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:
CSFF Blog Tour
D. G. D. Davidson
Rebecca LuElla Miller
New Authors Fellowship
Donita K. Paul