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?


  1. i agree i agree its so true i did expect someone more

    The Blog

  2. AGREE on the Joe suggestion! I heart him.

    Im right there with you hun waiting for ANY fix of Cat and Bones i can get. Seriously February is TOO far away. Im actually more excited for Mencheres story than i was for Spades (i heart him too though)

  3. If Joe/Alcide gets all the jobs we would like him to, he would be very busy. I would like him to be Joe Morelli in the Janet Evanovich movie (STphanie Plum One for the Money).
    Fangs, Wands and Fairy Dust

  4. I agree. The cover on this one just didn't do it for me.

  5. You've made some great points!! He doesn't exude the raw power that you know damn well Mencheres has. That said, at least this guy is cute, Spade's cover, blah, while sexy, he was not good looking. I was never a big Mencheres fan, but those snippets that I read a few weeks ago has me chompin at the bit. I think this one might be better than Spade's.

    I'm going to host a discussion at my blog for this baby in August if you're interested :) Was thinking about this last night since I can't wait for it to come out, and now you're the 1st to know!

    Tomes Devotee

  6. Totally agree on the casting. The cover model needs to be a little older and can I say remotely middle-eastern at least?

    Second, I just got back from Romcon where I was one of the lucky recipients of EKOD. The cover is much better in person. It looks like they printed with a metallic ink and the luster is beautiful. I really like the effect of the printed piece.

  7. I don't hate this cover but it's not my favorite either. I do think it is better than Spade's cover though. That guy had a weird look to him. I actually just post up a giveaway for this book too. Cover doesn't bug me enough now to want to buy it that is for sure :-)

    Stephanie G
    Paranormal Haven

  8. Not loving this cover either. It’s even worse than their choice for Spade. Joe would be a wonderful choice.

  9. ohhh i agree the cover model doesn't seem very manly like your alternatives very hmmm :D

  10. Oh Joe Manganiello any day, lol.

    Gotta agree, that cover is seriously lacking some luster, it was same with the last one :( Though it's not stopping me from waiting very impatiently for it to be released lol

  11. I don't like the cover, either. It looks like a poster for a really bad silent movie.

  12. I liked this cover better than Spade's cover but I see what you mean. I honestly could never picture Mencheres....I always thought of him as old and not sure why because obviously he wouldn't be. Either way I'm looking forward to reading the book.

  13. Mr. Manganiello!! Oh my. I'm in love...

  14. So. I know that JF envisioned Oded as her Mencheres but I am in the minority when I say that Oded does nothing for me. In addition, Mencheres is supposed to be in his 20s so it's hard for me to picture who he's supposed to look like, but I know for a FACT it's not the Anglo lookin dude on the cover LMAO. I'll just go with Joe now (he's my secret lover in my dreams) and see who comes to mind as I'm reading!