Zinzi has a Sloth on her back, a dirty 419 scam habit and a talent for finding lost things. But when a little old lady turns up dead and the cops confiscate her last paycheck, she’s forced to take on her least favourite kind of job – missing persons.
Being hired by reclusive music producer Odi Huron to find a teenybop pop star should be her ticket out of Zoo City, the festering slum where the criminal underclass and their animal companions live in the shadow of hell’s undertow.
Instead, it catapults Zinzi deeper into the maw of a city twisted by crime and magic, where she’ll be forced to confront the dark secrets of former lives – including her own.
Two covers for Zoo City, the latest novel from South African writer Lauren Beukes. Oddly, both of of the covers are being published by Angry Robot Books, highlighting very clearly the difference in the approach to cover art in the different regions. Though I’m a big fan of John Picacio, something about the North American cover never really hit the mark with me, likely the floating heads, the strange angles or the yellow/purple colour palette. The UK cover, on the other hand, is a sight to behold – literary, bold and sophisticated, it attracts me for all the reasons the cartoony North American cover turns me off.
The book itself sounds great. It strikes me as a Dresdenesque yarn with good voice and enough to set it apart from the rest of the Urban Fantasy crowd.
It appears that Angry Robot Books is positioning and marketing the novel to a completely different crowd in each region, though the book behind the cover is exactly the same. If you saw the two novels on the shelf, which would you be compelled to pick up and read?