One of the comments about the books featured in yesterday’s post is that they were all kind of meh. You know why? I hereby diagnose this problem as sheer lack of color and the ongoing tendency to make all book covers monochromatic.
What is this, anyway, a desire to look sophisticated? Look at this list here! Almost every single book — this is titles coming out this year — black black black grey grey grey and occasional very dark blue. I’m exaggerating, of course, but not that much. The only real exception is the first book, The Winter of the Witch. Other than that, very dark covers broken occasionally by paler-colored but monochromatic covers.
Here’s a list from B&N: their 50 most anticipated YA fantasy titles for 2019. Let’s just skim through this list — yep. Virtually ALL the covers are very dark and/or very monochromatic. Those that are red are all red, those that are gold are all gold, there are virtually none that break the all-one-color feel, though certainly the gold and red ones should stand out amid the black-grey-blue palette.
Here is one that is interesting:
BLACK! But with GOLD! I like it, actually. It’s got that thief-assassin vibe going for it — honestly, doesn’t that person just have to be a thief or an assassin? She is, too, or something like that, judging from the description:
… inspired by Hindu mythology and Indian history, the fates of a soldier and a rebel collide, changing the course of their world. Kunal is a duty-bound soldier and nephew to the dangerous General Hotha, who ruthlessly enforces Kunal’s obedience. Esha is the infamous Viper, committing acts of revenge on the wicked and the powerful—and her next target is the general.
Does anything there sound the least bit inspired by Hindu mythology and/or Indian history? Just wondering, cause I’m not seeing that myself, but then this is a very brief description. I do like soldiers and assassins.
Okay, I have now scanned through several different lists of upcoming SFF novels for 2019 and wow, the darkness and monochromatism is just overwhelming. I do notice that Ann Leckie has a fantasy novel coming out this year:
Black cover! I guess it’s impossible to escape from black and monochromatic covers this year.
Let’s by all means step back, take a deep breath, and enjoy some Michael Whelan artwork just for the sheer colorful contrast it provides to virtually all modern cover art:
There. Swirls and swoops of color, plus images that evoke a story. While bright sunlight might get old if every artist did it all at the same time, this year, a brilliantly lit, warm cover with a beautifully rendered dragon would truly stand out.