Monday, January 24, 2011

Cover Review (10): Mistwood

Cover Crazy is a weekly meme hosted by Tawni at The Book Worms where a beautiful cover is featured each week for all of us to admire. I am going to use my Cover Crazy posts as an opportunity to review a book cover I love or review any cover (even the ones I don't love) from a book I've read. This week's Cover Crazy is for a cover I'm on the fence about, though I really enjoyed the book:  

Mistwood by Leah Cypess

I’m torn about this cover. On one hand, it’s perfect for this book, but on the other I don’t particularly like it. This whole cover is in conflict for me.

I can’t really explain why, but purple is a very good color for this book. It may be because the book focuses on identifying the rightful heir to the throne and purple is a color often associated with royalty. Purple also makes me think of fantasy, a genre this book most certainly falls into. Whatever the reason, I’m pleased the publishers went with a purple cover.

On the other hand, that greenish yellow used for the title font and her eyes? Ew. I don’t like it at all. I think it makes the title a little difficult to read, plus, it’s just kind of an ugly color. Her eyes that color do have the desired effect of making her look “otherworldly” but she doesn’t look like the enigmatic shifter who often took the form of big cats or similar predators. She looks like a lizard. I’m waiting for her to peel off her skin and scarf down a rat like the lizard aliens in the TV series V. Yeah, that’s not a good thing.

The girl is another point of conflict. I don’t find her particularly gorgeous, and in the sea of absolutely beautiful cover models gracing YA books right now, she falls short. Her hair is nice, but it is a far cry from the spectacular flowing hair found on covers like Lauren Kate’s Fallen series or the newly designed Den of Shadows quartet. With the exception of her eyes, she looks pretty plain and maybe even a little strange as a result.

Yet this oddness of her appearance works really well with the character. Isabel is not normal. She is distinctly non-human in her bearing. Something about this comes through to me with that girl. As with the character in the book, I appreciate how different she is and this difference makes her an interesting character. But, also because of this, I don’t necessarily like her. Ditto for the cover model.

The castle, trees, and mist also work really well with the story. Each play an important part and it is accurate and nice to see them represented on the cover. The way the cover model is sort of coming out of the trees and mist is so completely perfect for the character and plot.

And yet…all of these features look sort of poorly cobbled together. I have pretty sucky Photoshop skills, but this cover doesn’t look too beyond my meager abilities. The font also screams “I’M A FANTASY BOOK” and seems a little too corny and reaching. This amateurish vibe rubs me the wrong way and turns me off. I would expect the book to be really cheesy and the publishing/editing to be of B-Novel level. That is a very inaccurate representation of the book, which is unfortunate.  

I did read this book, but it wasn’t as a result of the cover (my Mistwood review). Luckily a few of my trusted reviewers gave Mistwood positive reviews or I probably would have passed right over it based on that cover. Funny enough, I have seen this cover featured on a number of “Best Covers” lists, so I’ll be very interested in hearing where your opinions fall. I can see both sides. There’s something intriguing about it, but at the same time I just can’t get over the unpolished artwork. 

What do you think about this cover? Do you like it? Dislike it? Does it make you want to read the book?

Interested in covers? Be sure to check out another Cover Crazy post by Gina from My Precious.

Previous Cover Crazy posts:
<---Click on the covers
More of my Cover Crazy posts. 


  1. I don't mind it, but the color is off-putting. It certainly makes it harder to read the title which is ALWAYS bad!

  2. I like the bottom half of the cover, with the castle and the purple. I'm not crazy about the top half. That shsde of green looks rather... vomitty, and her eyes look weird.

    Also, I didn't know Dean of Shadows had gotten new covers. The do look great.

  3. Great cover dissecting here. I love all you pointed out. One thing which really bugs me is the grainy hazy texture over everything. Is it supposed to be fog? It just clouds the images and I don't think it adds anything, except maybe a sense of mystery, but maybe not.

  4. I actually love this cover! I love the purple color, the mistiness, the castle. I think the girl is pretty, and I like her hair, and her green eye really stands out against the purple. I like the font. As a fantasy reader, it says, "Magical story promised within" to me.

    The one thing that I do NOT like is the font color. That shade of pea-soup green is a little too pale to read properly, and doesn't really fit with anything else on the cover - except maybe her eye, but it's not a perfect match, and detracts from the impact of her eyes anyhow.

  5. I agree, it looks a bit amateurish. I think it could have been improved had they used maybe a gold colour instead of that odd yellow-green.

  6. Logan, I agree, it is not a good thing if you can't read the title easily.

    Alex, Haha, yes "vomity" is a good description of that color. The Den of Shadows cover is for the new bind up edition. I love the cover.

    Gina, Thank you! I think it's supposed to be mist. It makes sense for the story, but I agree with you, I think it makes the cover look grainy. Though, to be fair, I don't remember it looking as grainy in person.

    Madigan, I agree completely with you about the "magical story promised within" This cover screams to me that it is a fantasy, and, well, I like fantasy :) I also agree about the color. It really is unattractive and does detract from her eyes.

    Aylee, Hmm, yes, I think a shiny gold would have been a big improvement.

  7. I like the purple and the misty trees/castle part of this book, but I'm with you on that awful lime green. It's way too much of a contrast to the purple and is kind of jarring when you look at it. I agree on the girl's eye as well, not as well done as the eye from Firelight!

  8. l love how you do covers you love and also aren't sure about. l hate the colour of the font and struggle to read it :/

  9. I'm not really the biggest fan of this cover, but I loved the story!

    Great discussion of your thoughts! I really enjoy this feature :)

  10. I agree, I'm not feeling that green they used for the title or her eyes. I do love the purple tho. I don't think I would read it based off it's cover.

  11. LMAO @ "I AM A FANTASY BOOK". Agreed! I do not like this cover!!! Great post :)

  12. I'm torn on this cover, too! I almost didn't want to read it because of the cover. I know it's the story that counts. But as readers we are drawn to covers. The eyes and the coloring of the font bother me, as well. I like the fog with the castle and the trees. I purchased the book at the library. I hope to read it soon.

  13. I think this cover is okay. But the colors don't really mesh well, like the greenish-yellow font on the purple background.

  14. I agree with Aylee! I bold and embossed gold font would be a vast improvement and make the colours all look less wishy washy together. The font of the title and the mist effect is okay though. I love your in depth cover analysis on Cover Crazy posts :D

  15. Jenny, I adore the Firelight cover! I was lusting after it for months before the book came out. You’re right, the eyes on Firelight were done much better than these.

    Books for Company, I’m glad to hear you like it! I wasn’t sure if I should do just covers I love or all covers. Sometimes it’s easier to complain :P

    Melissa, I loved the story too! I thought it was really unique, which makes the generic fantasy cover even more misleading.

    Simply Me, I like the purple too. I don’t think any of us have really liked that green. I wonder why in the world they chose it.

    Lazy Girl, :P Thanks!

    Julie, I hope you enjoy it! I think the story is much better than the cover. Isabel is a unique character who I found a little difficult to connect with, but the story had me at the edge of my seat. There are a ton of twists and turns.

    Cleo, Yeah, I don’t think they match well either. I wonder why they chose those two colors. The purple, fine, but why the green? Didn’t anyone in the publishing house object??

    Stephanie, Thank you! If I had better photoshop skills I think I might try Aylee’s suggestion of gold font just to see how much of an improvement that would make. I think it would help a lot.


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