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 being nurtured by Lynn’s Book Blog and this week we are featuring covers with DOGS. I’ve selected Dogs of War by Adrian Tchaikovsky – see my review.
This offering was produced by Head of Zeus in November 2017. This is the default cover for this book – and is clever and eye-catching. It is one of those covers you look at once, twice and then see something else there. The warm colours work well and I like the large, blocky title font. My niggle is that this book isn’t all about a pack of ravening beasts – it is a genetically crafted wardog that stands seven feet tall and the cover isn’t representing that content.
Published in October 2019, by French publisher Denoël, I think this is cover is shocker. It is ugly, unclear and worst of all – completely misleading. The genre it projects is dark, dystopian sci-fi horror – and this book isn’t anything like that. Yes, Tchaikovsky writes some gritty battle scenes, but that isn’t the focus or narrative engine of this book. It devolves into a courtroom drama as the ethics behind producing genetically altered animals as a weapon of war are examined. And this cover doesn’t so much as hint at that.
This edition, published in June 2018 by Head of Zeus, is a different colourway of the main design. I am not sure that I like the blue as much as the warmer, more doglike terracotta tones.
Published by Planeta9 in 2020, this Czech edition is more representative of Rex than any of the previous offerings. But once again, that red stripe in the backdrop and the muted tone of the colours projects horror, rather than the military science fiction adventure that morphs into the consequences of taking this step which accurately reflects what this book is about. And Rex looks like a ravening monster, which the book goes to some lengths to demonstrate that he isn’t anything of the sort. Because if he was, then there would be no moral tussle about destroying him and the rest of his kind.
This Russian edition, published in October 2018 by Эксмо: fanzon, is my favourite by a long country mile. The photo shows Rex and his team far more accurately than any of the other covers – and the design manages to also look vibrant and visually pleasing, as well as reflecting the tone and actual genre. Though it’s a shame a bit more thought didn’t go into the title and author fonts. Which is your favourite?
OH MY GOSH I’M CAUGHT UP! Ahem. 🙂 You know, it’s curious about that default cover. “But chief, there aren’t a pack of dogs in the book” “Your job’s not to think, Chip, your job’s to make covers. The book’s called DOGS of War, not DOG, so give me a pack of dogs!”
When a cover cleverly shares a unique character crew on the cover, then I’m in! 🙂
Yippee! Bless you for taking the time to catch up, my friend.xxx And, yes! Poor old Chip, I’m guessing that was EXACTLY the kind of converation that went on…
I find it interesting that I also had trouble finding a good cover for my book this week that really represents the story. I love your choice! And the first red cover? For some reason those look like buffalo, not dogs, lol.
Lol… I didn’t notice that – but now that you mention it…:). Rex works in a team, but with a bear and a hive of engineered bees, not a slavering pack of dogs!
The first cover is definitely the most eye-catching one for me – I like how initially you’re not sure what the image is. It’s a shame it doesn’t represent what the book is about though. I do like the Russian cover too – it looks very intriguing.
It’s a really engrossing and thought-provoking read, which is one reason why I dislike the French offering so much.
I think visually my favorite is the first one but it doesn’t sound like it has anything to do with the actual book. The last one is interesting and I like that it reflects the book.
Thank you, Katherine – it really does reflect the content:).
I found the first one most pleasing to the eye.
What nice covers this one has – I think I will actually have to go with the blue version Head of Zeus. You’re right that the warmer colors probably work better, but I just love blue, lol!
That’s absolutely fine, Mogsy:). I’m all about warm oranges, yellows and bronzes… as if you couldn’t guess, looking at the blog:)).
The Czech edition is the one that really gets my attention, and the red stripe does not bother me, since I tend to focus on those mean-looking weapons over the creature’s shoulders….
And those mean-looking weapons definitely feature in the story…:). Perhaps I’d be less concerned about the horror vibe if I wasn’t such a wuss!
As usual, I go for the styilstic ones rather than the realistic ones, so I choose one and three.
And yes – there’s no denying that they are a strong, successful visual image, Rae.
I very nearly used this book – and wondered if you’d pick this or the Last Dog on Earth – I remembered you liked them both.
I like your choice -i it’s so unusual, but I kind of like the Czech cover too.
Yes – I thought someone else would go for The Last Dog on Earth, which I absolutely LOVED, so decided to opt for this one, instead:)). Yes, the Czech cover certainly gives a sense of what Rex looks like.