The Cover Wars


When the ruthless pirate king learns of a legendary treasure map hidden on an enemy ship, his daughter, Alosa, knows there’s only one pirate for the job—herself. Leaving behind her beloved ship and crew, Alosa deliberately facilitates her own kidnapping to ensure her passage on the ship, confident in her ability to overcome any obstacle. After all, who’s going to suspect a seventeen-year-old girl locked in a cell? Then she meets the (surprisingly perceptive and unfairly attractive) first mate, Riden, who is charged with finding out all her secrets. Now it’s down to a battle of wits and will … Can Alosa find the map and escape before Riden figures out her plan? — [X]

Yash: Eh, the cover doesn’t really excite or interest me. If Alosa is a pirate king’s daughter, why can’t the title just reference the fact that she is some kind of pirate princess? Why does she have to be defined by her father’s identity? I suppose the book will delve into that some, but titles like this one get under my skin. Also, was the combination of red curls and blue outfit a deliberate reference to Merida? Anyway, I’m not very interested.

Jane: This sounds like it could be a fun yarn, with its race against time to solve the mystery and find the buried treasure, especially if it doesn’t take itself too seriously. I’ve always been partial to a good swashbuckler. My first thought when I saw the cover was, “oh, hi Merida!”, though I’m always happy to see more gingers getting the star treatment. ;)


Penny Nelson grew up listening to her older sister and brother recount their adventures in Tamarind, a magical island not found on any map, but she sometimes she can’t tell which of her memories are hers and which are theirs.

After drifting out to sea, Penny once again finds herself on the shores of Tamarind. But things are wrong on the island: portals lead to treacherous places, a strange creature is wreaking havoc, and a Great Wave is coming to bring the Bloom, magic that can stabilize the island. Whoever completes three challenges gets to catch the Bloom—and keep some of that life-changing magic for their own use.

To save Tamarind and collect the magic, Penny has to brave dark ocean depths, survive the perils of the jungle, and outwit a cunning creature bent on bringing chaos. — [X]

Yash: The cover is quite pretty–I love the blues and greens. I am mildly worried about that bird–will the wave just crash on him?? The girl can swim, I assume? Anyway, I’m not super into oceanic stories, and I assume this week’s theme is to make Yash unhappy, so … um, no? Not for me, I think. (Also, I legit thought of a wave of tamarind flavour in some food, when I read the title. Yum. Tamarind rice. Not so yum: strange creature from the waters.)

Jane: So, did they name the island after the fruit or something? Or is that just a delicious coincidence? Pretty cover, plucky female protagonist who has to survive on her own in a mysterious land and save the island from a terrible evil. Could definitely be appealing to young readers.


Be transported into dystopian cities and other-worldly societies. Be amazed and beguiled by a nursery story with a reverse twist, a futuristic take on TV cooking shows, a playscript with tentacles – and more, much more. Plunge in and enjoy!

A collection of sci-fi and fantasy writing, including six graphic stories, showcasing twenty stellar writers and artists from India and Australia: Isobelle Carmody, Penni Russon, Justine Larbalestier, Margo Lanagan, Lily Mae Martin, Kuzhali Manickavel, Prabha Mallya, Annie Zaidi, Kate Constable, Vandana Singh, Mandy Ord, Priya Kuriyan, Manjula Padmanabhan, Samhita Arni, Alyssa Brugman, Nicki Greenberg and Amruta Patil. — [X]

Yash: There’s something about the way the title is positioned that makes me think of my school projects and how I had to squeeze title words in because I planned it all so badly? There’s an alternative cover that is quite beautiful, though. But ignoring the covers, damn, look at these writers! Indian and Australian writers! And some very awesome ones too! I want! Gimme!

Jane: Sci fi and fantasy, yes please!


Yash: Couldn’t find a summary for this one Goodreads. All I can think about is, “that’s not a title”. And that’s it. That’s the one thought I have about this cover. Sorry.

Jane: Wow, that’s quite a cover! I know nothing about this book or who it’s aimed at, but if this is a MG novel it could definitely get kids’ attention –  a pirate ship, a sea monster, and a knight in shining armour swooping in on a griffin? Yup, kids will likely be wanting to pick this one up!


Lolly Salt has three beautiful sisters. When they’re not in school or running their small town’s diner, they’re secretly luring ships to their doom from the cliffs of Starbridge Cove, Maine. With alluring voices that twelve-year-old Lolly has yet to grow into (not that she wants to anyway) the Salt sisters do the work mandated by the Sea Witch, a glamorously frightening figure determined to keep the girls under her control. With their mother dead after a terrible car crash, and their father drowning in his grief, the sisters carry on with their lives and duties…until a local sea captain gets suspicious about the shipwrecks.

On the day before her birthday, Lolly watches in helpless horror as her sisters are lured themselves by curse-reversing fishermen—and suddenly it’s up to her and her best friend Jason to rescue the sirens of Starbridge Cove. — [X]

Yash: Meh. The cover has too few colours, it might as well all be green, and that green (in combination with all the water) makes me feel a little nauseous. The synopsis had my vague interest until best friend Jason showed up. I don’t want to take my chances and see how that turns out, sorry. The title, though, is quite nice. The alliteration and the fact that it features sisters who are magic, does grab my interest. It’s just that the rest of it doesn’t work for me.

Jane: Wow, what a disappointing cover. Dark, dull and dreary. The plot sounds interesting, with a sea witch who sounds like a more glamorous version of Ursula from the Little Mermaid. Still, I can’t imagine many tweens at my library being drawn in by this queasy-looking cover.


Eleven-year-old Reuben spends his days exploring, hiding, and practicing parkour among the abandoned buildings of the Lower Downs as a way to escape the rough times that have befallen him and his mom–but his discovery of an extraordinary antique pocket watch changes everything. When Reuben finds that the watch has the power to turn him invisible, he’s propelled on the adventure of a lifetime.
Now Reuben is being pursued by a group of dangerous men called the Directions, and someone–or something–ominously called The Smoke. They all want the watch, and with the help of new friends, it’s up to Reuben to unravel the mysteries surrounding it and protect the city from evil. — [X]

Yash: Something about this cover sort of reminds me of Selznick’s The Marvels? Even though, as far as I remember, the only connection they have is water? It’s an interesting style, but I feel–and yeah, this is the strangest comment I may have ever had for a cover–is that there are too … many … lines … ??? Maybe there’s just too much going on and I just don’t know where to focus my gaze? I dunno. Anyway, the cover is pretty at first and then a little confusing. And yeah, no, the synopsis says it isn’t for me. Pass again, I’m afraid.

Jane: I can see this being pretty popular – mystery, action, adventure, a group of friends having wild adventures without adult supervision, and a magic antique pocket watch sounds pretty promising. The cover is very reminiscent of The Mysterious Benedict Society. Can’t say it’s necessarily up my alley, but The Mysterious Benedict Society is pretty popular, so I can see this having potential with young readers.

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