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Books Received for July 2008, Week 1 (Pick Your Favorite Cover!)

Here are the books we received the first week in July. Which cover looks the best?

Here are my thoughts on each of them…

  • Shorn: While I like the individual components of the artwork (particularly the texture on the wing) they don’t quite blend together.
  • The Gone-Away World: It’s certainly striking. This would definitely stand out on the sf/f shelves, though I’m thinking this might be headed for the mainstream aisles.
  • The Dark River: Coolish, but photography (or photographic-looking CGI) rarely impresses me on book covers. [See also: the SF Signal review.]
  • The Hero of Ages: Great artwork!
  • Orcs: The previous rule about photography does not apply when Orcs are involved. I like this one. A lot.
  • Going Under: Tough, hot chick in leather with sword? What’s not to like? It’s a little minimalist, but it fits right in with the design of the previous books, as it should.
  • Last Argument of Kings: I like the look and it certainly fits the theme of the novel.

My favorite? I’m going to have to go with Orcs. It unapologetically says, “I’m an Orc, dammit!”

About John DeNardo (13012 Articles)
John DeNardo is the Managing Editor at SF Signal and a columnist at Kirkus Reviews. He also likes bagels. So there.

18 Comments on Books Received for July 2008, Week 1 (Pick Your Favorite Cover!)

  1. Orcs is hands-down my favorite. A successful cover, in that it makes me want to go out and find the book.

  2. Oh, yes, Orcs!
    Simple yet bold.

  3. Shame that Orcs is rubbish then… The Dark River gets my vote.

  4. Orcs is a brutally awesome cover. My second choice is a tie between Going Under and the Abercrombie.

  5. Abercrombie is definitely a very close second.
    Orcs is rubbish? Really?
    Shall I just gaze at the cover then?

  6. I’d be way easier to pick up fantasy novels to review if everything wasn’t “Book X in Series Y.” Even the John Twelve Hawks is Book 2 of something or other. Grrr.
    Although, speaking as a motorcyclist, that’s the cover that stands out for me.

  7. Karen, FWIW, The Traveler was excellent.

  8. I’ve always been of the view that if you write fantasy, you’re actually going to stand out from the pack if your book is NOT part of a series, and it’s NOT 1,200 pages long.
    It’s why I read so little fantasy (classical-high-fantasy anyway), but when I do, I gravitate toward people like Terry Pratchett. Or even Terry Brooks (who write triologies, and thus, has endings.)

  9. The Orcs cover is definitely amazing and wins the vote for me. Abercrombie’s is in keeping with the series look, which is nice, though the title is fussier print. The Shorn cover and title actually is pretty interesting looking. The Gone Away World cover is a massive mistake, but the book is getting good buzz.

  10. Yup, the ORCS cover is striking. Hands down the best cover of the bunch. But props to GOING UNDER. It’s a simple but sophisticated design. And I agree: the HERO OF AGES illustration is awesome. That counts for something.

  11. Jim Shannon // July 8, 2008 at 2:23 pm //

    The Hero of Ages: Book Three of Mistborn because it has more things going on and makes me wonder what the heck is that woman doing clinging to a tower amongst the clouds. The cover evokes it’s science fiction theme better then all the rest of the book covers and is in reminiscence if past science fiction covers.

  12. I was in the bookstore the other day and the Abercrombie cover made me stop and pick up the book to read the jacket. What more could you ask from a cover?

  13. Orcs would make me pivk the book up and look at it. Last Argument of Kings would too, but more because I am intrigued by the title than I like the cover (busybusybusy).
    The others? Don’t feel aimed at me, so I don’t feel a desire to look into them. Shorn is an interesting title so I could be persuaded to pick it up, though not if it was face-out.

  14. Orcs, but the Going Under cover reminds me of the Parrish Plessis series by Marianne de Pierres so I’d pick it up for a look.

  15. Orcs is probably the most poorly written fantasy book I have ever read. I expected it to be entertaining and fun, the idea after all is a good one. But its just one formulaic fight after the other. You never feel the characters actually are orcs – they’re just grunt mercenaries who act tough.
    Like other British fantasy writers like James Barclay the packaging is much better than the content. Joe Abercrombie though is brilliant!

  16. Brandon Thomas // July 10, 2008 at 2:00 pm //

    While I think each is good in its own way, the Shorn cover calls out to me the most. Before I even read the book, the individual elements struck me as interesting and well done. I especially like the texture of the image, almost like a fresco from a forgotten time. Having read the book, I like it even more as the symbology has deeper meaning for me, both within the framework of the story told and what I took away from it.

  17. J Allen // July 11, 2008 at 5:53 pm //

    The cover of Shorn captivated me from the first moment I saw it. I fell in love with the blurb on the back. And I really enjoyed the read. I look forward to more from Larissa Niec. Definitely a book written for an intelligent audience!

  18. I think all of the covers are interesting in their own way; however, Shorn stands out the most for me. Although the individual components don’t blend perfectly into each other, it lends a slightly mysterious feel to the novel that draws me in and makes me want to understand what is behind the cover art.

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