The Friday Face-Off: A Little Soil to Make it Grow


Welcome to The Friday Face-Off, a weekly meme here at Books by Proxy. Join me every Friday as I pit cover against cover, and publisher against publisher, to find the best artwork in our literary universe


Annihilation by Jeff VanderMeer


Welcome to the Friday Face-Off where this week we’re comparing covers that feature seeds or spores.

The first book which sprang to mind as a near perfect example of this week’s theme was Annihilation by Jeff VanderMeer, and luckily it has the artwork to back it up! The two covers selected for this comparison are the Farrar, Straus and Giroux edition with artwork by Eric Nyquist, and the Destino edition with artwork by Pablo Delcán. Take a look and see which one is your favourite!


Farrar, Straus and Giroux | Cover #1

Cover Art by Eric Nyquist

Destino | Cover #2

Cover Art by Pablo Delcán


| The Friday Face-Off: Winner |

I absolutely love the Eric Nyquist covers for The Southern Reach Trilogy, they’re eye-catching and blend simplistic, bold type with detailed and fluid forms. I love the refined use of colour, the twist of the plant as it spears its way through the title, and the split text to form a central block which immediately draws the eye. This cover is the most successful in overall composition, with type and artistic detail working together to create an outstanding cover. And it almost won. Almost.

The Pablo Delcán cover is strange and abstract, using naturalist illustrations to create beautiful and alien plant-life which seemingly spreads and grows across the page. The coloured illustration is made bold by the stark black backdrop, making it reminiscent of an old oil painting, and it’s easy to become lost in the detail which flows out from the centre of the image. The typography is a little bland and uninteresting, especially when compared to the Nyquist cover, but I love Delcán’s artwork so much that this week’s winner is Cover #2.

Which cover wins your vote this week? Have a cover of your own? – Post the link below!

Amazon | The Book Depository | Goodreads


Next week’s theme is:

After a good dinner one can forgive anybody, even one’s own relations

A cover featuring a family

Remember to check The Friday Face-Off Feature Page for upcoming themes


| Links |

Lynn @ Books and Travelling with Lynn

S. J. Higbee @ Brainfluff

Steve Smith @ Books and Beyond Reviews

Mogsy @ The Bibliosanctum

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The Friday Face-Off: The Tower


Welcome to The Friday Face-Off, a weekly meme here at Books by Proxy. Join me every Friday as I pit cover against cover, and publisher against publisher, to find the best artwork in our literary universe


Gardens of the Moon by Steven Erikson


Welcome to the Friday Face-Off where this week we’re comparing covers that feature towers.

Featuring only a single tower between them, this week’s covers for Steven Erikson’s ‘Gardens of the Moon’ showcase the diversity in style in today’s fantasy books. Take a look and see which cover wins your vote this week!


Tor | Cover #1

Cover Art by Steve Stone

Subterranean Press | Cover #2

Cover Art by Michael Kormarck


| The Friday Face-Off: Winner |

The Tor cover, whilst not overtly eye-catching, creates a pleasing a fantastical composition. Bathed in green light, with a landscape shrouded in mist, the crumbling stone tower is a strong focal point, with the single illuminated window drawing the eye.  I love how the mist and the clouds filter to the dark black of the backdrop, and how realistically the landscape is rendered; and I love how the moon in the background lights the scene, creating an eerie green glow.

The Subterranean Press cover, however, is an entirely different creation. Focused on the back of a central, sword-bearing figure, this cover is bold, colourful and immediately draws the eye. I love the strong orange red glow of the sun which illuminates the figures face, the surrounding landscape and the birds which can be seen in flight; and I love the wisps of smoke that come off the sheathed sword. This cover was my immediate favourite.

Which cover wins your vote this week? Have a cover of your own? – Post the link below!

Amazon | The Book Depository | Goodreads


Next week’s theme is:

A little soil to make it grow

A cover featuring seeds/spores

Remember to check The Friday Face-Off Feature Page for upcoming themes


| Links |

H.P. @ Every Day Should Be Tuesday

Wendell @ Bookwraiths

Tammy @ Books, Bones & Buffy

Steve Smith @ Books and Beyond Reviews

Lynn @ Books and Travelling with Lynn

Mogsy @ The Bibliosanctum

S.J. Higbee @ Brainfluff

Brittany @ Perfectly Tolerable

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The Friday Face-Off: I Got No Strings to Hold Me Down


Welcome to The Friday Face-Off, a weekly meme here at Books by Proxy. Join me every Friday as I pit cover against cover, and publisher against publisher, to find the best artwork in our literary universe


Dolly by Susan Hill


Welcome to the Friday Face-Off where this week we’re comparing covers that feature either dolls or puppets.

Anticipating some horrendously creepy covers this week (dolls AND puppets?!), I’ve gone for two covers that I find incredibly disturbing with Susan Hill’s novella, Dolly. Scroll down to see which cover is your favourite… if you dare!


Profile Books (Hardcover) | Cover #1

Cover Art by Peter Dyer

Profile Books (Paperback) | Cover #2

Cover Artist Unknown


| The Friday Face-Off: Winner |

Cover #1 gives the book a sense of the Gothic with its Victoriana inspired binding. Blending a rich green damask, which features intertwining floral motifs and a title that looks as though its been embroidered into its fabric, this cover would appear sumptuous and enticing… if it weren’t for the ghostly doll in its centre. With the vines of the damask twisting around its limbs, and a strange translucency that gives the doll its ghostly appearance, this is quite a beautiful, if incredibly creepy, cover.

While I can appreciate the beauty in Cover #1 (minus creepy doll #1), Cover #2 is just a big fat no.  The burnished colour which fades to black gives the doll’s face a terrifying focus; and the cropped imagery, the cracked porcelain and the staring eye are the stuff of nightmares. From the painted red lips, to the finely drawn eyebrow, to the snub nose and the glassy blue eye, Cover #2 is effective in conveying a ghostly, haunting piece of literature which may be found cover-less on my shelves!

With two highly disturbing covers which are more than likely to give me nightmares, the winner of this week’s face off is Cover #1.

Which cover wins your vote this week? Have a cover of your own? – Post the link below!

Amazon | The Book Depository | Goodreads


Next week’s theme is:

When she was a child, the witch locked her away in a tower that had neither doors nor stairs

A cover featuring a Tower

Remember to check The Friday Face-Off Feature Page for upcoming themes


| Links |

Tammy @ Books, Bones & Buffy

Wendell @ Bookwraiths

Steve Smith @ Books and Beyond Reviews

Mogsy @  The Bibliosanctum

Lynn @ Books and Travelling with Lynn

S. J. Higbee @ Brainfluff

Drew @ The Tattooed Book Geek

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The Friday Face-Off: …But Icarus Flew Too Close


Welcome to The Friday Face-Off, a weekly meme here at Books by Proxy. Join me every Friday as I pit cover against cover, and publisher against publisher, to find the best artwork in our literary universe


Oathbringer by Brandon Sanderson


Welcome to the Friday Face-Off where this week we’re comparing covers that feature the sun.

This week features two absolutely stunning covers for Brandon Sanderson’s ‘Oathbringer’, by two undeniably talented artists. Published by Gollancz in the UK and by Tor in the US, Oathbringer continues the tradition of incredibly beautiful artwork gracing the covers of Sanderson’s novels. Scroll down and see which cover wins your vote.


Gollancz | UK | Cover #1

Cover Art by Sam Green

Tor | US | Cover #2

Cover Art by Michael Whelan


| The Friday Face-Off: Winner |

Once again I’m faced with an incredibly difficult decision when it comes to selecting a favourite from two amazing covers.

The UK edition is bold, beautiful and uses a simple palette of blacks, greys, reds and whites to draw the eye. The typography is as much a part of the composition as the artwork, and is in a style which only enhances the illustration. I love the deep red of the sun, and the wispy haze of grey which covers it; I love the sun drenched tinge of the rocks in the foreground; and I love the drama of the sword wielding figure in shades of grey. Sam Green’s covers for Sanderson’s work have always been among my favourites, and Oathbringer is no exception.

The US edition is a powerful and detailed composition which harks back to traditional fantasy artwork. The sword is given a presence akin to that of the figure beside it, and the shades of gold, the earthy tones of the stone, and the beautifully rendered figure all work together to create a stunning piece of artwork. The typography is a little overbearing however and almost detracts a little from the artwork, and my personal preference is for a more modern and bold approach to fantasy renderings; which makes Sam Green’s UK edition my favourite this week.

Which cover wins your vote this week? Have a cover of your own? – Post the link below!

Amazon | The Book Depository | Goodreads


Next week’s theme is:

I Got No Strings to Hold Me Down

A cover featuring a doll or puppet

Remember to check The Friday Face-Off Feature Page for upcoming themes


| Links |

S. J. Higbee @ Brainfluff

Lynn @ Books and Travelling with Lynn

Mogsy @ The Bibliosanctum

Steve Smith @ Books and Beyond Reviews

Wendell @ Bookwraiths

 Follow my blog with Bloglovin

The Friday Face-Off: Greek Mythology


Welcome to The Friday Face-Off, a weekly meme here at Books by Proxy. Join me every Friday as I pit cover against cover, and publisher against publisher, to find the best artwork in our literary universe


Till We Have Faces by C.S. Lewis


Welcome to the Friday Face-Off where this week we’re comparing covers that feature something from Greek mythology.

This week I’ve found two stunning covers for C. S. Lewis’ Till We Have Faces; a masterful and beautiful retelling of the story of Psyche and Cupid. While the artwork isn’t overtly ‘Greek’, I think you’ll agree that both covers are an inspired take on the Greek myth and create a very difficult choice! Take a look and see which one wins your vote!


Time-Life Books (1966) | Cover #1

Cover Art by Leo + Diane Dillon

Le Livre de Poche (2006) | Cover #2

Cover Art by Renaud Bec


| The Friday Face-Off: Winner |

This week was an incredibly hard choice. So hard in fact that I had to call it a draw. These two covers are an absolute joy to behold and I wasn’t happy until my heart rested safely in the middle.

The Time-Life cover is in the style of a stained glass window, with blues, purples, greens and browns swirling across the page to create a beautiful and mesmerising composition. The fragmented panes create a flow of movement around each character and you can almost image the light filtering through the page. Bold in colour yet gentle in its forms, with the figures of Psyche and Orual providing contrast, this cover is an eye-catching delight.

The Le Livre de Poche cover is bold, sombre and displays a seriously good piece of artwork. I love the swirl of light around the central figure of Orual contrasted with the shadowed hoard below. The richness of colour which illuminates the throne becomes a wash of colour which radiates out from her form. The typeface may be a little lacking but the imagery more than makes up for it – this is a beautiful and memorable cover.

Which cover wins your vote this week? Have a cover of your own? – Post the link below!

Amazon | The Book Depository | Goodreads


Next week’s theme is:

…but Icarus flew too close

A cover featuring the Sun

Remember to check The Friday Face-Off Feature Page for upcoming themes


| Links |

Lynn @ Books and Travelling with Lynn

S. J. Higbee @ Brainfluff

Steve Smith @ Books and Beyond Reviews

Mogsy @ The Bibliosanctum

Wendell @ Bookwraiths

 Follow my blog with Bloglovin

The Friday Face-Off: The Staircase


Welcome to The Friday Face-Off, a weekly meme here at Books by Proxy. Join me every Friday as I pit cover against cover, and publisher against publisher, to find the best artwork in our literary universe


The Screaming Staircase by Jonathan Stroud


Welcome to the Friday Face-Off where this week we’re comparing covers that feature a staircase.

The cover which immediately sprang to my mind was the first book in the Lockwood & Co. series by Jonathan Stroud, The Screaming Staircase; which, as luck would have it, almost always features a staircase!

The Screaming Staircase by Jonathan Stroud


Doubleday – UK Cover

The Screaming Staircase by Jonathan Stroud - UK.jpg

Cover Art by Alessandro ‘Talexi’ Taini

Disney / Hyperion Books | US Cover

The Screaming Staircase by Jonathan Stroud - US

Cover Art by Alan Ayers


| The Friday Face-Off: Winner |

The Screaming Staircase by Jonathan Stroud - Win.jpg

I really love both these covers. They’re atmospheric, feature dramatic lighting and manage to express the tension of the illustrated scene.

The UK cover is dramatic and eye-catching, bathing the scene in an intense blue light, which casts shadows into the corners of the page. I love that the two figures in the foreground appear frozen in action as the eerie spectral figure appears at the top of the staircase, and that the typeface is clearly an integral part off the overall composition.

The US cover is simlarly dramatic but rather than using light, uses a thick green mist which clings to a staircase deep in shadow. The two figures appear primed to face battle, as an unsettling red light falls upon them and they hold aloft their weapons. Although I prefer the typeface on the UK cover, there is nothing to distract from the beautiful and bold illustration on the winning US cover.

Which cover wins your vote this week? Have a cover of your own? – Post the link below!

Amazon | The Book Depository | Goodreads


Next week’s theme is:

 The only true wisdom is to know that you know nothing

A cover featuring something from Greek mythology

Remember to check The Friday Face-Off Feature Page for upcoming themes


| Links |

Lynn @ Books and Travelling with Lynn

S. J. Higbee @ Brainfluff

Mogsy @ The Bibliosanctum

Wendall @ Bookwraiths

Steve Smith @ Books and Beyond Reviews

Wendle @ MarvelatWords

 Follow my blog with Bloglovin

The Friday Face-Off: Groovy Baby


Welcome to The Friday Face-Off, a weekly meme here at Books by Proxy. Join me every Friday as I pit cover against cover, and publisher against publisher, to find the best artwork in our literary universe


Nineteen Eighty Four by George Orwell


Welcome to the Friday Face-Off where this week we’re featuring covers that are retro.

George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty Four (1984) has had many, many covers; of which a great many (many) can be called ‘retro’ – choosing between them, therefore, was more than a little hard work! That is why this Friday we’re comparing the very first cover, published by Secker & Warburg in 1949, with the 2009 anniversary edition, published by Penguin UK – a genuinely retro cover vs. a cover which is retro in style! Scroll down to see which cover wins your vote!


Secker & Warburg | First British Edition, 1949 – Cover #1

Penguin UK | Anniversary Edition, 2009 – Cover #2

Cover Art by Jon Gray


| The Friday Face-Off: Winner |

The simplicity of the 1949 edition – the shades of green, the stylised handwriting of the title, the lack of imagery – actually really appeals to me. Simple and modern, this cover wouldn’t look out of place on my shelf today, even if it is lacking some of the artistry which is a frequent feature on more recent covers.

The 2009 edition however, is, to me, almost perfection. I love the blocky type, almost like a bloodied stamp – the white on red and the red on white. I love the illustrative pipes –  breaking and spearing the letters as the eye moves over the page. I love that it hearkens to the Soviet Russian posters of the 20th Century. I love the bloody scrawl on its reverse and the fact that the title can only be found on the spine. I love the boldness and the simplicity. Jon Gray’s 2009 edition is most definitely my winner.

Which cover wins your vote this week? Have a cover of your own? – Post the link below!

Amazon | The Book Depository | Goodreads


Next week’s theme is:

There are too many steps in this castle, and it seems to me they add a few every night, just to vex me

A cover featuring a staircase

Remember to check The Friday Face-Off Feature Page for upcoming themes


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The Friday Face-Off: My, What Big Teeth You Have


Welcome to The Friday Face-Off, a weekly meme here at Books by Proxy. Join me every Friday as I pit cover against cover, and publisher against publisher, to find the best artwork in our literary universe


The Infernal Battalion by Django Wexler


Welcome to the Friday Face-Off where this week we’ll be comparing covers which feature a cloaked figure! With ever an abundance of mysterious cloak wearing, cape donning, and shroud covered characters inhabiting fantasyland, this Friday I’ve been spoiled for choice in the cover department.

With two starkly different covers, Django Wexler’s The Infernal Battalion has won out this cloak-off – even if one of the covers has nary a cloak nor a cape to be had. Published by Head of Zeus in the UK (no-cloak) and Ace Books in the US (cloak!), check out this week’s featured covers and decide which one is your favourite.


Head of Zeus | UK – Cover #1

Ace Books | US – Cover #2


| The Friday Face-Off: Winner |

The UK cover, with its cold hues and stark imagery, depicts a battlefield of smoke, dirt and rain, where a besieged city towers in the distance and burns with bright orange flames. The soldiers illustrated in the foreground have a certain dynamism to their character as they struggle through the mud of the battlefield with a cannon. The typography is bold and simplistic, neither dominating nor distracting from the imagery.

The US cover, by comparison, transports us to the city walls themselves. Here the colours are hot and dangerous, and the image of a cloaked figure dominates the foreground as fire and smoke swirls behind. As effective as the tone and setting are, the figure doesn’t appear to be engaging with their surroundings, looking a little nonplussed as the city burns.

Perhaps this was the purpose of the design and refers to a particular moment in the book, but I much prefer the dynamism of the UK cover – making it this week’s winner!

Which cover wins your vote this week? Have a cover of your own? – Post the link below!

Amazon | The Book Depository | Goodreads


Next week’s theme is:

Groovy Baby

A cover that is retro

Remember to check The Friday Face-Off Feature Page for upcoming themes


| Links |

Lynn @ Books and Travelling with Lynn

S.J. Higbee @ Brainfluff

Drew @ The Tattooed Book Geek

Mogsy @ The Bibliosanctum

Steve @Books and Beyond Reviews

Wendell @ Bookwraiths

 Follow my blog with Bloglovin

The Friday Face-Off: Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds


Welcome to The Friday Face-Off, a weekly meme here at Books by Proxy. Join me every Friday as I pit cover against cover, and publisher against publisher, to find the best artwork in our literary universe.


The Knight of the Swords by Michael Moorcock


Welcome to the Friday Face-Off where this week we’re comparing psychedelic covers – and OH are there some choices to be had!

The Knight of the Swords by Michael Moorcock brings us our two weird, wonderful and trip inducing covers. With a Berkley Medallion edition designed by David McCall Johnston going head to head with a Mayflower edition designed by Moorcock’s chief psychedelic wizard, Bob Haberfield, take a look at the covers featured this week to see which is your favourite.


Berkley Medallion – Cover #1

Cover Art by David McCall Johnston

Mayflower – Cover #2

Cover Art by Bob Haberfield


| The Friday Face-Off: Winner |

Both these covers are bright, garish, incredibly busy and should probably come with a health warning – but wow! They really are eye-catching. Conjuring imagery that can be described as nothing other than fantastic, both Johnston and Haberfield have created two works of art which are brimming with imagination and are an absolute product of their time.

Johnston’s cover is a beautiful illustration which shows the transition from inked line to vibrant colour. I love the detail which has been etched with every line, the fluid motion of the horse’s mane and the rider’s cloak, and the washed out Hundertwasser-esque sky.

Haberfield’s cover is bright, intense and grotesque. The monstrous figure in the background draws the focus, and the subtle foreground imagery leads unobtrusively to it.  The colours are hypnotic, the illustration is eye-catching and the more I look at it, the more I like it.

So left in a firm state of indecision and with a possible cover induced hangover… this week I declare it a draw! 

Which cover wins your vote this week? Have a cover of your own? – Post the link below!

Amazon | The Book Depository | Goodreads


Next week’s theme is:

My, What Big Teeth You Have

A cover featuring a cloaked figure

Remember to check The Friday Face-Off Feature Page for upcoming themes


| Links |

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