Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Awesome Urban Fantasy Book Covers

I must admit, I get a little tired of the ever-present Hot Chick in Leather urban fantasy covers. Not that there's anything wrong with that, of course. It's just, you know, every single book. (Well, unless it's written by a man about a man and then it's got Trench Coat Wearing Guy on it.)

I've gathered a few favorites that buck these trends after the jump.

The Jane True Series by Nicole Peeler

I love these covers, illustrated by Sharon Tancredi. They're cute and sassy and they also have elements of what the book is about; a selkie, Jane, who feels most comfortable in the water. Each of the covers is cooler than the last and I was hoping they would start a trend that would end up with Hookerpants McHottie out of a job.  Alas, it seems not.  The series was recently re-issued in the UK with some excellent new covers - a little more traditional but still no leather in sight.  These books aren't only beautiful on the outside, people, they're a great read.  

Start with Tempest Rising.

The Sookie Stackhouse Series by Charlaine Harris

Before there was True Blood, there were the simpler (and less slutty) life and times of Sookie Stackhouse.  I always thought these covers were cute and inventive. A leather-wearing hottie would never have done for Sookie, and it's nice that the publisher knew it. These covers by Lisa Desimini always give away little pieces of the book, which makes me crazy to read them ASAP so I know what those pictures mean.  

Get started with Dead Until Dark.

The Sandman Slim Series by Richard Kadrey

As I was combing through Amazon looking for a few more non-standard examples, I was surprised to find that Gun Wielding Guy was almost as popular as Trench Coat Wearing Guy. Behold! Neither tired trope is in evidence here, just some disturbing imagery that fits each novel very well indeed. (This does not surprise me, since Richard Kadrey is also a photographer.) This series about a man who escapes from Hell is disturbing inside and out. (Note: my Google-Fu failed me and I could not find who created this cover art.  I has a sad.)

Get started with Sandman Slim.  

What other non-standard covers do you love? I admit I had the Devil's own time trying to find more that didn't feature the classic guy or girl.

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  1. OMG THANK YOU! I did a blog post about the same thing not too long ago. I won't even pick up one of those books with the sword/gun-wielding fetish-leather-clad dominatrix on the cover.

    Harry Connolly's Child of Fire and Game of Cages come immediately to mind (ok, got the hot guy, but he's not in the obligatory trench coat).


  2. Hey there, those are actually not bad. It's not quite the mysterious dude hiding around the corner or striking a pose.

    I think I'll have to bust out some science fiction covers to show the UF crowd how it's done, though.

  3. Plus, the Harry Connolly books are good reads. Ray is an interesting character/narrator/hero.

  4. I love the Dresden Files, but hate the covers. Even after Harry has repeatedly said in the books that he doesn't wear hats, the cover artist insists on that ridiculous fedora. I've seen an alternate cover for Storm Front that just has a splatter of blood on it, and wish they'd do the whole series similarly.