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Book Cover Smackdown! ‘Mockingjay’ vs. ‘Mortal Coils (German)’ vs. ‘Clementine’

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

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

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.

14 Comments on Book Cover Smackdown! ‘Mockingjay’ vs. ‘Mortal Coils (German)’ vs. ‘Clementine’

  1. Gemini – Mortal Coils is my favourite, simply because it has Eric Nylund’s name on the cover. I have all his novels and think he is a tragically underrated author. As for the cover design it doesn’t put me off but neither does it demand a closer inspection (author aside).


    Mockingjay – A bit *MEH* like above its a fairly anemic cover, but if I was wasting time browsing I would read the back cover and hope that something there grabbed my attention.


    Clementine – Not really my cup of tea, I am getting a bit fed up with the whole steampunkesque (not sure if this is the right term, maybe fantastical technology) vibe that so many book covers seem to be opting for.

  2. For me it is the Mockingjay cover.  I haven’t read any of these books, but I’ve been impressed with all three book covers as they have a simple yet striking design.

    I’m not thrilled with the Cherie Priest cover, though I do want to read the novella. 

    As for the ‘steampunkesque’ vibe, this is a steampunk story set in the alternate  history she created with Boneshaker, so it only makes sense that the cover is what it is.

  3. None of these are really hitting a nerve for me.  And, I  have to agree with Andy W…enough steampunk.

  4. To be fully appreciated, the cover of Mockingjay really needs to be seen alongside the previous two, The Hunger Games and Cathing Fire. the three form a progression that tells a story.

    Gemini is pretty but looks jsut like a thousand other kids fantasy series nowadays.

    Clementine has a pretty picture and an intriguing (if ugly at first glance) typeface, but I’m afraid that it screams to me: “Yet another cliche, formulaic steampunk book.” I already saw the Will Smith version of The Wild Wild West, thank you very much.

    Ultimately I have to fall back on the same reasoning that Andy W used: it’s not the picture, it’s what’s written on the cover that’s important. I was so blown away by the first two Hunger Games books, I’m already desperate to read Mockingjay. It could have a brown paper cover with a close-up photo of Rush Limbaugh’s nose hair for all I care: as long as it says “Mockingjay” and “Suzanne Collins,” I’m sold on it.

  5. Well, I love airships, and Clementine is appealing for that reason, but I think the cover for Mockingjay is great.  Clean, to the point, and works well with the other books.  The third one is not my cup of tea.

    And is steampunk already tired and trite?  Bummer!  I thought it was, y’know, still picking up. . . .

  6. As brilliant as the cover of Boneshaker was, that’s how “enh” the cover of Clementine is.


    And the Eric Nylund really is indistinguishable from dozens of generic YA fantasy novels (or FRPG source books).


    So Mockingjay wins by default, even with that ugly mock-Soviet Cold War font.

  7. I still enjoy steampunk as a genre, I am just getting fed up with how many books are taking that vibe for cover art. There have been a number of hard scifi novels that have taken a similar styling for their artwork and it seems to be contagious.

  8. Andy: Well you are right about the contagious part.  I’ve often wondered how so many different publishers can end up putting out books at the same time with similar covers.  There always seems to be a case of the copycats out there.  With Clementine I feel like they are just building on the last novel though, which had a dirigible on the cover as well, though in a reflection.  That being said, I’m not really a fan of the art on this one.

  9. Thanks for including me in this — but dude, that’s not the Clementine cover. That was a preliminary that was released too early; the final is up on the preorder page now.   šŸ™‚

  10. @Cherie — I still love it.  šŸ™‚

    This preorder page shows the same image.  Is there another?



  11. I just clicked the link and it showed the new one. It’s not TERRIBLY different, but it is different.  Maybe empty your cache? Hard refresh?

  12. looks the same for me as well….

  13. Oh, I see…the author name is in a different place and uses a different typeface.  And there’s less decoration (transparent as it is) around the book title.

    Still looks awesome!

  14. Gemini for me. Sure it’s a frame cover, but it’s the most intricate and eye catching from a distance or up close, so out of the three it would be the most likely I’d pick up if I wasn’t familar with any of the writers beforehand.

    But I probably wouldn’t buy a book with nose hair on the cover either.

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