News Ticker

Book Cover Smackdown! ‘The Queen of Sinister’ vs. ‘The Broken Kingdoms’ vs. ‘Flu’

Another batch of recently-revealed covers go head-to-head-to-head in this edition of the Book Cover Smackdown…

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.

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.

16 Comments on Book Cover Smackdown! ‘The Queen of Sinister’ vs. ‘The Broken Kingdoms’ vs. ‘Flu’

  1. Oh, Flu, definitely. Instant Zombie vibe which produces a visceral “I like” reaction in me. Turns out I was right, it’s a zombie story. Yay!

  2. I love the Broken Kingdoms cover by N.K. Jemisen. I loved The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms, and this one fits really well with the same style. 

  3. I think the striking eyes make me lean toward the Chadbourn. Picacio strikes again!

  4. Argh!  I like the cover of Flu and know it will elicit a great many responses when reading it on bus / train…but my heart is telling me it has to be NK Jemisin as I loved The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms.  I love the green, surreal quality of the city in the tree.

    Mr. Chadbourn’s cover on the other hand…utterly freaks me out.  Stunning but those eyes, they watch you *whispering now* ALL THE TIME.

  5. They are all very very beautiful covers. The cover of The Broken Kingdoms, following the theme set by the first novel, shows once more how it’s done. The excellent cover art of Flu is uber-creepy. But my vote would go for The Queen of Sinister. Its fonts, the color scheme, the expression on the face and the way that the face blends into the web-like tissue create a more impressive cover in my opinion.

  6. Flu for me, all the way, the cover has a certain menace to it that makes me want to pick the book up and read the back cover.

    Broken Kingdoms is interesting, although I think the face in the background is just a bit too much, it distracts from the tree/palace. I would have prefered the tree to be moved above the text at the bottom of the page as well.


    The Queen of Sinister, sorry but I don’t see what everyone else is getting so excited about. This kind of cover has been done to death over the last few years. Just yet another fantasy cover imho.

  7. euphrosyne // April 8, 2010 at 10:46 am //

    The Chadbourn cover doesn’t do anything for me. It looks like a YA book (and it’s not, is it?).

    I loved the cover art for the first book, but The Broken Kingdoms cover just looks like bad Photoshop work. Nice concept and color scheme, but architecturally ludicrous, with cathedrals supported by thin tree branches, foundations that don’t watch what’s above, and an overall sense of mismatched scale.

    Flu is definitely the most striking, though frankly it makes me not want to pink it up, any more than I would want to get too close to that woman..

  8. Picacio all the way!

  9. It’s nice to see cover art getting some attention.  All three covers are decent.  The Broken Kingdoms one is pretty– nice color scheme, interesting images (I needed the larger picture to really appreciate it, btw).  The cover for Flu is creepy and grim, but I am asusming it’s a horror novel so that’s ok.  The guy does look a tad Snape-ish.  The Queen of Sinister one is nice because the face pops from the rest of the image; the color contrast works well and makes her look kind of Ice-Queenish.

  10. As I spent much of Tuesday explaining over at A Dribble of Ink that Broken Kingdoms cover is NOT final, it was pulled from an early catalog that unfortunately made its way online without my knowledge. in general the final is the same, but the city/trees is much more polished. I’m glad you guys like it i do, but please leave the “bad photoshop” comments at the door, k? Cliff Nielsen the fantastic illustrator doesnt deserve to be judged on an in-progress cover.  <cranky art director banging head on wall>

  11. D Fowler // April 8, 2010 at 5:17 pm //

    I really like the cover for Flu.With such a wonderful forboding look,I will have to put it on my list of future purchases.

  12. I hadn’t noticed that, Lauren.  Thanks for the update — I’ve noted it above. Though I must admit, despite it being unfinished, I still find it very appealing.

  13. Will look forward to seeing the finished art work then Lauren, I could only judge the image given and gave my impressions on that, it is interesting enough to give a 2nd look.

  14. haha its ok, im just very defensive of my fabulous artists! we’ve since taken down the catalog pages in question so no more unfinished covers should be floating around. And John, totally not your fault — us scifi/fantasy fans are crafty, and i can’t blame people for being excited…even if they dont belong in the retailers/booksellers info sections, cant yell at them for sneaking in. the polished up art should be done soon, and its not THAT different, truly.

  15. But as always the devil is in the detail, the smallest changes can have a huge effect when it comes to perfecting stuff…

  16. Hey all,

    Wayne Simmons here, author of FLU. Really glad you’re digging the cover!

    I hope some of you get a chance to check the book out – it’s currently available at and should also be available throughtout Waterstone’s stores, UK/ Ireland wide, as part of their 3-for-2 promotion in May 2010. If high-tempo, character-driven horror is your thing, check it out.

    Thanks again for all your comments and thoughts on the cover.  

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: