Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Cover Judging - On the Edge

There seems to be a correlation between the ridiculous and sci-fi romance novels - three of the five novels featured here have come from the marriage of these genres. My pile of Post-Its containing future features are over half sci-fi-mance. Many of the titles are vampire-related, a few are werewolf. I have a couple that are general magic - wizards and such.

But this one seems pretty special. I've saved it for Halloween week:First Glance: Very, very special: pretty girl in denim, leaning against an old pickup, holding a magic shotgun; disembodied floating strong-jawed head, complete with what I'm guessing are "piercing" blue eyes; sunset-y background, giving everything a nice reddish glow. Excellent, excellent work there. And the featured quote in the middle of the cover is a nice touch, too. Score: 4.5 out of 5

Title:
On the Edge - I'll go with it. It could refer to a magical world whose precipice stands on the Edge; it could refer to a clandestine romance; it could refer to our heroine's emotional state. I like when I have options. Score: 3.5 out of 5

Tagline:
What? No tagline! Sad day.

Back-of-the Book:
Fortunately, it seems they've saved their creativity for the back of the book:
"The Broken is a place where people shop at Wal-Mart and magic is nothing more than a fairy tale."
Oooooooh, nice Wal-Mart reference. This book is clearly appealing to those of us in middle America - you know, because we all drive old pickups, own guns, and shop at the Wal-Mart. On the Edge was just published a few months ago, so TOPICAL! Points for being recession-friendly! Anyway, there's more:
"The Weird is a realm where blueblood aristocrats rule and the strength of your magic can change your destiny. "
All right. Obviously we don't like any bluebloods, and maybe in this case, "magic" is a stand-in for money or influence. OR BOTH. It's like a fable for our times or something. And here's our heroine:
" Rose Drayton lives on the Edge, the place between both worlds."
Ah, Rose. Another Rose. A delicate flower, but a flower with a built-in defense system: thorns. Never forget what Poison taught us: every Rose has its thorn. Our Rose, it seems, lives in rather dangerous circumstances:
"A perilous existence indeed, made even more so by a flood of magic-hungry creatures bent on absolute destruction."
Let's focus on this "flood of magic-hungry creatures bent on absolute destruction" as part of our economic fable. Could they be those unfortunate people who bought into the sub-prime mortgage market? Or is it another level up - are they the lenders who offered these mortgages? Or are they the ultimate evil - investment bankers? And how will our Rose defeat them? What magic will she use? Does she hold the key to bailing out the unsuspecting citizens who live in The Broken? Man, this book is taking me places I never expected. Score: 5 out of 5

Final Score: 13 out of 15 - On the Edge qualifies for the Silver Deveraux, but it was very close to the Gold. The disembodied head gets a major thumbs-up from me, as well as the apparent economic fable Ilona Andrews has crafted.

4 comments:

Lord Admiral said...

I'm glad to see that you're putting your English Major background to good use. These are hilarious!

amy b. said...

I like the Poison reference. Score: 9...blog points?

Ilona said...

The book is not an economic fable. (UF/PRN crossover btw, not SF) It's just a sweet romantic story, a play on Cinderella, with some horror thrown in. Bluebloods are not a metaphor for anything. They are simply people with magic.

I would've liked to think that the book was topical, but no. It's just a flashback to about a decade ago, to being a young mother with two kids, husband in the army, and having to budget to a dollar to make the ends meet on enlisted pay.

The heroine knows to a cent how much money she has when she steps into check out line and she stands there trying to calculate the tax and wondering what she will put back. That's pretty much the background for the story. So, if you've been poor, especially in the South, this book won't take you to any unexpected places. You're quite safe.

As far as covers, we have no control over them as writers. We take what the art department gives us, because reworking the cover means adding to the overall cost of the book and you really don't want to do anything to piss of your publisher. So we smile and sit back as our Google alerts brings us witty ramblings of people who make fun of them.

Maren said...

Wowsers, best thing ever. I can't believe the actual author saw what I wrote!

I'm glad you didn't take it too personally - this feature, as evidenced by its title, is all about judging a book by its cover. I work at the city library and one of our favorite diversions is finding a fun cover and guessing what the story will be about.

I hope I haven't stepped on your work in too personal a way. If it's any consolation, our hold list for your book is pretty long! :)

-M