How Do You Like Your Covers?

Occasionally reviews still pop up for the Parrish Plessis series. I always admire anyone who has been able to read this series out of order. I know it would make no sense to me at all, if I’d tried to do that. Anyway, this particular reviewer makes a comment about the fact that the girl on the cover doesn’t accurately reflect Parrish and her disfigured face. Here’s a snip from it:

Once I did bond with the character and catch up with what was going on, I really enjoyed myself. I applaud de Pierres for giving her heroine a major facial injury. Unlike one or two other female protagonists sporting such trophies, I could fully believe that Parrish wouldn’t bother to get any sort of cosmetic surgery done to repair the damage. In these days with increasing pressure on girls to look ‘hot’, it was a shame, I felt, that the girl on the cover didn’t display her crooked nose and caved-in cheekbone. However, I’m not going to hold that against the author. It’s a pity that Orbit didn’t reflect more accurately what was going on between the covers when designing the jacket.

Meantime, I’m definitely going to get hold of the other major series de Pierres has written, Sentients of Orion. This time, though, I’ll take care to start with the first book. Code Noir by Marianne de Pierres – reviewed by S. J. Higbee @ SF Reader

I’ve thought about this a lot over the years, even more so when the whole debacle over Justine Larbalastier’s US book cover for Liarwas going on. Part of me would liked to have seen Parrish in her true grunge glory on the cover. That’s why I’m quite attached to this piece of fan art by Neyour. It’s kind of more realistic.

OTO – I love Larry Rostant covers.

I’d like to hear what everyone else thinks. Do you want an accurate representation of the character in the book? Or do you see the cover as a separate text?

  • Julie Gormly

    As you already know, I love these ‘minimalist’ covers. I think they look much more like my idea of Parrish, even though some of the international-distribution covers are very impressive. Her face is partly covered, so someone who hasn’t read the novels isn’t left wondering – what’s with the face? – and experienced readers get to fill in the blanks, so to speak. I think it’s a great trade-off.

  • Marianne

    Hi Julie,
    thanks for your thoughts. I’m torn on the whole issue. Covers in general can be so misleading that I’ve come to consider them as a separate text and more a social commentary of the time, than an indication of what the story is about.
    MDP x

  • I am heartily sick of gorgeous, fit, hot women on covers – with the popularity of urban fantasy this type of cover (which was fabulous to start with as a contrast to what went before) has now been overdone. Let’s have the scars!

    Covers are more about conveying the “feel” of the story, though, rather than being an accurate portrayal of what’s between the covers.

  • I love these covers, too. I think they’re quite iconic – certainly had an influence on a lot of SF covers afterwards.

    I know what you mean about realism in cover art, but the Parrish covers are some of my favourite in the genre, elegant, not too busy, and very striking – so maybe I’m biased!

  • Marianne

    Hi Glenda,
    urban fantasy has rather deluged the market with them. “Let’s Have The Scars” should have been the name of my post! Brilliant.

  • Marianne

    Hi Tj,
    yes, Larry started a trend with them – no doubt. And they are elegant. But do they say what they need to say? *What* is it they need to say? I’m going with social commentary. Angelina Jolie in red pvc. Our ideal woman.

  • Belinda

    I like the Covers the way they are, but there are a few out there like that now, it makes me do a double take when I’m wandering through borders.
    I’m surprised nobody has said the ‘you can’t judge a book by it’s cover’ thing yet, because even though cover art has come ahead in leaps and bounds in making an impact to draw you in, a good cover doesn’t always equal a good book inside and visa vera for a not so great cover.
    A great example of this is the Kim Harrison covers, American v’s the British covers. I personally cringe at the British covers. I LOVE the American covers, and when I have a choice I grab them instead.
    I do know, no matter my opinion on the cover art, the books will always suck me in and give me hours of enjoyment. Also a good insentive to not put the book down.
    Parrish is supposed to look imposing. These covers and the US covers give us that.

  • Marianne de Pierres

    Hi B,

    great covers always attract me, but it worries me about all those great books out there that are hidden by awful covers.



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