Friday Faceoff – Sometimes we need a little magic… #Brainfluffbookblog #FridayFaceoffcoverswithmagicinthetitle


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 the word MAGIC in the title. I’ve selected Industrial Magic – Book 4 of the Otherworld series by Kelley Armstrong.

Bantam, Oct 2004

This edition was produced by Bantam in October 2004, and is the default cover design for this book. While I like the colour tones and I think the image is quite intriguing, I think the very boring title and author font really lets the design down. It is such a cool title and they could have had a lot of fun playing around with it appearing out of the smoke. That said, I don’t dislike it, I just think a bit more thought could have gone into it.

Orbit, Sept 2004

Published in September 2004 by Orbit, I far prefer this cover. But that might be because it’s the one that I own. I love the slightly grungy reddish background with that heavy-looking metal door, which looks quite ominous – partly because the lighting around it gives the impression there is something powerful and not particularly friendly on the other side of it. This time around, I think that rather official, business-like font works – because it is… industrial. This one is so very nearly my favourite.

Vintage Canada, Jan 2010

This edition, published by Vintage Canada in January 2010, is frankly bizarre. I get that the chequered tights with the chess pieces are supposed to denote that young Paige is a clever strategist (I think!). It’s a while since I read the book, but I don’t recall her playing chess using her legs for a board… I feel these muted colours and the use of red in the title gives this book a horror vibe, which it didn’t have. This is the design I like least – I think it’s gimmicky and misleading.

Hatchette Digital, Sept 2008

This edition, produced by Hatchette Digital in September 2008, is my favourite. I love the intense blue that really draws the eye, particularly in thumbnail. The skyscrapers give a good indication of the modern, streamlined world, while those ominous clouds swirling across the top of them give a sense that all is not well. And what a clever touch to have that pop of magic playing across the building and running into the title font! What a shame that Bantam couldn’t have thought of something similar with that original cover… This one is my favourite.

French edition, August 2009

This French edition, published by Bragelonne in August 2009, is an attractive, well-crafted cover. I like that we cannot see the girl’s face, although she is clearly young, which gives a sense of mystery. And I also like the cityscape in the background with the full moon looming in the sky. And that funky, uneven font for the title nicely sets this cover off. While it is a tad generic, I feel some care has gone into it and I particularly love the red dress and the way it diffuses into a cloud of… magical energy? Which is your favourite?

27 responses »

    • It’s not to everyone’s taste – but I love what Armstrong did with this series. Each book took a particular character and featured her story within the Otherworld. Several characters, such as Elena and Paige had more than one book, but it was so well done…

  1. Hmmm….this is a hard one. I like the blue one the best because I think it highlights the “industrial” theme. I also like the smoky “magic” coming out of the building and up to the title! The first one was very intriguing but lacked the “industrial” theme and the second one, the ball with the 3-D images on it appear to me to be a medieval weapon of punishment.

    • Lol… ‘medieval weapon of punishment’ – I LOVE that description, Wanda:)). Thank you for your very honest input – this is one of the reasons why I love this meme so much, as it’s lovely to see which covers visitors go for – and why!

  2. I liked all of these except the weird one with the checkered stockings. I also liked the blue one the best. it really drew my eye. Not having read the book, I am not sure which one fits the story the best, but that is the one that would make me pick it up and read the back at least.

  3. I think I like the 2nd one and the one with the skyline the best. They have kind of an eerie magical quality that appeals to me. I have wanted to read this author for years but somehow never have!

    • Thank you, Katherine:)). There is an ‘other’ magical feel about those two covers, I agree! And I do hope at some stage you get to read her books – I think you’d prefer the Rockton series, as these are essentially whodunits:)).

  4. I have the same Orbit version as you, although the blue one from Hatchette Digital is my favorite. I really like the simple elegant style of those covers and the industrial and magic vibes both come across, but mostly I just think it looks pretty.

  5. I agree on that fourth cover! While the gritty industrial feel of the second one is nice, it still feels surreal and fantastic. That fourth cover has the “normalcy” of skyscrapers with the “magic” of the font clashing, and that intrigues me much more.

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