Posts Categorized: Cover Art

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I’ll admit, this cover is totally against my type, but… I can’t stop drooling over it. It’s aggressive and flashy, more Hollywood than Rivendell, but equally arresting and difficult to ignore. Myke’s had some great covers in the past, and artist Larry Rostant is one of the few photographic illustrators that I trust to work on SF book covers. He’s got another winner here.

US Navy SEAL Jim Schweitzer is a consummate professional, a fierce warrior, and a hard man to kill. But when he sees something he was never meant to see on a covert mission gone bad, he finds himself – and his family – in the crosshairs. Nothing means more to Jim than protecting his loved ones, but when the enemy brings the battle to his front door, he is overwhelmed and taken down. It should be the end of the story. But Jim is raised from the dead by a sorcerer and recruited by a top secret unit dabbling in the occult, known only as the Gemini Cell. With powers he doesn’t understand, Jim is called back to duty – as the ultimate warrior. As he wrestles with a literal inner demon, Jim realises his new superiors are determined to use him for their own ends and keep him in the dark – especially about the fates of his wife and son…

Gemini Cell is the first volume in a new follow-up trilogy to Cole’s popular Shadow Ops series. It will be released on January 27th, 2015 by Ace Books.

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I’ve ragged on a lot of covers with sultry-looking dudes in LARPing gear, but there’s something about these character-centric Robin Hobb covers that works for me. While not quite the homerun that the new covers for Hobb’s Liveship Traders trilogy are, the aging of Fitz, from young adult to weathered, handsome dude is a great touch for past fans of the series. Plus Fitz has an axe, so… yay.

Incidentally, young Fitz is the perfect draw for a young adult audience, who will be attracted by the bright colours and familiar design conventions. I discovered and loved Hobb’s work as a teenager, and I can see these new covers opening a lot of doors for a new generation of readers.

I could have done without the floating animal head ghosts, though. (JK, Nighteyes, I still love you.)

The Twilight Dragon by Shawn Speakman

Shawn Speakman, good friend of this blog, has been carving out a pretty nice niche for himself in the wild west of self-published fantasy. Writing in the vein of classic ’90s fantasy, Speakman’s Annwn cycle mixes the best of Terry Brooks’ adventurous epic fantasy and the otherworldliness urban fantasy of Jim Butcher’s The Dresden Files. The Twilight Dragon is a collection of short stories that bridge the gap between Speakman’s debut novel, The Dark Thorn, and its sequel, The Everwinter Wraith.

It’s no secret that I’m a Todd Lockwood fanboy and his work on the cover for The Twilight Dragon is gorgeous. Lockwood’s art alone is keeping dragons interesting and relevant to fantasy fiction these days. (Okay, maybe not, but he’s the species’ best ambassador.) Lockwood also provided the cover art for The Dark Thorn and the Unfettered anthology, edited by Speakman.

The Twilight Dragon will be released in October, 2014 by Grim Oak Press.