Friday Faceoff – Slipped the surly bonds of earth…


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 the theme is spacecraft – yay! I’ve chosen the third book,  Abaddon’s Gate, in the space opera series The Expanse by James S.A. Corey


abaddonsgateThis is the cover produced by Orbit in June 2013. I love the colour, the action and the vibrancy of this cover. It clearly has eye appeal as do all The Expanse covers and plenty of drama. However I’m not a fan of all the chatter, which I think makes it look rather untidy and takes away from the effectiveness of the strong design.


abaddonsgate1This German cover produced by Heyne in February 2014 has a completely different colour palatte and is far simpler in design. I do like the relatively uncluttered look which gives me the opportunity to fall in love with the spacescape.


abaddonsgate2This Serbian edition, produced in June 2015, has really grown on me. Once again, it is relatively free of all the chit-chat silting up the UK offering and the image is arresting and effect – but I also particularly like the title font which sings out of the darker background. I also think said gate is beautifully depicted here.


abaddonsgate3The cover design on this Russian edition, produced in August 2014, is nicely complex and an intriguing angle, so that I stop every time to see if I can figure out exactly where all those worrying pieces floating about have come from. Unfortunately it is ruined by those clunky thick bands enclosing the fonts, giving the cover an old fashioned look and obscuring far too much of the lovely artwork.


abaddonsgate4This Italian edition, published in August 2016, has used the same colours as the original but changed the angle of the ship. Sadly, the other detail copied across from the UK editions are all the words cluttering up the cover.

Which is your favourite? Mine is the Serbian edition, but I’d love to know if this one will divide everyone as thoroughly as last week’s offering.

33 responses »

  1. I agree about the Serbian cover! I love the artwork, and the font fits so nicely. If the color bands were gone, I’d say perfect. The UK cover is beautiful, but like you said, all the extra text hurts the cover. Why not put that stuff on the back cover?

  2. I think I like the German cover best, possibly not the font but the colours really appeal. Love how each country has a different cover and wonder what it says about us as nations?

      • Ah! We’re right on the south coast, about 5 minutes’ drive from the beach. Hope the weather is being reasonably kind to you so far this winter! I’ve never been to the US, but I’d love to visit.

      • Am so jealous about you living close to the sea. It’s my dream but will probably not be more than that for a while!

      • Yes, it’s a lovely part of the world – I’m ashamed to say that I probably don’t take advantage of the beach anything like enough. I do love being able to nick down early in the summer for a peaceful walk before the rush starts, when I leave:).

  3. I kinda like the Russian cover , except the part where Russian words and book titles are written , but every cover looks good to me … argh ! its too hard to decide

  4. I like the first cover but I agree with you it is a bit busy, there’s so much going on that it’s hard to know where to focus. I think the german cover is my favorite her,e that design really works for me, it’s a bit simple, but that’s also what works so well. The Serbian one is really nice too.

    • Yes – I agree that both covers are strong. As it happens, I think the artwork on all of them is great – it’s what else that has been added to the covers that lets some of them down, sadly.

  5. All of them are nice, but the first one instantly grabbed my attention (though I agree about the chatter – I think it’d be much better in a much smaller black font in the empty yellow space).

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