Friday Faceoff – Consumed by the darkness, it hides all our sins…


This meme was started by Books by Proxy, whose fabulous idea was to compare UK and US book covers and decide which is we prefer. This week we are looking at covers featuring darknness and I have chosen Dark Eden by Chris Beckett, which I read back in 2013 and really impressed me – see my review here.


darkedenThis was the original hardcover design, published in 2012 by Corvus and adorned the book I’d read. I was struck then at the brooding beauty evoked by it.


darkeden1This offering was the paperback design, also released in 2012 by Corvus. It’s my least favourite of all the covers – far too cluttered with publicity puff, for starters. And I don’t think the black on white works half as well.


darkeden3This stunning cover was designed by Broadway Books in 2014 and is my favourite – but the others are also beautiful.


darkeden4This striking Polish offering, which cleverly echoes the original Corvus cover while putting its own spin on the design, was published in 2014 by Uczta Wyobraźni.


darkeden5This Hungarian cover, produced by Agave and published in 2016, is another beautiful and apt design which echoes the themes addressed in this powerful science fiction lost colony story.



This French cover is yet another eye-catching and memorable addition to this fabulous collection of covers, produced by Les Presses de la Cité in 2015. Chris Beckett must be sooo thrilled to have such a clutch of covers. Dark is definitely cool…

27 responses »

  1. They all have their charm, but for me the Corvus hb and the Uczta Wyobraźni covers knock the rest into a cocked hat . . . although I imagine the Presses de la Cité cover could grow on me (especially if the line about the ACC Prize were reduced quite a lot in size and moved to the bottom of the black space.

    • Yes – I thought the award blurb on the French cover was intrusive, given the overall stark effect they were going for. But the wonderful thing this time around (I think!) is that there isn’t a wrong ‘un among them – so it comes down to personal taste and I’ve always been a sucker for swirly colours…

  2. My favorite is the first one! I don’t know if it actually represents the book, but it looks like it goes with the dark part in the title, and it’s just pretty. But I agree, the second one has too much promotional stuff. The colorful ones are pretty too though.

    • The wonderful thing about this series of covers is that there aren’t any BAD ones. And yes… the first one does represent the book, which is a fantastic read.

  3. Wow. That really is a stunning collection of covers. It sort of reminds me of the variety of covers that Emily St. John Mandel’s Station Eleven has from its various translations around the world. (One of the presenters at Writer’s Digest Conference showed several of Station Eleven’s international covers as part of a discussion on translation rights.)

    But I digress. My favorite Dark Eden covers are the American and Hungarian ones, because of the play of colors that still convey a sense of darkness. But all of the covers are eye-catching in their own right, really.

  4. I like the first one best but have seen the third one around so from a publishers point of view the fact that that one stuck in my mind must mean something and Worth them changing covers on us.

  5. I agree the white on black works better than the black on white, although that also may be because that one si so cluttered with text. I also like the third one, the colors really work nicely and it looks a bit mysterious and magical. The Hungarian cover also is pretty with all the colors, almost has a bit of a fantasy and sci-fi feel. The covers sure look very different. And it’s always interesting to see how the foreign covers are so different.

    • Although, they have all taken the decision to feature the dark and mysterious, with a few splashes of colour – whereas some of the covers in this meme are so different you wouldn’t know they were portraying the same book! These ones are particularly beautiful, I think.

  6. I agree with the cover you chose. The bit of color makes you pick the book up! I realize the black and white or white and black conveys the concept of dark, but I thought I’d read the cover if it was “pretty” and the color makes it appealing.

      • No, this is one I’ve not read – I did pick up a copy from the library after it was first released but I didn’t have chance to read it before it had to go back (and I couldn’t renew it as there was a list). I should buy a copy from kindle – did you love it?

      • Oh yes! It’s dark – in all senses of the word – but takes all the classic elements of a lost colony and then plays with them. Getting down to reading the sequel is on my To Do list:)

  7. Fascinating selections here! I totally agree that throwing kudos on the cover is really distracting. Isn’t that what the BACK cover is for, or the first couple inside pages?

    That said, I think the Polish edition is my favorite. That touch of red is so striking, while the menacing beauty of the bug fills me with dread and intrigue. LOVE IT. 🙂

  8. Ooooh, I see you’ve found the Polish cover! 🙂 I love it the most, but I love all the covers in the series. If there wasn’t the Polish one to pick, I’d choose the first one.
    By the way, Uczta Wyobraźni (Feast of Imagination) is the name of the series, intended to gather innovative, beautiful, and unique sci-fi & fantasy and introduce it to Polish readers (they’ve published Stross, Watts, Valente, MacLeod, Bacigalupi, and many more so far), and the publisher is MAG :).

    • Thank you for that! I’ll change it:). And I can see why you love the Polish cover – I think all of these covers are fabulous, for what it’s worth. Beckett is one lucky bloke…

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