Friday, September 24, 2010

Cover Critique: Honeymoon of the Dead

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.

If you haven't immediately noticed the oddity in this cover, check out our bride's left arm. Sweet baby Jesus. It's as though she took a growth hormone and it only affected this one particular appendage. The right arm seems to be of an ordinary length, so what is happening with her Gumby-inspired, freakishly-long left arm? And does she have an elbow in there, or is that arm boneless, free to flail about wherever it pleases? It could be dangerous to just let it flop about with no rhyme or reason. She could trip over it and knock and elderly person down the stairs. She could take someone's eye out if she's not careful where she aims. There's a plethora of potential disasters just waiting to happen here.

Imagine you're the groom at this wedding. The doors to the church open and there she is. Your bride. There's her lovely lace wedding gown. Her perfect rose bouquet. Her 5-foot long arm, knuckles dragging on the ground beside her like some sort of mutant primate-human hybrid. Brings a tear to the eye just picturing it doesn't it? Oh, and then once she reaches you, you can take her disproportionally tiny hands in yours and pledge your undying devotion. She's a vision. Statuesque, if you will.

I know the frilly bits around her wrists are supposed to be feathers, or some other plush fabric, but they look a little like firecrackers to me. Which, when you think about it, could be helpful in this situation. After all, if she were to lose a hand, that monstrosity of an appendage would be reduced to a shorter, more manageable length. Just saying. And then there's the suspicious bulge down by her legs. I'm going to assume this is her knee, but that is the pointiest knee I've ever seen. Heaven help her groom should she ever get extremely angry at him and decide to bring that weapon up and get him in the groin. He'll need surgery to find his parts again if they don't wind up impaled on her sharpened knee bone first.

Let's take a moment and peruse the space she's standing in shall we? Weirdness is happening in this room. First, we have the champagne glasses which seem to be contemplating jumping ship and hoisting themselves over the side of the table as they lean precariously left when the chair legs and window frame seem to be quite vertical. Then, our bride seems to be caught in some sort of crosswind. Her gauzy nightgown is blowing right, but the flames on the candles of the chandelier are blowing definitively left. What a fascinating conundrum this room is! Absolutely marvelous.

Poor, poor misshapen bride-to-be in her fun-house room. At least she has her cat. And perhaps a spider, as it looks like one has taken up residence in the wonky space created by the u-shape of her inexplicable left arm. I'm sure it's threads of some sort and not a web, but why are there so many strands running amuck in just that area? So many questions to which I have no plausible answers other than this cover is beyond awesome.

What do you guys think?

A big thanks to Zita for sending this cover to me, I appreciate you thinking of me when you see cover absurdities!


  1. Hey, at least she has a kittie, right? :)

  2. I've read a few of Tate Hallaway's books (yay for MN authors!!) and they are fantastic. This cover is a bit unfortunate.

    Check out her Garnet Lacey series - fab.

  3. My first thought was "Barbie Dream House!", my second was "Ew, what happened to her arm?".

  4. Her arm bloody well gives me the heebie jeebies haha I do like the colours of the cover, at least though! :)

  5. Ash - There is that:)

    Jenna - I've read her Garnet Lacey series and enjoyed them, and the first 4 covers in the series are beautiful with really fun illustrations, it just makes this one all the more absurd.

    Jennifer - I share your second thought:)

    Melissa - The colors are nice, I just can't get past the length of her arm! How did no one think to themselves "Hm. That arm is twice the length of her other arm. We should fix it," during the creative process?

  6. I absolutely love these posts. You make me laugh so hard I'm crying and my side hurts. Thank you for sharing.

  7. I love these posts! They are so funny. Like you, I can't believe the length of her arm. Even going for exaggeration, that beast is supa long!

  8. You totally crack me up! I love how everything in the room looks real, except her and the view out the window. Wonky to be sure. And you're right, that left arm is a knuckle dragger. :)
    Lisa ~ YA Literature Lover

  9. Danielle - Thank you, I enjoy writing them:)

    anjohnston - Thanks:) Super long indeed, but why just that one arm? Why not exaggerate her whole body? That would at least make sense:)

    Midnyte - I had to take a few moments before I could think coherently as well:)

    Lisa - I know! The room looks nice, the colors are nice, and then WHAM! Crazy freak-of-nature arm. Brilliant:)

  10. This author, Tate Hallaway is my author of the month. I have a contest for her new book and just posted an interview with the author. Come check it out at

  11. Another brilliant analysis, Jenny. I will stay on the lookout for more snarkable covers (although how we will ever top that one, I just don't know).

  12. Hilarious! What a bizarre cover. I love this feature of yours because I love looking at/comparing book covers.

  13. LOL! This was one of the worst covers I've ever seen...don't know how you can top this one. :)

  14. Note to self: Must not drink any liquids when reading Jenny's cover critique posts. *snorts with laughter*

    Man, that arm just creeps me out. In the worst kind of way possible.

  15. Booksnob - thanks for letting us know about the contest!

    Zita - Thank you, couldn't have done it without you!

    Cathy - I try;)

    Jen - Isn't it? When I first saw it all I could do was stare in disbelief that it was real.

    Kelli - It will be difficult, but I have no doubt something equally ridiculous is out there just waiting for me to find it.

    Tammy - This cover is definitely spit-out-your-drink absurd. And because of that, I love it to pieces:)

  16. Too funny! Have to admit that I couldn't get past the arm, so didn't even notice the other oddities until you pointed them out. Poor Tate! *L*

  17. LOLOLOLOLOL!!!!! I didn't notice that arm! (wasn't paying attention) WHO DREW/DESIGNED THAT D: It reminds me of a drawing I had to draw for school exam, the arm I drew was quite long too, but not as long as this LOL