In two days, we will know which books won the Cybils Awards. I have a tender interest in this announcement, as I was panelist for science fiction/fantasy. I thought that it would be fun to go back and take a look at the books nominated, and to judge them by their covers.
Here are my three favorites:
I think this is a beautiful cover. I just had to buy the book the moment I saw it. I like that Charlotte looks like an ordinary person, and I love the gold thread binding her hands...
I find the swirling action and fine detail very appealing here. I think it adds to the appeal that (I guess) Balsa is depicted in a very gender neutral way--boys won't be put off.
A cover that inspires daydreaming. Lovely.
And now, two covers that I so so so did not like. That I, in fact, hated.
Can you tell that this book is a fast-paced adventure focusing primarily on the exciting story of a gypsy boy with magical powers who must get an imprisoned girl out of France during the Terror? Can you tell that it is one boys might really really like? No? Neither can I. This is such an unfair cover to stick on a really great book. Grrr.
I loved this book. I loved the main character, the titular Stranger to Command. But what is up with the guy on the cover? He looks seriously wet. His long hair does not work for me. His posture has no zest in it. I can't imagine this guy being an effective leader even after he has gotten to know command a bit better. And why do we have to see him twice? It doesn't add to his appeal. I hate that he got shoved into my head as a mental image of the main character, and I still haven't quite gotten over it.
On a happier note, here's my choice for most beautiful cover girl. Isn't she lovely?
Edited to add:
My esteemed co-panelist Laini suggests that The Unnameables, by Ellen Booraem, could be included in the unfortunate covers category. I am not sure I agree. Sure, it gives absolutly no idea of what the book is about, but yet, having read the book, to me it convayes some of the wild magic of the Goatman, the catalyst for change on the island where the book is set, and the metaphoric embodiement of creativity. Or whatever.