Acts of Caine by Matthew Stover

Orbit Books announced today that Matthew Stover’s Acts of Caine novels, beginning with Heroes Die, will be arriving, as eBooks only, in the UK for the first time. They say,

All four books in the Acts of Caine series – HEROES DIE, BLADE OF TYSHALLE, CAINE BLACK KNIFE and CAINE’S LAW – will be released digitally in the UK & ANZ on 27th May 2013.

This is good news for reading in the UK. I’ve not read the series (SHAME ON ME!), but they come highly recommended and the ebay prices for the earlier novels are, well.. outrageous. I should really sell my copies. Releases like this, eBook only, are a great way for out-of-print books to come back into circulation and find a new audience among those who previously couldn’t find (or afford) to read them. It’s also one of those fun times to think about the fact that publishers continue to try to convince the world that eBook publishing costs are similar to hardcopy publishing and distribution costs. The novels are already available as eBooks in the US and Canada.

But, can we please talk about these covers for a moment. I mean, I’m fairly certain that I’m being very specifically trolled by the art department at Orbit Books UK. Four hooded, bodiless men staring pensively menacingly at the reader, daring them to read what, underneath, must only be the most bro-tastic, grimdark, grimy, gritty, dudebro novels in the world? WTF. But, well, with a lineage like this, can I really expect any less?

  • Davieboy May 3, 2013 at 12:05 am

    Thanks for bringing these novels to my attention. They seem to get great reviews everywhere so can’t see how they slipped my radar. I see they are also available on Audible, first 3 anyway, so will start them after I finish listening to “Promise of Blood” by Brian McClellan (slightly underwhelmed by this so far, 40% in).

  • Martin May 3, 2013 at 1:32 am

    Four hooded, bodiless men…

    Technically one hooded, bodiless man lit with four different (horrible) colours. But who knows, maybe this hooded man approach will take off. It is pretty bold but perhaps other publishers will be imitating it soon.

  • Paul Weimer (@princejvstin) May 3, 2013 at 5:04 am

    I like Stover’s work,but these covers do them no favors

  • Rob B May 3, 2013 at 5:09 am

    I’ve read Heroes Die three times and Blade of Tyshalle twice…the others once. I don’t recall Caine being described as having a hooded cloak as his signature look. I believe he did don one briefly, but the fellow in these covers look more like Kylar from Brent Weeks’s novels.

  • Robert Mammone May 5, 2013 at 2:10 am

    A pity these aren’t physical books as I’d happily burn them, just to erase the covers from memory. The writing is superb, the covers are effing shitehouse.

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  • London May 22, 2013 at 8:40 pm

    These are dreadful covers—they look like semi-competant self-published work rather than something a professional touched (typography is so-so, the photography is technically poor as well as artistically bad)—but “brotastic” and “dudebro”? Insipid and uninspired, but nothing like the earlier Heroes Die cover you linked to. If anything, it looks like the designer tried to move away from the Ur-Man machismo of the first cover. What makes these offensive to anything other than good taste?

  • Beth N. June 14, 2013 at 2:16 pm

    Did someone somewhere have a photo shoot where they created a huge library of hooded brotastic dudebro clip art? Because I just came across this today. The texture of the fabric and the lighting on the face are near-identical.