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Book Cover Smackdown! ‘With Fate Conspire’ vs. ‘The Power of Six’ vs. ‘Regicide’

Greetings, armchair art critics! It’s time once more for another Book Cover Smackdown!

Here are today’s contenders…

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

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.

12 Comments on Book Cover Smackdown! ‘With Fate Conspire’ vs. ‘The Power of Six’ vs. ‘Regicide’

  1. Well, for the first time, I actually like all three and am hard-pressed to pick a favorite. My eye keeps going back to The Power of Six, but that’s because I have a thing for blue. Forced to pick one I’ll choose Regicide. It’s the one that makes me most curious about what’s inside. But all three are nice covers.



  2. I think Regicide is the best cover of this smackdown. Very compelling illustration.

    With Fate Conspire also has a wonderful illustration and nice colors too, but a weak composition.

    The Power of Six is the weakest. Boring illustration, awful composition and bad typography choice.

  3. I really like the third book cover. The death-mask image is especially haunting with the exposed brain that seems very much alive and spewing data. I also think the font is original and appropriate.


  4. I prefer the cover art of “With Fate Conspire”. The “Power Of Six” art is unremarkable, and “Regicide” calls to my mind blood, gore, & brain spatter from a gaping head wound, which I find kind of gross. 

  5. “Power of Six” has a real cool fractal/crop circle design in it, which I like, but ultimately is kind of bland.

    “Regicide” is intiguing for sure.  The font is kind of cheesy to me though.  I thought this one was the best by gut reflex but the layout for “With Fate Conspire” really wins me over.  The green hue is attractive, not sure if that’s a valid reason.  The one on the left, I’d pick up first.

  6. Jeff VanderMeer // August 27, 2011 at 5:28 pm //

    Well, the second one is by Pitiless Bore, so that discounts it to begin with. But the Regicide cover is hands down the most interesting. Will be picking up the Brennan, though, as she’s a very interesting author. jeffv

  7. Just please tell me there isn’t a The Power of Six movie coming.


  8. Rich Gombert // August 29, 2011 at 11:45 am //

    First I’d like to mention that the fractal on the cover of The Power of Six is a steal from the fractal pattern used (heavily) in the TV series “Trheshold.”

    With that said here’s my order:

    1. With Fate Conspire by Marie Brennan (Tor Books)
    2. The Power of Six by Pittacus Lore (HarperCollins)
    3. Regicide by Nicholas Royle (Solaris)

    I’m thinking that With Fates Conspire is a Victorian Urban Steampunkish Fantasy. This is what the cover is telling me. I like the impressionist cover.

    I like the cover of The Power of Six, and I think this would’ve been my first pick if WFC wasn’t here.

    Regicide conveys to me an Inca/Mayan feel. Not a bad cover, but if you force me to sort them. There you go.

  9. My favorite is With Fate Conspire because of the image’s vertical symmetry: The train tracks on the bottom echo the street above. The ambiance is eerie and otherworldly. It’s a rare example of centered text actually working well. 

  10. Regicide.

    I think they should tone down the red a little, but it’s the most interesting.

    With Fate Conspire is good, but the design is so common it’s starting to feel generic, and hence boring.

  11. CBrachyrhynchos // August 31, 2011 at 9:54 am //

    I’m going to go with Regicide here.

    With Fate Conspire: Multiple things rub me the wrong way about this illustration. It looks like two different illustrations mashed together, and a lack of synnergy between the two. There’s some weird foreground/background weirdness with the top illustration. Steam locomotives strike me as a bit of an overdone motif.

    The Power of Six: Fractal illustration has a very clip-art feel to it. The choice of decorative font clashes with the underlying illustration, and I suspect there are better choices. It combines a cool/ordered background with hot/disordered foreground, and there’s not enough of a link between them to make the contrast work. No sense of flow with the text alignments. The alignment of the title doesn’t make sense to me, as it just seems to be arbitrarily titled with no relationship to either the illustration or the other text.

    Regicide: Not an outstanding design but a good one. Zig-zag lines draw attention to the exposed brain, and the figure has a foreboding appearance that arouses curiosity. Typographic treatment is carefully “distressed” to look compatible with the environment, and the title and author name are nicely bunched together. The contrast between geometric forms, a mangled human form, cloudlike shading, and typography adds a bit of tension to the composition.

  12. teleidoplex // August 31, 2011 at 4:10 pm //

    I’d vote for With Fate Conspire. This cover follows a theme within the series, both in terms of color and in terms of image juxtaposition: in the last book, the threat came from above to terrorize London below, and in this, we get a threat from below and London above. It seems like a lot more thought about the thematics of the story went into this cover, as opposed to the other two, which while nice, look more like stock images and tell me nothing about the story within.

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