, any cover perpetuating it will bear part of the blame when cover art disappears completely. 

    Give me a cover that demands to be looked at, large, in full resolution.  That’s the one I’m interested in, curious about, the one I am going to click through to see what is behind that doorway, put on my desktop, share. 

    The art on Somewhere Beneath the Waves is jaw dropping, beautiful.  I want to know everything about it, and I’m now hunting for more information (i.e. clicking on book links) to find out whatever I can.

    1. “reminds me of the ridiculous notion that book covers should now be primarily designed to appeal on an Amazon thumbnail”

      It’s unfortunate from a graphic design standpoint, but since that’s how a vast majority of potential buyers are going to see the cover, I don’t see how you can call it a ridiculous notion. You might as well say that it’s a ridiculous notion that books have to be sold in order for authors (and cover artists) to get paid.

  9. D&R: Looks like the cover to a second-tier paranormal romance novel (maybe it is — ?). Cliche’d, trite, beef-cakey, simple-minded. Belongs on the same shelf with books that have unicorns on their covers.

    SBTW: Mysterious, evocative, a little scary, very nicely composed. Points off for the cliche’ of “this floating piece of fabric just HAPPENED to cover up some of the lady’s naughty bits.” More points off for the fact that parts of the graphic look like a low-budget Photoshopped photo, while other parts look like a painting.

    WM: Oh, is that a cover? Gets points for being a little different and edgy. (Only a little, mind you; this sort of thing has been done before.) Minus points for the lens flare, which annoyingly assaults the eye and obscures part of the image for no apparent reason.

    My final vote: a tie between “Mars” and “Waves,” though for very different reasons.

Comments are closed.