Cover Alert! Endgame by Ann Aguirre (Be still my HEART!)

The cover to final book in the Sirantha Jax series by Ann Aguirre has been released! My opinion? FABULOUS. Seriously, the covers of this series are some of my all-time favourites… and Endgame is no exception. Like the books that came before it, it shows Jax (with her latest hair-do) looking kick-ass in a location that is actually related to the book. See, publishers? It is possible to have a cover that relates back to the book and is aesthetically pleasing!

Anyhow, take a look!Endgame by Ann Aguirre

Endgame (Sirantha Jax #6) by Ann Aguirre 

Sirantha Jax has the J-gene, which permits her to “jump” faster-than-light ships through grimspace. She loves nothing more than that rush, but the star roads have to wait…

Her final mission takes her to La’heng, a planet subjugated during first contact. Since then, the La’hengrin homeworld has been occupied by foreign conquerors.

All that’s about to change.

Now, as part of a grass-roots resistance, Jax means to liberate the La’hengrin. Political intrigue and guerrilla warfare are new to her; this will be the most dangerous game she’s ever played—spies and conspiracies, a war of weapons and hearts, and everyone might not make it out alive…

Cover Alert! The Calling (UK) by Kelley Armstrong

Eep! I always get excited when a new cover comes out for Kelley Armstrong’s books – but this one is especially exciting. Everyone, take a look at the UK cover of The Calling!

The Calling by Kelley ArmstrongThe Calling by Kelley ArmstrongGoodreads

Maya Delaney’s paw-print birthmark is the sign of what she truly is – a skin-walker. She can run faster, climb higher, and see better than nearly anyone else. Experiencing intense connections with the animals that roam the woods outside her home, Maya knows it’s only a matter of time before she’s able to Shift and become one of them. And she believes there may be others in her small town with surprising talents including local bad boy Rafe, with whom she shares a dangerous, powerful secret. Now, Maya and her friends have been forced to flee from their homes during a forest fire they suspect was deliberately set. After a terrifying helicopter crash, they find themselves stranded in the Vancouver Island wilderness with nothing but their extraordinary abilities to help them get back home. But can Maya really trust her friends? And can she learn how to control the frightening new gift she has discovered before it controls her?

I adore the UK covers of the Darkness Rising series: I love how fierce the girls on the cover are; I love how the cover artists don’t shy away from using a full face; I love the inclusion of the woods and wildlife. Love love love. My only issue with this cover is with the girl… she just looks a bit too Anglo. Which is odd considering how very non-Anglo the cover model of The Gathering was. Perhaps this is supposed to be a different character? Or perhaps they still plan on changing the model? This is clearly a preliminary cover (those editing lines can still be seen) so they may still make adjustments…  but besides the model, I really do adore this cover!

Read my OMG-this-book-is-amazing review of The Gathering here!

Covers, Deals and UK events

Book Notes - Featuring News and Gossip at DeadBookDarling
Book Notes is a regular feature at Dead Book Darling highlighting bookish news, curiosities and gossip spotted across the blogosphere. May the drama be with you…

New Book Deals

  • Little, Brown Books for Young Readers has acquired two books (Arcanum and an untitled novel) by Ransom Riggs, the New York Times bestselling author of Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children. Arcanum, a new young adult novel, begins in the attic of an old, forgotten rural museum, where secret objects from the distant past lie in dust and in wait. When a group of teens discover this cache of sinister curiosities, they unsuspectingly unleash hell in their sleepy town. Magic, mystery, and evil intertwine in this dark, creepy, and frightening story, which is set for a spring 2014 publication. I haven’t had the chance to read Ransom’s first book yet, but it is on my TBR pile!
  • Vicki Pettersson, Sign of the Zodiac series author and one-time showgirl, sold a new series to Harper Voyager/Morrow. The three book deal begins with The Taken, and is scheduled as a paperback original for June 2012.
  • Rachel Caine has sold a stand-alone novel to NAL built around the character of Benvolio, from Romeo and Juliet. She’s also sold 3 new books in her YA Morganville Vampires series to NAL. I’m starting to wonder when these books will ever end.
  • Bloomsbury/Walker Books for Young Readers bought a new trilogy by recent Columbia-grad  Yelena Black; book one is called Diabolical. The book is a tale of a 15-year-old who starts witnessing spooky goings-on at her prestigious ballet school. When she becomes suspicious of the controlling choreographer at her academy, she stumbles upon the fact that he is staging a performance in which the school’s dancers become pawns in a world of demons. The first book in the series will be published internationally in English—in the U.S., U.K., and Australia—in winter 2013.

UK signings and events

  • Jeffrey Eugenides. Jeffrey – bloodyEugenides. Be still my heart. In case you’ve been hiding under a rock, Jeffrey is the world-renowned, Pulitzer Prize winning author of Middlesex (which is one of my favourite novels). He is going to be at Waterstone’s Picadilly, London, on Friday, 4 November 2011, 7:00PM. This is a proper meet-and-greet event, so you do have to buy tickets. They are £5 (or £3 for Waterstones card holders). You can buy them online here.

New Book Covers

  • Blue-Blooded Vamp by Jaye Wells –  This is the final book in the fantastic Sabina Kane series. In case you somehow missed it, I am a BIG Jaye Wells fan. She epitomises everything that is brilliant about the Urban Fantasy genre and, in short, rocks.
  • Bitterblue by Kristin Cashore – There is a reason bloggers everywhere dedicated posts to the release of this book. Because OMGSDFSHKFHS BITTERBLUE!
  • Darkness Falls by Cate Tiernan – This is the gorgeous US cover to the next book in Cate’s Immortal Beloved series. I liked the first book but I LOVE this cover!
  • Partials by Dan Wells – I had heard nothing about this book until the cover came out… and what a cover! Now it’s way up on my 2012 wishlist!
  • Revived by Cat Patrick – Cat’s novel, Forgotten, has gotten nothing but brilliant reviews. Although I haven’t read her work yet, this cover is making me want to run out and buy her work. I just adore the cover of Revived – it’s actually pretty damn original!
  • Hemlock by Kathleen Peacock – I found this book on goodreads way back when, and was very excited when it finally got a cover (even one I’m not too keen on!).

See your art on a book cover!

Faber and Faber and The Guardian are hosting a fantastic initiative for artists aged 13 to 16… putting their cover art on seminal novel The Lord of the Flies by William Golding. It’s a terrifying novel, and I can’t wait to see what scary images contestants come up with. Here’s some more detail about the competition (and info about how to enter!):

Faber and Faber and Guardian News & Media are calling on young artists to create a brand new look for one of the world’s most famous books: Lord of the Flies by William Golding. One talented artist will be selected by a team of expert judges and will have the chance to watch as their work is transformed by the Faber design team into a cover for the new educational edition of Lord of the Flies.

The winning illustration will be unveiled at a special exhibition showcasing the best of the entries. The winner and other featured entrants will be invited to the opening of the exhibition at the Guardian’s offices in London in February 2012.

The competition is open to young artists aged 13 to 16, and submissions are welcome in any medium. The closing date for entries is 20 January 2012. The competition is hosted on its own site, which also features exciting additional content for aspiring illustrators. Please visit:

Shelf Analysis: ARCs vs Final Covers – Round 2

If you’re new to Dead Book Darling then… Hi. I’m Kay. I love books and hold serious grudges. I don’t forgive and I don’t forget. And just because I love books, that doesn’t mean they are automatically spared my ire.

Often times a gorgeous cover will come out – a cover that says all the right things, makes you swoon and has you running to the chapel. Then, that cover you loved? It changes into a cover you wouldn’t want to be seen in public with. And when that happens, I don’t tend to keep calm and carry on. I hold a grudge.

I’ve addressed this subject before (don’t get me started again on the covers of the Strange Angels series), but a few books that I’m kinda in love with have had their covers changed this year. And while most of these new covers aren’t terrible, someone has to pay homage to their gorgeous but recently-deceased ARC covers…

ARC // Final Cover
Enclave by Ann Aguirre
Talk about radically different covers! When I first saw the change my thoughts on the new cover were simple: “meh”. It is a really boring, give-nothing-away cover. It’s nice, but there is no detail. Razorland, on the other hand, was detail mad. It features absolutely gorgeous artwork that fits in well with Ann Aguirre’s other illustrated covers. It also really has the post-apocalyptic, do-or-die feel to it that the book has.
But Enclave is a great non-gender specific YA read. And which cover do I think a teenage boy is more likely to pick up? Er, the Enclave cover of course! So while I am glad that I have the ARC of this book and get to have the “best of both worlds”, I am (reluctantly) glad that they changed the cover. Reluctantly
US ARC // US Final Cover
I saw the ARC cover to this book ages ago… and went “ick” and promptly forgot about it. Then, months later, I got the UK ARC in the mail and realised that Laini Taylor was also the author of Lips Touch: Three Times (a book I have heard sooooo many great things about). After I finished the book – and loved it – I did a bit of research and found the US ARC cover that I had seen so many months ago.
And now? Now I really really like it!
OK, I so I can admit that it is not the most… coherent of images. It’s a bird, no it’s a girl, no is a turquoise girl – red girl mashup. What on earth is that about?? But trust me when I say that it works for this novel. Out of all the 3 released covers I’ve seen for this novel, the US ARC is the most representative of the content.
But if you haven’t read it… well, then my original “ick” response applies. So, yay! for feathered masks.
UK ARC // Final Cover
Bloodlines by Richelle Mead

Oh, dear lord. I loathe the US Bloodlines face covers. This one and the already released cover of The Golden Lily. I had always thought the Vampire Academy face covers were alright: not worthy of loathing or loving. But these? These are dreadful. The font is cheesy, the models look annoyingly stuck-up, and there isn’t even a proper background to them. Just… dreadful.

So when the UK publishers released their cover to book, I was rather excited. I hadn’t liked how they had re-issued the Vampire Academy series to give them simple, face-free covers… but they hadn’t done too bad a job with Bloodlines.

Then, shortly after releasing the ARC cover to the blogosphere, they changed their mind. They’ll be using the US face covers to give a more “global” feel to the series.

Nooooo! Why ditch the perfectly nice cover you’ve already designed? The cover that would sit nicely next to the non-face covers you had given to the Vampire Academy series! Why?? And if you honestly wanted a “global” feel, then why on EARTH did you choose the face cover from HELL to spread across the globe. Why??

So while I will, of course, be buying Richelle’s new series… am I a happy bunny? No, I am not.

Shelf Analysis: Pandemonium or…

So, I’ve just gotten a look at the cover for the next Lauren Oliver novel, Pandemonium, the sequel to her dystopian YA novel, Delirium.  The cover is pretty different to the original Delirium cover, so I think the publishers may be going for a bit of a re-branding.  It matches the “special edition” version of Delirium is supposed to be coming out with this new cover sometime in the fall – which will include a Q&A with Lauren Oliver and an excerpt from Pandemonium.  Anyhow, take a look:

Pandemonium by Lauren Oliver

OK, so the new cover style is very different to the original (which I loved, by the way), but I like it.  It’s fierce and a little bit scary, and the fall colours make it look somewhat apocalyptic…  In fact, I’d say it’s more like the long lost cover The Hunger Games.

No, seriously.

Is anyone else looking at these covers and seeing Katniss Katniss Katniss?  I can just picture Katniss looking just like that, peering at me from behind a bush before killing me.  And to prove that I am not the only one who has thought of this, I present the following evidence: the cover to the German edition of The Hunger Games (aka Die Tribute von Panem – Tödliche Spiele)


See what I mean?

I am pretty sure this is just me, but it irks me none the less.  Delirium was a fantastic book and, yes, it’s a dystopian YA novel.  But is it anything like The Hunger Games?  No it is not.  And unless the protagonist, Lena, has a dramatic character-modification in the next book, I am not picturing her as the next Katniss.