Friday Faceoff – Red is the ultimate cure for sadness… #Brainfluffbookblog #FridayFaceoff


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. At present it is being nurtured by Lynn at Lynn’s Book Blog. This week the theme is a cover featuring red, so I’ve selected Red Rising – Book 1 of the Red Rising series by Pierce Brown.


This edition was produced by Del Rey in January 2014 and it is the most well known of all the covers – and with good reason as it is eye-catching and iconic. The extended red wing against a black background is very simple, but that doesn’t stop it being beautiful. The title font is a nice reflection of the story as it runs from the bottom to the top of the cover… I love this one.


Published in February 2015 by Сиела, this Bulgarian edition is also strikingly eye-catching. Instead of the wing, we have an image of the young rebel, Darrow, all set to rise from the life of slave-slogged drudgery he’d been born into. The image is clever as it also refers to part of the plot and I also like the way the title font fits nicely between the wings.


This Portuguese edition, published by Editorial Presença in March 2015, is another strong contender. I love the stylish, imaginative way the wings have been spun around and used as to depict the backdrop, while Darrow is poised at the nexus of the divided society. My one niggle is that there is too much chatter on the cover, spoiling what should be a clean, uncluttered cover to maximise the effect.


This Czech edition, produced by Triton in October 2016 is another beautiful effort. I love the addition of the yellow amongst the red – and the effect, which looks a wing, feather or a flame. I also like the chunkier, yellow title font which nicely pops against the red and the complete lack of unnecessary blather to detract from the effective artwork. This is my favourite.


This Polish cover was published in March 2014 by Drageus Publishing House and, in my opinion, is the least effective of all the covers. In contrast it comes across as muddled and overworked. It certainly doesn’t stand out as a thumbnail, so it’s fortunate that Red Rising was a worldwide best-seller and didn’t rely on this cover to lure readers to pick it up. Which is your favourite?

33 responses »

    • I thought your choice was awesome – this theme has been so successful as we have all chosen different books:). There aren’t any that I hate, or are badly done. Even the last design in other company would be deemed a success, I think. And that Czech design gave me goosebumps when I first saw it full-sized…

  1. The first is the one I own and my favorite, That Czech one is stunning too. The last one makes me think of Red Dragon.

    • Yes! It’s really interesting, isn’t it? There’s a lot going on in there and yet it is subtly done – which is why I was so frustrated that they also chose to spatter it with unnecessary blather that undermined the clean, uncluttered artwork that would have allowed those niftly little details to shine.

    • As soon as I saw your list – this was the book I had in mind! But that Czech cover was a delightful suprise when I opened up Goodreads and went looking for other covers…

  2. I love the Czech one! The red and yellow flamey wing is gorgeous. I actually don’t like the font though. I like the last one, although it’s not as striking with the colors. It gives me a very dystopian feel. I’m not sure if that matches the book or not since I haven’t red it. But the Del Rey one is nice and definitely striking.

    • As it happens, the last one is in keeping with the dystopian feel, as this is definitely a dystopian book. But compared with the others, I think it is overly cluttered and rather grungy. Like you, I love the Del Rey one – it’s the cover of the book I read, which makes it an automatic favourite…

  3. The first one is my favorite. As far as covers go, this one is “perfect” enough for me not to be able to pinpoint any single thing that I would change about it. The Czech one is a close second, but as much as I liked its “experimenting on the theme”, it didn’t seem to have worked out as well as the original one.
    And I agree that the Polish one is bad. :/

      • No, I haven’t. After not having a single good experience with YA, I just stay away from them.
        It’s not necessarily the books, it might be me – I’m also not a target of horror books, but it doesn’t mean all of them are bad. 🙂

      • Fair enough. No point in persisting with a genre when experience proves it simply isn’t for you – I feel the same about horror and grimdark…

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