Friday Faceoff – When spiders unite, they can tie down a lion… #Brainfluffbookblog


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 meme is currently being nurtured by Lynn’s Book Blog and the subject this week featuring on any of our covers is SPIDERS, so I’ve selected Spider Bones – Book 13 of The Temperance Brennan series by Kathy Reichs.


This edition was produced by Scribner in August 2010. It is my favourite with that detailed scene with the river and fields providing the backdrop for that dew-beaded web. The hole in the middle where the spider ought to be somehow makes it creepier. If I have a grumble, it’s that the title font is rather plain and flat. I would have liked to have seen it embossed or at least bevelled. But I think it is effective and clear.


Published in August 2010 by Pocket, I love the brilliant yellow of the cover that glows, especially in thumbnail. The trees festooned with webs scrambling across the top of the cover gives a sense of menace. The font featuring Reichs’ name nicely pops and the lonely woman walking with the tree roots under her feet looks strikingly vulnerable. The problem I have with this one is that there is far too much chatter over the cover – otherwise it would be my favourite.


This edition, published by Arrow in July 2011, is also a good effort. I love the bones featured in the foreground with a trailing web around it, submerged under the water. But I’m particularly keen on the wonderful title font that really stands out in thumbnail.


Produced by William Heinemann in October 2010, this edition has an alternative title – Mortal Remains. I do like this effort – the title and author text contrasts well against the surface of the lake or river and looks particularly good in thumbnail. I do wonder exactly what those dear little fish are feeding on…


This edition, published by Arrow in March 2013 is a close contender for my favourite cover. I love the web of cracked glass caused by a bullet hole and the uneven title font scratched in it. Clever and effective, the forest is partially obscured by the thick dirt on the crazed windscreen. My problem with this version is that I think it looks as this is horror novel, instead of a murder mystery. Which is your favourite cover?

38 responses »

    • Hm… that hadn’t occurred to me – but you’re right! It could almost be a view of The Shire – you just need a hobbit emerging from a bush to finish the effect:)

  1. I love the last one, so clever! And I also love the first one. I tried reading this series but it didn’t match up with the TV show and I just couldn’t love it. I was a HUGE fan of the show!

  2. This is a hard choice. I feel like if you took some of the features from books 1, 2 and 3 you would have a great cover. I love the Spider Bones font on book 3! Book 2 is probably my favorite, it just needs some cleaning up and better font. So if I had to choose one of them, I would say #2. Just get all those words of the front cover!!!! Haha!!

  3. I love the first one. I didn’t even really notice the text, probably because as you said it was so flat and boring, but I think in this case it helped bring out the gorgeousness of the background image, as creepy as it may be!

  4. What a great title to use for this week’s challenge. I totally agree with you this week Sarah. The first is my favourite and the last is my second favourite. I don’t like the silhouette of the woman on the yellow one, or it would have been a contender.

  5. I sure don’t like #4 – you are right about the little fish. Too creepy. My favorite is #3, and the second favorite – #1. It would be perfect if the font was more ‘spidery’.

    • Yes – thank you for dropping by. I think all the covers have some strengths with none of them actually badly done… So I’ve been fascinated to see how people have voted this week.

  6. Great selection of covers. The one you picked is my favorite as well. I like peering through the spider web to the scene behind it. I do really like the yellow one too, although I think removing the bit about the Fox show would make it better. I don’t know why but mention of movie and TV tie-ins always bothers me on book covers.

  7. Quite a variety of cover styles, although they all seem to convey the genre pretty well. I think I like the first one best too as it’s creepy without it being too much. I do agree with you that the font is a bit flat and a slightly different font would really make it shine.

  8. OMG!!! Spiders give me the creeps!! (Thankfully, none of these images contain those dreaded insects……lol.) These are all pretty striking covers, I’d say. However, I don’t like all of them.

    I totally agree on your choice, and for the very same reasons you’ve stated! As for the font, I also agree that it could have been made a bit less boring, somehow.

    The cover with the bones and spider web, as well as the one with the alternative title, are tied for second place. I find them both VERY effective visually. I also like the contrast in fonts on each cover. The same font is not used for the title and author’s name.

    The yellow cover doesn’t work for me AT ALL. Yellow is much too cheerful a color for a murder mystery, lol. Like you, I don’t like too much “chatter” on covers, and this one certainly has too much. Also, the design doesn’t look cohesive. Instead, it’s made up of several disparate elements.

    As for the one with the title “scratched” on the glass, you’re absolutely right — it gives the viewer the feeling of a horror novel. SHUDDERS!!!!

    Thanks for sharing all these covers, as well as your thoughts on each!! CHEERS!!! ❤ 🙂

  9. I gotta say, these are all pretty swanky covers, but I do find that first one to be my favorite, too. The vulnerable woman is one thing, but having that innocent-like nature scene with the metaphorical menace of the spider web is wicked. 🙂

  10. I’m with you on the first one, buuuut (sorry, couldn’t resist), I think the plain title works well. Anything more and I feel that it would take away from the rich details of the image. At the same time, the author name could use a bit more contrast – it almost blends into the background.
    From others, my least favorite is the yellow one, because it feels too optimistic for this kind of story. Or maybe I’m not a big fan of yellow. 😉

    • Lol… actually I think your point about the plainness of the font is a good one. It certainly stands out well – and I have become a tad obsessed about the treatment of fonts on covers:)).

      Yes – interesting you mention the colour yellow – I have it painted on the walls of both the kitchen and lounge downstairs because I love it so much. If it suited me (it doesn’t) I’d probably wear it. So my love of the colour could have also influenced my choice:).

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