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Book Cover Smackdown! ‘Pegasus’ vs. ‘The Unremembered’ vs. ‘The River of Shadows’

Grab some popcorn! 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.

13 Comments on Book Cover Smackdown! ‘Pegasus’ vs. ‘The Unremembered’ vs. ‘The River of Shadows’

  1. Pegasus, lovely, I think I have that dress too, flying ponies *yay* Except he can’t land with that big word thing in the way.  Why do these cover designers find pretty art then slap a huge neon sign across it? At least this one is curly and somewhat fits.  The other one, the guy is blocking the view- isn’t this the formula for every action movie poster out there (man/woman from behind holding some kind of weapon)? And the boat distracted the serpent so she missed the shot and looked away.. no close-up for her, she is going to be very mad, those guys in the boat better sail away- very fast.

  2. At first glance none of these 3 covers grabbed me at all.

    However when I went and looked at the larger pics I was surprised how often my eyes got drawn back to Pegasus, which I now find as an intriguingly deceptive cover…. My first impression was of it being miscatagorised as fantasy when its actually some 19th century womans literature – but it has just enough of an edge that it make me want to pick the book up and read the back cover… which is exactly what a book front cover should do.

    The Unremembered – yup pretty much sums up my impression of the cover, although I suspect that this book cover suffers from being alongside Pegasus which does subtle far better.

    The River of Shadows – Sorry but I just don’t like badly drawn sea monsters, not helped when they are put in a rather generic pose.

  3. I liked Redick’s ‘Red Wolf Conspiracy’, and will likely buy this new book, but that sea monster desperately needs a better barber.

    Of the three covers, I think ‘Pegasus’ is the most striking.

  4. Hm, it’s a tossup for me between Pegasus and The Unremembered. Both have absolutely gorgeous covers, although River of Shadows does look appealing. The colors and composition of the first two really win out though. 

  5. Miller is pretty good, but that isn’t a very good sample of his work. It looks cartoony and static in spite of being a scene that’s in motion. Unremembered is very nice, but doesn’t provoke any interest in the book for me. I would say the same for Pegasus and agree that it is the most striking.


  6. 1) River of Shadows.  

    *I like the title font and color

    * the circular “lens” on the target ship is very clever

    * con: it communicates slightly too much “not very smart fantasy”

    2) Pegasus

    * beautiful, but the pegasus is too small.  if the title says “pegasus”, it shouldn’t be hard to see.

    * i get the idea the book is about rx between pegasus and female protagonist

    3) Unremembered

    nice Z axis definitely conveys idea of adventurer heading into the unknown; but I am pretty fuzzy on what to expect from the book. it *might* be a really good character novel. then again, it might be dark and boring.



  7. In full book size, given that these are all going to be released in HB or trade, the first two both look better than you can tell from the small images available on line.  I like all three of them, but I think Pegasus does the better job of capturing the essence of the book in a striking image.

  8. I am a bit surprised by the previous responses.  Both Pegasus and the River of Shadows are completely forgettable to me.  

    Pegasus screams 13 year old girl.  “Not only do I have a pony of my own, but it flies.”  I don’t see a story anywhere in that cover.  The artwork itself is well done.  Remove it from a book cover and I may be interested.  

    As for River of Shadows, A sea-serpent having a bad hair day.  Seriously?  Seriously?  The concept is great, the coiled body framing the ship against a setting sun. The execution of said concept, atrocious.  The US version is better, mostly due to its simplicity.  

    Unremembered is the clear winner here.  Despite the easy play of words on the name and the somewhat generic back to the viewer pose, this one really works for for me.  Honestly, it is the combination of the title with the cover that breathes life into it.   Unremembered?  What did he do?  Obviously something worthy of remembering.  There is tragedy here, there is a story inside this cover I must know, until I read the burb on the inside cover.


  9. Pegasus for me.

    And could we possibly have at least one link in there somewhere to the Amazon page for each of the books so that we can learn more about it if we like? 🙂

  10. That’s a lot of Fantasy, isn’t it?

  11. Calamity Jane // October 1, 2010 at 3:55 am //

    Between Pegasus and The Unremembered it’s a close call. However I tend to like The Unremembered a tiny bit more just because the plot behind the cover of Pegasus sounds kind of creepy, with the whole Girl meets Flying Horse.

    Also, the artist from Unremembered did the artwork for Guild Wars so instant win. And I have a thing for Rangers/Hunters.

  12. @Linger – Don’t worry, I’ve got a Science Fiction-themed BCS in the queue!

  13. Pegasus. It breathes more “otherworldly” cred than the other two. Not that you can’t believe in sea serpents, but the ability of the cover art that’s realistic enough to pass for 90% earth-real and 10% fantasy-suggestion makes for a pretty good subtle cover.

    Unremembered isn’t bad either, but images of a person’s back doesn’t register much emotion for me.


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