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Book Cover Smackdown! ‘Muse and Reverie’ vs. ‘Wings of Wrath’ vs. ‘Lesser Demons’

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! ‘Muse and Reverie’ vs. ‘Wings of Wrath’ vs. ‘Lesser Demons’

  1. None of those. 

  2. Rich Gombert // February 4, 2010 at 8:04 am //

    If I saw those covers at the books store I would not be moved to buy any of them (even if they were the only books in the store).

  3. I have to agree with Chad and Rich: these covers are lacking. On a side note: WHY does Charles de Lint always have such drab covers? I don’t get it.

  4. I actually like the Lint cover.  The other two seem, well, “been there, done that.”  The Lint cover doesn’t have color, but I think it works because the figure’s ghostly transparency fits the moonlit gray.  The transparency itself was unexpected, which made me look closer; the open box at the bottom does the same (making me wonder why it’s floating.  Cool).    Plus, I like the Celtic-style font (YMMV).

  5. Personally I love the de Lint cover. Didn’t he just win some sort of award for illustration?

  6. I like the de Lint cover best of the three.  It has a wonderful ennui to it.  And mystery.  The middle one, whilst splashy, looks a bit over-the-top like it’s trying too hard to catch my eye, and the last one does seem a bit “been there done that”.  Haunted houses don’t interest me; show me a ‘lesser demon’ instead! 😀

  7. To each their own. I love the Lesser Demons cover. Love it! 

    Wings of Wrath isn’t terrible but their is too much negative space especially considering the fact that the Wings of Wrath title is behind the image. 


  8. None of the above

  9. The de Lint illustration does scream “de Lint,” which is probably why I wouldn’t pick it up (to each his/her own), but it’s a branding thing, and so it succeeds on that levels.  Still, it seems a lacklustre iteration of the formula. 

    Wings of Wrath is definitely the most eye-catching of the three, all that red is rather lovely, but in the end I don’t think I’d open it up.  It seems like a YA cover for some reason.  I definitely get a high fantasy vibe from it though.  And something to do with dragonflies…

    Of the three, I’d probably be most likely to turn over/open up Lesser Demons.  But again, it’s more to do with genre.  It looks like it’s on the fantasy/horror cusp, which interests me.  Not to say that it’s a bad cover–it’s certainly not, but it’s not the most innovative thing I’ve seen.  Which is a complaint I’d level at all three.  They feel very typical of their genres. 

    Not knowing the books, I could be totally of base, of course, but all three definitely echo specific genres, and I’m basing my decisions based on those genres more than on the covers themselves.

  10. None of them grab me that much, but the de Lint’s my favourite, because I’ve read some of his books before and it looks like they feel.

    The others look like pretty typical YA-ish fantasy and psycho-horror-thriller covers, without anything to make them stand out. Neither of those genres appeal to me that much (the YA won’t be long enough and the psycho-horror-thriller won’t be anything you haven’t read before), so if the cover isn’t standing out from the genre conventions it suggests the book won’t either.

    Looking at the info for the books by the two authors I haven’t read before… wow. The Lesser Demons cover doesn’t give me <i>any</i> idea of what’s in there. They’ve made it look like something by James Patterson…

  11. I am often surprised when I like a book and the cover wasn’t what drew me to it….because as we know, you can’t tell a book by its cover so why I am surprised is beyond me…but for these three…none make me that crazy about them but Lesser Demons probably would be the one I would pick. Is it a real book and will it be up for bloggers to review or giveaway perhaps?

  12. Karen, if you click the image, it will take you to the publisher’s page.  It’s due out in April 2010.

  13. I am a fan of both Charles de Lint and John Jude Palencar and am thrilled that the two continue to be paired together.  And JJP did just win an award for this cover.

    That being said, it is not my favorite JJP cover for a de Lint book, or any other, by far.  It is hard to tell without reading the collection how well it represents the short stories contained therein, but I suspect it might be indicative of the mood.  I think de Lint tells stories with a certain melancholy in them very well. 

    Frankly I find it weird to see Palencar do trees that don’t look like “Palencar trees”. 

    I would have to agree with those who say that none of these would make me stop and pick up the book just by the covers.  I would, and will, get the de Lint book someday, but that is more because I like his short stories.

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