Today we are going to judge books by they covers! I love doing these posts because it is always interesting to look at the differences between US and UK book covers. Today we are going to love at 2024 releases so it is a sneaky way to put these books on your radar!
I absolutely love this series and both editions of the covers. I think the US cover of Emily Wilde’s Map of the Otherlands is striking especially knowing that the first book doesn’t have a dust jacket and the design is printed right on the hardcover and it is a soft matte finish. The story itself reads like Emily Wilde’s journal so something about that choice in design and the actual cover itself gives journal vibes. I think the font choices are also smart on the US cover! That said, there is no denying that the UK cover is beautiful! Looking at my shelves, I don’t think I have a book that is this specific colour of green and I think it is so unique and whimsical and fits the tone of the story. I prefer the illustrations on the UK cover because they are bolder and easier to read. You really have to look closely to notice all the details on the US cover, like the foxes on either side of the author’s name. It makes me wish there was a fox illustration on the UK cover because I think it would be so cute in that illustration style! I have to give the edge to the UK edition because I love the style, the colour pallette, and I think the US cover is too busy and the dark colour doesn’t help. What do you think about the “Map of the Otherlands” being larger on the US cover while “Emily Wilde’s” is larger in the UK cover?
I know many of are excited for this new book from The Very Secret Society of Irregular Witches! This is an easy win for me because there is no denying that US cover of A Witch’s Guide to Magical Innkeeping is adorable. First of all, making a cover pink is an easy way to win me over and that mixed with the real is just so pleasing to the eye. Also, this is another cover with a fox and I love how it is wrapped around the characters legs. I am also noticing that there is a skeletal chicken and that is everything! There are so many great details on this cover that lets me now it is the kind of whimsical that is going to work for me. It also subtlety hints that it is fantasy and there will a romance. My one gripe is that I wish the characters had faces. There are many other details, including ivy on the house, that not included faces seems like a weird choice. On the other hand, the UK cover feels like such a weird choice to me. It looks like a generic cozy mystery- something you would expect to be published as a mass market paperback. This art style is just too cartoony for me and the cauldron on the table is the only thing that hints towards the fact that it is fantasy but that detail is so easy to miss. Honestly this cover tells me nothing about the story and is probably something I would not look at twice unless it was personally recommended to me.
A Fragile Enchantment is another case where there is a clear winner for me. The US cover is so soft and romantic and I am in love with the muted colour pallette and this illustration style. Kelly Chong is the artist and I have noticed I am drawn to a lot of her work. She actually did the illustrations on the pillow that I have on my bed! She has done both the US and UK illustrations for The Hurricane Wars, she does Elizabeth Lin books, as well as a lot of Fairyloot books that I adore. This cover obvious screams romance and I am swoony over this dancing pose. The background is so dreamy, the rose are beautiful, and the scissors in the corner intrigue me. That said, I do think the UK cover has appeal and a lot of people love Charlie Bowater’s illustrations and there is no denying they are well done. She does all of Margaret Rogerson’s covers and those are some of my favourites. I just don’t love the how large the characters are and nothing about their positions makes me think that this is a historical romance. I have a feeling this might end up being a Fairyloot book and if that is the case, I will probably end up with both editions because I am in love with the US edition.
Where the Dark Stands Still is another case where I think I might end up with a UK edition through Fairyloot but will be buying a copy of the US edition because that is one of my favourite covers of all time. I followed the artist (@bubug_ on Instagram) and from what I can tell this is their first book cover. I hope it is first of many because I love their style and all of the artwork has this vibe and I am tempted to buy prints of some of their work. Look at all of those details! I cannot stop looking at it. I think it has the perfect balance of whimsy with a touch of something sinister with that eye in the tree. There is nothing wrong with the UK cover it just does not stand out to me. I like this trend of having mushrooms on the cover and I think the stag in the middle is cool but it is hard to see all of the details in the background.
I have historically had a hard time decided which editions I prefer when it comes to the Celestial Kingdom series and that continues to be the case with Tales of the Celestial Kingdom. The US cover has two things going for it- it is primarily pink and Kelly Chong is also the illustrator. There is a lot of great detail on this cover, I just think it is hard to see. The colour pallette kind of makes everything blend together and my eye doesn’t know where to look. I am not familiar with the artist of the UK editions but I love what they do with them, but I actually think this is my favourite of all of the books in the series. It is just so damn beautiful! Those details! Everything from the bird to the dragons to the clouds is just next level stunning. No notes!
You’d Look Better As a Ghost is an interesting case because it is already out in the UK. A fellow booktuber put this book on my radar and I was instantly intrigue based on the cover alone. It may be simple put it is effective. There were just so many smart choices made. I like the orange font against the purple background and the fact that “ghost” is in white. The image of the women holding a hammer with blood on the end makes me think this is a “good for her” thriller and I loved those. It comes out in the US in 2024 and I am tempted to order a copy from Blackwells because the US cover doesn’t work for me at all. The lime green is shocking and the illustration is very generic to me.
What Feasts at Night is the sequel to What Moves the Dead, which is definitely one of my most anticipated releases of 2024. I don’t know what it is but I really don’t like the UK covers for this series. They are just so flat to me in a way I cannot explain. The skull on this cover is unsettling but not in a way that piques my interest or makes me want to read the book. Now the US covers are a different story. The flesh melting off that horse is so disturbing and I need to know more! Christina Mrozik is the artist and I have been eyeing her shop for awhile now. All of her illustrations have this unsettling feeling to them and I love it. Random, but she also does a lot of the illustrations on for Poo-Pourri and I have always thought those were pretty.
Something I have noticed is that I tend not to like the UK covers of thrillers. They just tend to look generic to me, which I realize is a gross generalization. However, When We Were Silent is proving my point because the UK cover looks like so many thrillers I have seen in the past and as someone who does not read a ton of thrillers, I would walk right passed it. On the other hand, the US cover would catch my eye especially after reading the description and knowing that it is dark academia. The US cover screams dark academia and it is kind of beautiful in a subtle way. This is somewhere I would love to explore and a book I would definitely consider reading based on the cover alone.
So far, choosing my favourite has been relatively easy but Daughter of Calamity has me torn. I think they are both beautiful in their own way but they are giving such different vibes and would appeal to different readers. It is historical fantasy and I think the US covers screams historical fiction while the UK cover is giving fantasy. From my research, the US cover is a stock photo but I think that it is quite pretty. I know not everyone loves real people on covers and I tend to feel the same way but this might be an exception for me. Something I have noticed about UK covers is they love gold foil and I am right there with them. I have all of the gold on the UK cover is going to be gorgeous in person. I could there is an argument for the UK cover being generic but if you look closely there are some really interesting details. I love the colour choices as well!
I am having the opposite problem with A Feather So Black than I did with Daughter of Calamity because honestly I do not love either of these covers. I do think that the US one is doing something interesting with this swan warping into this person’s head. It is screaming retelling to me because I think we have had a few covers with similar vibes that were retellings. I can see the potential and where they were going with this cover but it is just not memorable to me. I actually looked it up and the book is inspired by Swan Lake and obviously I got that from the cover so in that way it is successful. I like the colour pallette of the UK cover but that is about all I like about it. I just think it screams generic fantasy with a sword in the middle surrounded by flowers. It tells me nothing about the story itself.
This seems to be one of those cases where the covers are not only different but the titles are as well. As far as I can tell the US title is Heartless Hunter and the UK title is The Crimson Moth. I love the details on the moth on the US cover and the teal background is pretty, but I have to give the UK cover the edge. There is just so much more detail and I love how muted the colour palette is. I also much prefer the tagline “A moth to flame, a witch to burn” over “Her deadliest enemy or her greatest lover?”.
Both covers for My Throat an Open Grave are super creepy but in different ways. The skulls in the background on the US edition are so unnerving and I love them. I also like the idea of this girl in a white dress with a bloody handprint on her clothes but I am not sure how I feel about the actual illustration style. The UK cover is eerie in a less obvious way but something about all of those hands picking flowers gives me chills for reason I can’t explain. I think that the colour tones help with that!
I think that the US cover of To Cage a God is kind of cool and I do think it will stand out on the shelves, but the UK edition is illustrated by Tom Roberts, whose work I really do love. He also illustrated Godkiller and The Book That Wouldn’t Burn- two of my favourite covers of 2023. That ribcage with whatever is crawling in it is disturbing and kind of epic the more you look at it.
I included A Haunting in the Arctic in my most anticipated books of October list because it does come out this month in the UK and in Canada. What I didn’t realize until I made that video is that it does not come out in the US until 2024. I am so happy that Canada is getting the same release date and cover as the UK, which is something that rarely happens, because that means I can both read it sooner and have the prettier cover. First of all, this is fiction and the US cover screams nonfiction to me. There is nothing about that cover that would make me think it Gothic/horror/paranormal. I think the UK cover does a much better job of getting that across with the fillagree border and the ship that looks like it is glitching.
And with a score of 8-6, the UK has won this round!
*Check out these cover artists*