Monday, July 12, 2010
Cover Critique: Eternal Kiss of Darkness
Let me preface this post by saying that my design critiques of these covers are in no way, shape or form a reflection on the author, the content or the publisher. I know the authors have very little, if any, control over the design. These are strictly my thoughts stemming from my design experience.
I love Jeaniene Frost. Love her. Love Bones and Cat. Thinking I'm going to seriously love Mencheres in just a few weeks. However, I do not love this cover. My first issue isn't as much a design issue as a casting one. Mencheres is the oldest and most powerful of Ms. Frost's vampires, and as such, he positively exudes raw energy and sex appeal. He can literally send waves of his power through the air and caress another body (for a complete and utter tease, see Jeaniene's chat forum where this particular power is demonstrated via snippet).
No offense to the cover model, but for me, that sexual bravado I expect from Mencheres doesn't quite emanate from him. Instead, he's hidden behind the female model and seems almost short in stature as opposed to looming over her in an alpha male/master vampire "you're mine to claim" type of way. Any fan of Jeaniene's knows that if she had her way, we'd have a shirtless Oded Fehr on the cover. Win. Might I also suggest Joe Manganiello?
Either Mr. Fehr or Mr. Manganiello (better known as Alcide on True Blood) would be a suitable cover model for Mencheres. Not only do they fit the character description, but they have a rougher look about them that makes me believe that should my life be in mortal peril, they'll be able to step in and do something about it. The current model looks as though he would be content to stand behind me and let me take the hit. Not the most romantic of gestures really.
My second issue with this particular cover is the use of color. The image is too monochromatic, the blue tones dulling the image down so it seems to fade into the background. And the background is most certainly not where Ms. Frost's books should be. They should be front and center of any paranormal romance fan's bookshelf. I enjoy the cover for First Drop of Crimson, I think the colors pop well, and the switch from a single woman on the cover, as with her Night Huntress novels, to a couple suits the more romantic feel of this spinoff series.
This cover just lacks that extra spark to separate it from the other books. The colors are lifeless (ha! I made a pun), though her name and the title are nice and readable, and the layout and positioning of the characters on the cover isn't as visually interesting as I would like.
Cover critique aside, I'm counting down these last few days until this book comes out. I need something to tide me over until we get a full Cat and Bones book in February!
What do you think? Oded, Joe, or current cover model?