Tuesday, March 23, 2010

CSFF Blog Tour: Faery Rebels Day Two

Today we're continuing our look at Faery Rebels: Spell Hunter by R. J. Anderson. While reading this book, I was reminded of an old cliche, namely "you can't judge a book by its cover." Because, sad to say, that's exactly what I did.

When I received my copy of this book, I pulled it from the package and immediately groaned. I mean, let's take another look at the cover:

After seeing this, I made the assumption that there was no way I could enjoy this book because first of all, I'm the wrong gender and second, I'm probably three times the age of the intended audience. This isn't exactly the first time I've had that problem. Like I said in yesterday's post, my assumptions were incorrect. I thoroughly enjoyed this book. But I think it might be important to think about the one thing I didn't like about this book: the cover.

What does this cover tell me about the book? Pretty much nothing. We've got a pretty young faery looking out of a tree at us, a faery that, let's be honest, reminds me of someone else . . .

Just saying. I doubt the artist was trying to intentionally evoke Tinkerbell, but that's who I thought of immediately. I thought of the latest Disney video series that I've seen advertised about girly-girl faeries, led by Tink, getting into all sorts of adventures. And I assumed that this book would be similar, that this would be a story about flowers and dresses and fireflies and . . . I'd better stop, shouldn't I? As a matter of fact, my darling wife burst out laughing when she saw the cover because she assumed the exact same thing.

And while we're at it, what's with the title? Not to give out too much information, but I didn't see how Knife was a "spell hunter." Well, I guess that's not entirely true, but it's still not the most evocative of titles.

Put all together, I'm not sure that the publisher did R. J. Anderson any favors with this cover art. I'm not saying that it should give away everything about the plot but it should give us at least a hint of what the story is about. I didn't expect to find the main character so tough and brave after seeing the cover. Maybe if we had seen a scene of Knife facing off against a wild animal, or visiting with Paul, or something like that. I don't know.

I mean, let's compare the cover to the British version (where this book is apparently called Knife):

Now if I had opened a package and found this cover, I would have been intrigued. The faery here is clearly not a girlie-girl. She looks tough and ready to fight. Granted, this doesn't give me much more to go on in terms of plot, but it does give me better insight into the character's personality and the story's overall tone.

I'm not saying that it's right to judge a book by its cover, but people do that all the time. The cover art and title of a book is the first obstacle that potential readers have to get over. If either are lacking, an author won't make a sale.

But hey, what do I know? Maybe one of the other tourists disagrees with me and loved the cover. Go on and see if that's true:

Sally Apokedak
Brandon Barr
Amy Browning
Melissa Carswell
CSFF Blog Tour
Stacey Dale
D. G. D. Davidson
Jeff Draper
April Erwin
Timothy Hicks
Jason Isbell
Becky Jesse
Cris Jesse
Jason Joyner
Carol Keen
Krystine Kercher
Dawn King
Rebecca LuElla Miller
New Authors Fellowship
Donita K. Paul
Crista Richey
Chawna Schroeder
Andrea Schultz
James Somers
Steve Trower
Fred Warren
Phyllis Wheeler
KM Wilsher


Rebecca LuElla Miller said...

I'm not big on covers one way or the other. They don't necessarily intrigue me or turn me off. I will have to say, with this one, I sighed. I'm not a fan of faery stories, though of course I knew that's what we were getting. It's just that the cover brought it home in full force. This is a story about faeries.

Except it is so much more!

I suspect the publisher was going for a different audience here in the US. That's one reason I was able to forge right ahead.

I'm not in the target audience, I thought, and middle grade girls will probably love this.

Well, as it turned out, I loved it, too. I wonder if the publisher didn't miss a chance to reach a wider audience with this cover.

But what do I know!


Anonymous said...

Well, I thought the US cover was gorgeous. I love the look on Knife's face--she's so mysterious.

But I have to admit, I let the book sit for two months before I read it, and I only finally did read because Becky, the commenter above, told me it was really, really good. She was right. It's a great book.

I'm thinking now if they would have had the US girl with the dark, brooding UK colors, it might have worked better.

Anyway, thank God we discovered that it was a great book, because now we all have more great books to look forward to.

I'm loving that the men on this tour have liked this book. I'm surprised by that and encouraged.

KM Wilsher said...

Hello. That is sooo funny. So many people are raving about the cover. I love that you mentioned your thoughts. . .It made me rethink my own.

Okay, so I am the right gender and I liked the cover BUT I don't think I would have picked up the girlie girl from the shelves. AND it does call out to a young, young audience -reminds me of FernGully meets The Littles-

So even tho I have raved about the cover. I have to say the cover and title deterred me from desirig to read it.

Now, Knife and the UK cover. . .I would more likely pick up that book.

Good thoughts!

Amy Browning said...

This is almost EXACTLY the same arguement I gave on my blog for the second day of the tour - SPOOKY!

I completely agree 100%!