Saturday, August 14, 2010

Cover Contemplation

Bullet by Laurell K. Hamilton

Laurell K. Hamilton’s Anita Blake series covers have gone through many changes since the first book’s 1993 release and occasionally all of the books will be released with covers in the same vein. The latest overhaul of the look of the series happened in 2008 with Blood Noir but the Berkley Publishing company has gone back and released covers that compliment the new ones.

Personally, I find the new US covers ugly and they were a major reason I didn’t want to buy them when they first started coming out. I owned all but four books in the series at that point and for the most part they all looked similar with the different women on the covers in different poses (there were one or two that were older and different but not too different). While I’ll be the first to admit that the new covers for the Anita books stand out, in my opinion they don’t match the content of the books really well. They look like something you would find for the cover of a Stephen King novel or something and while Anita does have the highest kill count outside of a war novel, the books are more urban fantasy romance (sometimes bordering on erotica) than horror these days.

One more complaint is the title. Laurell K. Hamilton was consistent throughout the series of naming her books after buildings (mostly clubs) and in one occasion a person in the series and now she’s gone a completely different direction with the names. I’m not even sure where the name Bullet is supposed to come from this time! Anita usually kills with a gun anyway. Maybe the author just got tired of making up new names for buildings?

Now the UK covers for Bullet aren’t too bad though they remind me of a tattoo or stained glass. I wouldn’t say that they’re my favorite either but they are more interesting since there is more to look at. The simplicity of the US cover does make it eye-catching as well but something about the UK cover appeals to me slightly more.

Under the Covers:

*If you know of any covers from other countries, etc. Please send me links!

Anita Blake Series
1. Guilty Pleasures (1993)
2. The Laughing Corpse (1994)
3. Circus of the Damned (1995)
4. The Lunatic Café (1996)
5. Bloody Bones (1996)
6. The Killing Dance (1997)
7. Burnt Offerings (1998)
8. Blue Moon (1998)
9. Obsidian Butterfly (2000)
10. Narcissus in Chains (2001)
11. Cerulean Sins (2003)
12. Incubus Dreams (2004)
13. Micah (2006)
14. Danse Macabre (2006)
15. The Harlequin (2007)
16. Blood Noir (2008)
17. Skin Trade (2009)
18. Flirt (2010)
19. Bullet (2010)


  1. I know it's down to marketing and publishers' first priority, like any other business, is profit... I understand that... still, I hate it when they change the cover design halfway through the series specially when I'm loving it already. Secondly, it messes with my collection! It messes with my shelves! I really really do not like it when that happens :(

  2. I totally understand! If I have a series of books, I want all the covers to be in the same vein. I don't like the stain glass looking cover at all.

  3. interesting post, I do tend to gear toward books with covers that I like. Its interesting hearing about how they came up with the different covers.

  4. Cherry: That was my main complaint too. Even with just the spines showing it kind of sticks out like a sore thumb.

    Bermudaonion: I like some of the UK stained glass covers but not really this one. I'm not really happy with either one actually.

    Naida: Thank you! It was an interesting vid. I think they've gotten a lot of heat for the cover changes so late in the series.

  5. I don't like the stained glass covers's a little too gothic for Anita Blake...the single bullet is much more harsh as it should be. I'm with you though...LKH had a good thing going with the club names as titles...and then just went in another direction. My worst pet peeves with covers, however, is movie covers. Once a book is made into a movie, I do NOT want the book with the movie cover. BLEH!

  6. Peppermint PhD: I agree with the harshness. I don't hate movie covers but I don't tend to buy them either.

    Juju: :)


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