Monday, March 25, 2013

Cover Reveal: Fall of Sky City by S.M. Blooding

People say, “Don't judge a book by its cover.

It's good advice. The outer skin of a pomegranate doesn't reveal the juicy ruby beads beneath. Nor does a slim figure and flowing hair portray a woman's deep emotions or complex character.

People also say, “First impressions are important.

Because as much as we strive to set aside appearances, appearances find a way to snake around our thoughts, spouting judgments like weeds. This was a hard lesson to learn for author S.M. Blooding, who is re-releasing her fantastical tale of bitter feuds, unwanted bonds, and the fight for right and freedom with a brand new look.

Mystical, magical, dangerous WOW. The cover of Fall of Sky City: Devices of War Trilogy, Book 1, is artful, detailed, visually stunning, and a myriad of other favorable adjectives. If you compare the new to the old (which I'll do in a moment), you can see the vast improvement, but to say this cover is merely a step up would be to take away from its stand-alone brilliance.

Our protagonist is front and center, a powerful enforcer in a city of advanced science or magic. The title and author's name are outlined and dynamic, brilliantly placed. The cover itself tells a story, has both depth of concept and visual depth. The illustrator played with lights and shadows masterfully, drawing the eye from the ship and red moon in the sky to our hero's mysterious tattoo and weaponry. All of this is a far cry from The Hands of Tarot, the original title and cover:

First thought: Not for me.

Visually, the cover is flat. The reds, oranges, and browns bleed into monotony, and there is no depth to any of the images. I doesn't grab me the way a cover should.

Conceptually, the cover is somewhat intriguing, with drawn art and a mystical steampunk feel, but I don't like my protagonists quite so dark. The Queen of Wands, supposed master of a human pet, is in some way immersed in Tarot, a magic revolving around fate and fortune that has terrible, dark consequences.

Sounds like a completely different book to Fall of Sky City, doesn't it? That's because everything this cover told me… is wrong.

In a world governed by the opposing forces of the mystical House of Tarot and the tribal Great Families, Synn is caught in the crossfire. He witnesses the slaughter of innocent people, and the devastating murder of his father. This act awakens his Mark of power, a Mark greater than any the world has seen in a very long time.

Queen Nix thought she won a great prize when she destroyed Synn’s father, the leader of the strongest Great Families. She had no idea she’d be doubly blessed by capturing his son. However, before Synn can become her treasured weapon, before she can use him to bring the rest of the world to its knees, she must break him and bind his soul to hers.

She does her job with brutal brilliance. Synn’s mind is broken and his soul is seared to hers in an unbreakable bond.That doesn’t stop him from wanting to be free. She may have broken his mind and claimed his soul, but he will find a way to destroy her.

Experience a world of ships that sail the clouds and cites buried beneath the ocean, and survive the fiery battle brought forth by those who control the forces of nature!

Now, that is a book I can sink my teeth into! I'm extremely grateful to S.M. Blooding for re-releasing this book the way it should have always been wrapped. Had she not, I would have likely passed on something I'm eager to read and enjoy. Let this be a lesson to all authors to take time and care in choosing how to display their hard work to the world, lest you end up in the same boat with a cover and title that don't do your characters or your story justice.


  1. Thank you sooooo much! *grin* This is a great post and I HOPE people learn from my experience. I love my previous artist. She's awesome and fantastic, but this new cover is...perfect!

    As an author, it's important to be clear with your artist so you don't set her up to fail.

  2. Loved your commentary on the covers. Thank goodness it got revamped. Looks much better and captures the essence of the book! Thanks for sharing!

    1. It took a lot of courage, let me just tell you! But its been a great learning experience I'm extremely glad I did it! Thanks for stopping by and giving your two cents! *grin*

  3. I totally agree. The new cover is amazing! Love it! And it matches the story perfectly.


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