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Top Ten Covers I Wish I Could Redesign

Top Ten Tuesday

Thanks to the gals of The Broke and The Bookish for hosting this meme every week!

All of them! No, I do like some covers, but wow some of them are so painful D: Some aren’t so bad but I want to tweak things to make them more consistent with the story ya know?

Just Need a Tweak

 Pawn Into the Still Blue  

So I’m really mostly okay with these covers, but I just don’t feel like they capture the book quite right or I just want a small change to make me happy. Alienated’s cover originally appealed to me, but the guy DOES NOT look like that at all and it pisses me off so much! I like the general feel of Pawn’s cover, but I could do without the giant eye and I honestly don’t get the labyrinth, there is no labyrinth! The Under the Never Sky covers have always bothered me because there is no way they would be wearing those clothes! They don’t make any sense!! I like the steampunk-iness of The Rithmatist’s cover, but I wish that the chalk drawing magic (ie Rithmatism), was a more central aspect. From that cover I think the horse is going to be central…. Finally, the Kate Daniels covers have always been a bit meh, but since they got the new cover model, I love them so much more! I really want the old books to be redone with the new model, haha.

Let’s Try This Again…

After Eden The Lies of Locke Lamora A Dance with Dragons Pandemonium 

After Eden is not about a rave…. It’s about time travel and I suppose they did get the romance aspect right. But seriously, every version of this cover burns my eyes! The Lies of Locke Lamora is one of my favorite books of this year, but I really don’t think the cover does it justice. It’s a bit too busy I think and doesn’t convey the witty mischeviousness of Locke! I’ve never been a fan of the Song of Ice and Fire covers, they are just so plain for fantasy books. When a book has dragons in it, there should be awesome dragon illustrations on the cover! I’m also not a fan of the Delirium covers with this whole face and plant thing. Is that a Bird of Paradise?? Why?? Finally, Elantris is my favorite Brandon Sanderson book, but that cover does not do it justice. There is such an awesome magic system and world to illustrate!

What covers do you want to redo? I hope I didn’t smash anyone’s favorite covers D:

Anya from On Starships and Dragonwings -Anya

© 2013 – 2015, Anya. All rights reserved.


  1. Sierra Kelly says:

    I definitely agree with A dance with dragons

  2. I personally like the covers for GRRM’s series and Into the Still Blue. They’re simple and don’t give too much away. I do how ever think Pandamonium’s needs a tweek.

  3. The After Eden cover ensures that I will not touch that book. The cover makes my eyes literally hurt.
    Lyn Kaye recently posted…Stacking the Shelves #66My Profile

  4. A lot of those covers aren’t that appealing. I can’t even tell what is on the Pawn cover and Into the Still Blue is the first and second cover of the series combined, nothing special.

  5. The Alienated cover is really pretty in real life, but you are right the guy doesn’t really fit the character in the book!
    Em recently posted…Mechanical ReviewMy Profile

  6. I actually like the George R.R.Martin covers because they are simple and slightly elegant in a sea of overly busy fantasy covers. But I agree with the rest of your picks, there is nothing very spectular about them.
    Sarah recently posted…Top Ten Tuesday: Redesigning coversMy Profile

  7. Yeah, I don’t understand the Delirium covers either. And I agree with you about the cover for The Rithmatist. I like it well enough, but I would also prefer for the chalk drawings to be more prominent on the cover. Sigh! Have you seen the UK version? It’s SO different! And I don’t really like it that much either. =/
    Kelley (Another Novel Read) recently posted…Review: Relativity by Cristin BisharaMy Profile

  8. I agree about the George Martin covers. I saw a couple links in the comments above to the original Game of Thrones cover and I loved that cover, why they changed from illustrations to the last few versions is beyond me. They just don’t express anything about the story. Too bad Michael Whelan never got a crack at those covers. :)
    Greg recently posted…Christmas Story/ HoHoHo Read-a-thon Story ChallengeMy Profile

  9. I’m always critiquing book covers, particularly of books I like because I want them to be as good as the book! What irks me the most is when the cover doesn’t look like the artist even knows a thing about the book. Like you said about Alienated – if that’s not how the character is described why are they drawing him that way? Or why in the world put people in clothes they wouldn’t wear? Express the book please! And then there’s the boring covers like the Song of Ice and Fire books – talk about a massive miss. I feel like the books going to be drab, not fantasy! Great post, I enjoyed seeing someone express my frustrations :-)
    Berls @ Fantasy is More Fun recently posted…Vera Nazarian | Free Book FridayMy Profile

    • It certainly does make you appreciate when an artist gets it right. However, in defense of the artists, I’ve talked to several over the years who were not given the opportunity to read the book prior to doing the work nor given much in the way of direction and in those cases their hands are somewhat tied.
      Carl V. Anderson recently posted…Lightspeed Issue 42, November 2013My Profile

      • How frustrating for the artists!! Seems like thats a bad move on the part of authors / publishers. I get not letting them read the book, but at least give guidance! That at least explains a lot of covers!

      • I completely understand the artist’s situation in those cases, though it just makes me more frustrated that publishers allowed those situations to arise :(

    • Exactly! I loved or at least enjoyed most of these books and I want the covers to accurately reflect the book content. Otherwise how will people browsing shelves know which book will appeal to them??

  10. The Rithmatist and Elantris have better covers in the UK. :) Elantris is green and pretty, Rithmatist captures exactly what you said it should, funnily enough.

    I disagree with the Song of Ice and Fire verdict, however, as I really like simple designs on covers. I mean.. these ones are practically just saying, “We’re so epic we don’t need fancy cover art or broody blokes in cloaks to get you to read us.” It’s rather smug, actually. Still, while they’re not overly different, the UK covers just look a little more polished. :)
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    • Oooooo, *goes to check out the UK version* This amuses me since I don’t recall ever seeing them!

      I fully accept that I might have the minority opinion of the SoIaF covers. I just know that if I hadn’t heard of the series through fellow readers I never would have picked them up in the store based on the cover. I also just really liked illustrated fantasy scenes ;-)

    • The thing is, in regards to ASOFAI, simple interesting classy graphic design can be done that still stays away from fantasy tropes while actually looking good. The GRRM covers are poorly designed and look like the Danielle Steele novels of fantasy.
      Carl V. Anderson recently posted…Lightspeed Issue 42, November 2013My Profile

  11. The Delirium and Song of Ice and Fire series were on my list, too.
    I totally agree with your list, too. I had books on mine that weren’t bad covers, but didn’t represent the book that well at all. And when the cover models look nothing like the characters… GAAHH. WHY?! I don’t understand.
    Megan @ Love, Literature, Art, and Reason recently posted…Top Ten Tuesday–Covers I’d RedesignMy Profile

  12. Wow great picks and you’ve picked a really great way to do this list. I agree with Alienated and Pawn, I thought they were okay covers but they still need a little bit of work – Alienated more so. My TTT.
    Reviews From A Bookworm recently posted…Top Ten Tueday: Covers I Wish I Could RedesignMy Profile

  13. I don’t understand the Delirium covers either – they don’t have anything to do with the stories. And I actually liked Pawn’s cover – it looked like a manhole to me, and since most of the covert stuff goes on underground, I thought it was suitable. I liked how there was a III in the center of it too :)

    • Hehe, that’s a great point! Carter lives in my area so she actually told me it was a labyrinth before I read the book, so then I was confused when I read it >.> Love the III in the center :D

  14. Jessica@a GREAT read says:

    Nice picks! Although I can’t help but like Pawn for its uniqueness and the same for Alienated. But I can see your point on them!

    Here’s my Tuesday Post

    Old Follower :)

  15. I agree that the cover from Pawn doesn’t make a lot of sense, but I do love it. It’s interesting to look at. The covers from George Martin series are indeed a bit boring. Luckily it’s not the same for the inside huh :D
    Mel@thedailyprophecy recently posted…Fairytale News 21. Why I love reading.My Profile

    • I actually quite loved it until I saw the eye and then was sad it was just another giant eye cover. I would be fine with just the blue and the labyrinth, though I still don’t know why it’s there >.>

  16. I like the Elantris cover personally, but Stephan Martiniere is one of my favorite artists, so I pretty much always like a book cover by him. Still, I haven’t read the book so have no idea how representative it is.

    I would certainly redesign ALL of Hugh Howey’s covers if given the chance. I love the guy’s work and realize that at one time he was a poor writer struggling to make a buck. But once he started bringing in big dollars AND then signed a big contract with a major publisher to get the Wool in print form, couldn’t he have used some of his clout to get a decent cover? Those books are all horrible and represent why I tend to stay away from self-published and small press authors. If they cannot invest in something worthwhile, it makes me doubt the quality of the story.

    I also think the bland covers for George R.R.Martin’s books, and all the copy-cats, are horrible and need a redesign.
    Carl V. Anderson recently posted…Lightspeed Issue 42, November 2013My Profile

    • I am on the fence about the Elantris cover except that I don’t feel like it captures the book all that well and I’m sad that it doesn’t seem to draw people in. Also omg you must read Elantris!!!!! It’s my favorite Sanderson :D

      Oh Howey’s books…. I was going to read them and then he made an ass of himself and now I am much less inclined to :( Agreed about getting a redesign though, hopefully soon! And that is also a problem I have with indie authors, since a poor cover makes me nervous about the editing

  17. Great choices! Alientated was almost one of my choices, too. Pawn is neat, but yea, the eye isn’t even noticable enough for it to be necessary. I kind of like the Rithmatist cover, too, but I actually had no idea it was YA with this cover. I definitely would have thought it was children’s or middle grade. Sounds like a great story, though!

  18. Covers say a lot about a book. Nice list this week. kelley—the road goes ever ever on

  19. Lianne @ says:

    I have a different cover edition for The Lies of Locke Lamora that sort of captures the feel of the city a lot more (I think–it’s the green cover edition). And it’s artsy, lol.

    I wish they had stuck with the old, old covers for A Song of Ice and Fire–I have the first book in that edition but yeah, I regret not picking up books 2 and 3 in that format when they were still out.

    My TTT

    • I will have to go hunt for that Locke cover since I don’t think I’ve seen it!

      I like the scenes in the older covers, though I’m still not a fan of how the type is separate for some reason, hehe

  20. Dragana @ Bookworm Dreams says:

    Nope you didn’t smash any of my favorite covers. I agree with all of your choices.
    I’ve got paperbacks of SOIAF with these beautiful artwork: link to pic and then for book #5 they changed it to that stupid shield and I could not find a matching edition anywhere. Now book #5 is annoying out of place on my shelf… :/
    And Elantris is such a beautiful book, it really deserves a better cover.
    Dragana @ Bookworm Dreams recently posted…Top Ten Covers I Wish I Could RedesignMy Profile

  21. haha, I totally agree with your selections! I loved the Pawn cover but then I noticed the eye and then it just felt creepy. Didn’t like being stared at. What is up with the Alienated cover guy not looking at all like our mail lead? hmph. And the Martin books are rather plain for fantasy, I guess I preferred the simplicity over if they had really cheesy, scantily clad ‘fantasy’ looking people on the covers. :-) Great list!
    Kristen@My Friends Are Fiction recently posted…Review of World After by Susan EeMy Profile

  22. Huh. I will start by agreeing completely with the Kate Daniels covers, those early ones were something else.

    But the Dance with Dragons cover is one of my favorites in the genre, the badge is more complex than the simple graphics the rest of the series has in paperback, recognizable immediately instead of generic, and just plain cool! The only thing I don’t like about it is the HBO plug on the paperback, I DON’T WANT MEDIA PLUGS ON MY COVERS!

    I get what your saying about Lies of Locke Lamora, but the spiral towers are still pretty cool.
    Nathan (@ReviewBarn) recently posted…Five Fantasy Tropes I Still DigMy Profile

    • The color choices were very amusing too! And painful ;-)

      I agree about media plugs, I’m just such a sucker for the illustrated scenes for fantasy covers, so I just can’t get on board with the badges ;-)

  23. kelpeterson says:

    Is it bad to say the majority of covers I come across? No, but seriously, I’m not a huge fan of the current trend toward girls in pretty dresses on YA covers. The good news is, they often tell me I”m in for a gushing romance, which I then avoid. :)

  24. I am not a big fan of any of George Martin’s covers. He could have such fantastic covers for those series.
    Felicia The Geeky Blogger recently posted…Top Off Tuesday: Mission Seduction by Candace HavensMy Profile

  25. My issue with Into the Still Blue’s cover is the type. It feels sooo squished in the middle. The ones on UTNS and TTEN have more breathing space.

    I’m a cover lover but the Kate books could have just a white cover with the title on it and I’d still make grabby hands at it. :D Ilona did mention (in reply to one of her blog commenters) that they may revamp the old covers! And maybe in hardcover and box set too! *fingers crossed*

    • Huh, I had never noticed the squished type, good call!

      Omg I would spend all the monies on a box set of revamped covers *swoons*

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