The Cover Wars

All My Friends Are Dangerous

Louie has finished with her old life, and stepped into a world of sinners. For her, nothing is going to be the same again. This darkly funny, disturbing novel explores a lawless world where morality is a nuisance, everything can be bought, and the prices paid are high.


The forest is earth and leaves, sun and shade, feather and blood and bone. It is the old way, the true way, the wild way to live. But, for Kian, wilderness is not home.

Sleeping Dogs

When a stranger enters a family’s midst and insists on discovering all of their darkest secrets, the family begins a slow and painful descent into decay and madness.

Stripes of the Sidestep Wolf

Ever since Dad went off the deep end and decided he didn’t need to work anymore — insisting the Lord would provide — Satchel O’Rye has felt stuck for life in his dying country town. A high school dropout drifting from one small carpentry job to the next, Satchel can see nothing beyond his own dreary duty to help keep the family afloat. But things start to change when he spies a strange doglike animal at a nearby mountain — and mentions the fact to Chelsea Piper, an awkward young woman considered the local pariah. Could the animal he saw be a Tasmanian tiger, a marsupial thought to be extinct? And if they found it again, could it give them both a new chance at life?

Janet: The covers are striking and unusual. I don’t like the CGI style, but even so, the covers are a refreshing change. The back copies don’t say much. Based solely on the words, I would take a closer look only at Forest and at Stripes of the Sidestep Wolf. (All My Friends Are Dangerous is an excellent title, though.) Overall, I’m on the fence.

Yash: I peeked at the covers a while back with Janet by my side and I basically blurted out that it looked fan-made. And then, not knowing if Janet got me, I added that it’s a good thing. Fans seem to make better covers–funny, who people who are passionate about the book they are working on, make better content–and I am standing by that statement. (For Future Reference: Janet always gets me.) These covers are gorgeous. It looks like a mix of paper craft and something else? I love them. And the titles are wonderful and I’m pretty much inclined to read them, no matter what the summaries say …

Nafiza: Sonya Hartnett wrote The Ghost’s Child which was beautiful so I’m inclined to check out more of her novels. These ones would be a priority because just look at how much attention they demand simply by being. If they were on the shelves in a store, not even prominently displayed, I would gravitate toward them. The images seem to all but shout. I’d read them all.

bird and the sword

Swallow, Daughter, pull them in, those words that sit upon your lips. Lock them deep inside your soul, hide them ‘til they’ve time to grow. Close your mouth upon the power, curse not, cure not, ‘til the hour. You won’t speak and you won’t tell, you won’t call on heav’n or hell. You will learn and you will thrive. Silence, Daughter. Stay alive.

The day my mother was killed, she told my father I wouldn’t speak again, and she told him if I died, he would die too. Then she predicted the king would trade his soul and lose his son to the sky.

My father has a claim to the throne, and he is waiting in the shadows for all of my mother’s words to come to pass. He wants desperately to be king, and I just want to be free.

But freedom will require escape, and I’m a prisoner of my mother’s curse and my father’s greed. I can’t speak or make a sound, and I can’t wield a sword or beguile a king. In a land purged of enchantment, love might be the only magic left, and who could ever love . . . a bird?

Janet: A girl’s head, yes, but a three-dimensional head! And I do like that halo of magic or flames. What is most striking, though, is that back copy. I like that her wielding a sword is a viable (if denied) option. I like that although love is mentioned there is no obvious pairing. I like the politics and the perilous parent-child relationships. I like the way the story has an echoing fairy tale feel to it without being overtly bound to any particular story. I want to read this.

Yash: The cover doesn’t seem special and neither does the title. They’re just not striking enough. Which is a shame, because the synopsis makes the book look very interesting, right up my alley. I mean, curse work? Royal politics? Family drama? I am so in!

Nafiza: I love that the girl’s mouth is open despite the whole backcopy saying “Silence!” I love the lighting and the atmosphere of the cover as well. So I actually quite like the cover and then the synopsis is so flipping beautiful. Sign me up.

Every Hidden Thing

Somewhere in the Badlands, embedded deep in centuries-buried rock and sand, lies the skeleton of a massive dinosaur, larger than anything the late nineteenth-century world has ever seen. Some legends call it the Black Beauty, with its bones as black as ebony, but to seventeen-year-old Samuel Bolt, it’s the “rex,” the king dinosaur that could put him and his struggling, temperamental archaeologist father in the history books (and conveniently make his father forget he’s been kicked out of school), if they can just quarry it out.

But Samuel and his father aren’t the only ones after the rex. For Rachel Cartland this find could be her ticket to a different life, one where her loves of science and adventure aren’t just relegated to books and sitting rooms. And if she can’t prove herself on this expedition with her professor father, the only adventures she may have to look forward to are marriage or spinsterhood.

As their paths cross and the rivalry between their fathers becomes more intense, Samuel and Rachel are pushed closer together. Their flourishing romance is one that will never be allowed. And with both eyeing the same prize, it’s a romance that seems destined for failure. As their attraction deepens, danger looms on the other side of the hills, causing everyone’s secrets to come to light and forcing Samuel and Rachel to make a decision. Can they join forces to find their quarry, and with it a new life together, or will old enmities and prejudices keep them from both the rex and each other?

Janet: Love that cover, love that back copy (even if it is rather more obvious than is usual for this author’s books), love Ken Oppel’s writing. Please tell me that this will be released soon. *pining face*

Yash: Honestly, it’s a good thing that Kenneth Oppel’s name is right on top. When we do Cover Wars, we obviously experience the cover bit-by-bit. So every centimetre that we scroll down leaves an impression. Maybe it’s strange to say that the upper half of the cover did nothing for me, except to tell me that I writer I like is coming out with a new book? But that’s what it is. The bottom half though, with the guy and the skeleton? Changes everything. I still haven’t read Boundless, however, so I will wait for Janet’s review to see which book I should reach for first.

Nafiza: I think I will need to read his Frankenstein brothers books before I read this one but I do like the cover and I do like Oppel’s writing so yes, I will wait for Janet’s review as well.

5 responses to “The Cover Wars

  1. New Kenneth Oppel!!!!

    Those Sonya Hartnett covers are visually stunning – they do look like intricate paper sculptures. I have great respect for publishers who are willing to go outside the box when it comes to cover art – I’m so sick of just seeing photos of teenagers in various costumes on the covers of books – it’s refreshing to see something a little bit different on the shelves!

    • Totally agree. Though these may only be on Australian shelves so we probably won’t see them anyway. North American publishers are not so brave.

  2. OMG those Hartnett covers are gorgeous! I want them all!

    Also, yay Oppel! Nafiza, I would skip the Frankenstein rewrites and go straight to this which is way more Oppel comfort zone and speciality . . . this sounds fantastic! :)

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