Thursday, November 17, 2011

US vs. UK Covers

Comparing Covers from across the Pond

Early next year, M.L.N Hanover’s Urban Fantasy series, The Black Sun’s Daughter gets a UK release & new artwork through Orbit Books. “M.L.N Hanover” is one of Dan Abraham’s nom de plumes (alongside James S.A. Corey and his own name, of course). The series will be released over the course of four months, as has become customary for Orbit, and should provide fans of both Abraham and Urban Fantasy with an exciting new series and heroine to follow.

Here’s the UK artwork:


Hm. Very bright and eye-catching colours, which I’m not sure match the Urban Fantasy aesthetic, to be honest. I admit, I haven’t read the novels (I do have book one already, though, from the US), but this puts me in mind of Charlie’s Angels – the woman on the front is reminiscent of Minka Kelly, as well as Rachel Weisz and Nina Dobrev, all at the same time! Is it me, or is there a bit of CSI: Miami about the covers, too? Does Jayné pause dramatically to take off her sunglasses, I wonder…?

For this one, I think it has got to be advantage USA, where the series has an altogether more atmospheric style:


I particularly like the smoky-textures to the artwork (in the first one especially), and the third cover just looks bad-ass. There’s some now-cliche UF tramp-stampage, but I don’t see why that wouldn’t have worked in the UK (see Patricia Briggs’s new covers).

What do you think?

Here’s the synopsis for the first novel, Unclean Spirits:

Jayné Heller thinks of herself as a realist, until she discovers reality isn’t quite what she thought it was. When her uncle Eric is murdered, Jayné travels to Denver to settle his estate, only to learn that it’s all hers — and vaster than she ever imagined. And along with properties across the world and an inexhaustible fortune, Eric left her a legacy of a different kind: his unfinished business with a cabal of wizards known as the Invisible College.

Led by the ruthless Randolph Coin, the Invisible College harnesses demon spirits for their own ends of power and domination. Jayné finds it difficult to believe magic and demons can even exist, let alone be responsible for the death of her uncle. But Coin sees Eric’s heir as a threat to be eliminated by any means — magical or mundane — so Jayné had better start believing in something to save her own life.

Aided in her mission by a group of unlikely companions — Aubrey, Eric’s devastatingly attractive assistant; Ex, a former Jesuit with a lethal agenda; Midian, a two-hundred-year-old man who claims to be under a curse from Randolph Coin himself; and Chogyi Jake, a self-styled Buddhist with mystical abilities — Jayné finds that her new reality is not only unexpected, but often unexplainable. And if she hopes to survive, she’ll have to learn the new rules fast — or break them completely….


  1. These are pretty fun Urban Fantasy books. I think they blend the Urban Fantasy and Paranormal Romance genres without devolving into some Twilight relationship three way.

    I would recommend at least giving the first a try, Midian is a great character

  2. Hmmm, I think the UK covers are better suited to the UK market, although I agree the US ones are much more eye catching. The UK versions are a little less obvious, but I think they'll go down a lot better over here. It's all about what you're comfortable being seen to be reading as much as what you want to read...on the bus/train, etc etc...IMHO..

  3. I like the U.S. 's covers. They go better with the artwork. Great cover comparisons.