The Cover Wars

Star-Touched Queen

Fate and fortune. Power and passion. What does it take to be the queen of a kingdom when you’re only seventeen?

Maya is cursed. With a horoscope that promises a marriage of death and destruction, she has earned only the scorn and fear of her father’s kingdom. Content to follow more scholarly pursuits, her whole world is torn apart when her father, the Raja, arranges a wedding of political convenience to quell outside rebellions. Soon Maya becomes the queen of Akaran and wife of Amar. Neither roles are what she expected: As Akaran’s queen, she finds her voice and power. As Amar’s wife, she finds something else entirely: Compassion. Protection. Desire…

But Akaran has its own secrets—thousands of locked doors, gardens of glass, and a tree that bears memories instead of fruit. Soon, Maya suspects her life is in danger. Yet who, besides her husband, can she trust? With the fate of the human and Otherworldly realms hanging in the balance, Maya must unravel an ancient mystery that spans reincarnated lives to save those she loves the most…including herself.

Janet: We’ve done this before, I’m sure of it – although I don’t mind looking at this beautiful cover again. Yup. Still want to read this.

Nafiza: Yep, I want to read this and sorry. I don’t remember what we have and we haven’t done. Too many covers! But this is gorgeous though. *covets*

Yash: I’ve said it before, I will say it again, it reminds me of Rae Carson’s book. I thought it was Walk on Earth a Stranger and almost skipped right past. In any case, I love the golden letters and the blues and pinks. Not sure I like that what the person’s wearing (but that’s only my personal complaint–it looks like a bed sheet) and I don’t get why we never get to see the faces of WOC (though maybe that wouldn’t have worked with the rest of the cover), but I am still very pleased with the cover over all. I’m definitely interested in reading this one.

the forgetting

What isn’t written, isn’t remembered. Even your crimes.

Nadia lives in the city of Canaan, where life is safe and structured, hemmed in by white stone walls and no memory of what came before. But every twelve years the city descends into the bloody chaos of the Forgetting, a day of no remorse, when each person’s memories – of parents, children, love, life, and self – are lost. Unless they have been written.

In Canaan, your book is your truth and your identity, and Nadia knows exactly who hasn’t written the truth. Because Nadia is the only person in Canaan who has never forgotten.

But when Nadia begins to use her memories to solve the mysteries of Canaan, she discovers truths about herself and Gray, the handsome glassblower, that will change her world forever. As the anarchy of the Forgetting approaches, Nadia and Gray must stop an unseen enemy that threatens both their city and their own existence – before the people can forget the truth. And before Gray can forget her.

Janet: Pretty cover. (Trees are always a plus in my book.) The back is intriguing (except, seriously, “the handsome glassblower” – must we be so obvious?) and familiar. Have we done this before? I’m curious as to why Canaan. I would look at the first few pages to find it this is a winner or too drama-romancy for me.

Nafiza: As Janet said, and I said, both the cover and the back copy are exceedingly attractive. Except for the whole handsome glassblower thing. What if, plot twist(!!), the glassblower was exceedingly ugly but intensely charismatic so his ugliness was his attraction? What then? I don’t know that I’d pick this up. Maybe.

Yash: Where the hell was this last month? I would’ve read it so fast. Then again, I am with Nafiza and Janet. Why so hetero-romance-y? We need more lgbtqia+ relationships in stories like these. In any case, I do like memeory-related angst. Um. Of the fictional sort, not the real life sort. And the cover is truly appealing–the titles, the leaves, the soft mauves. I think I’ll put this on my TBR.

The Lie Tree

It was not enough. All knowledge – any knowledge – called to Faith, and there was a delicious, poisonous pleasure in stealing it unseen. Faith has a thirst for science and secrets that the rigid confines of her class cannot suppress. And so it is that she discovers her disgraced father’s journals, filled with the scribbled notes and theories of a man driven close to madness. Tales of a strange tree which, when told a lie, will uncover a truth: the greater the lie, the greater the truth revealed to the liar. Faith’s search for the tree leads her into great danger – for where lies seduce, truths shatter …

Janet: VERY ominous-creepy-pretty cover. This is waiting in the tbr pile by my desk right now. Can’t wait!

Nafiza: This is better than the cover of The Cuckoo Song which terrifies me but I still prefer the bleakness that is the UK edition. Still, wonderful book is wonderful regardless of the cover. Read this one, folks!

Yash: I was just going to say that it reminds me of The Cuckoo Song before I realized that this was Frances Hardinge as well! I think it’s high time I read a Frances Hardinge book. Maybe I can read them both and make it a Frances Hardinge week? Yep. She’s just right up my alley. Though, I have to ask–and I am def. directing this at Janet who gets me–why is it always apples?!

The Mesmerist

Thirteen-year-old Jessamine Grace and her mother make a living as sham spiritualists—until they discover that Jess is a mesmerist and that she really can talk to the dead. Soon she is plunged into the dark world of Victorian London’s supernatural underbelly and learns that the city is under attack by ghouls, monsters, and spirit summoners. Can Jess fight these powerful forces? And will the group of strange children with mysterious powers she befriends be able to help? As shy, proper Jess transforms into a brave warrior, she uncovers terrifying truths about the hidden battle between good and evil, about her family, and about herself.

Janet: The cover doesn’t quite appeal to me, which means that as a horror cover it probably a very good one. The back doesn’t give much in the way of detail or character traits to latch onto. I’ll pass.

Nafiza: The cover doesn’t appeal to me at all. And the back copy less so. I am going to pass on this one.

Yash: This kind of sounds like someone wrote a story based off of The Infernal Devices, down to the name of this character. I’m not sure if I’m ready just yet for another story like that. And besides, it doesn’t sound like this one would have a character like Jem Carstairs. WHICH I KNOW IS UNFAIR TO SAY, but it is honestly where my mind went. Yeah, I’m not sure I’d read this. BUT! I do kind of like the cover. The title isn’t great, but I love the girl, the eerie candles, and the author’s name spelled out on the Ouija board.

The Midnight War

Life is confusing for Mateo Martinez. He and Johnny Ramirez don’t hang out anymore, even though they used to be best friends. He and his new friend Ashwin try to act like brave, old-time knights, but it only gets them in trouble. His parents keep telling him to hold his sister’s hand when crossing busy streets, even though she’s the one who always runs ahead.

And last night, two skunks stole Mateo’s old trike.

Wait—two skunks stole his trike?

Mateo is too big for that rusty kid toy. He has a cool, shiny new bike anyway. But Mateo also has a neighborhood to protect. And he’s about to begin a big, stinky quest to catch the thieves. A quest that starts in the middle of the night!

Janet: Yes to that colour scheme, racoons, and skunks. And yes yes yes to friends who are knights and children on quests and Hispanic protagonists and humour and glorious adventures.

Nafiza: The glory that is the cover. The beauty. Okay, the book sounds pretty intriguing too. Sign me up for this one.

Yash: I’m with my colleagues here–yes and yes. I’ll have one copy to go, please.

The Neverland WarsMagic can do a lot—give you flight, show you mermaids, help you taste the stars, and… solve the budget crisis? That’s what the grown-ups will do with it if they ever make it to Neverland to steal its magic and bring their children home.

However, Gwen doesn’t know this. She’s just a sixteen-year-old girl with a place on the debate team and a powerful crush on Jay, the soon-to-be homecoming king. She doesn’t know her little sister could actually run away with Peter Pan, or that she might have to chase after her to bring her home safe. Gwen will find out though—and when she does, she’ll discover she’s in the middle of a looming war between Neverland and reality.

She’ll be out of place as a teenager in Neverland, but she won’t be the only one. Peter Pan’s constant treks back to the mainland have slowly aged him into adolescence as well. Soon, Gwen will have to decide whether she’s going to join impish, playful Peter in his fight for eternal youth… or if she’s going to scramble back to reality in time for the homecoming dance.

Janet: Despite the blues and swirling leaves, that cover is a no. Another silhouetted floating/falling girl in a dress. Can we make a rule that this trope is a NO on Cover Wars? The back reinforces the NO-ness of the cover: another Neverland retelling, another possible romance with Peter Pan, another crush-driven narrative. To be fair, the writing could be better than what the cover and back copy suggest. But I’m not going to find out.

Nafiza: The number of times Janet uses “no” in her reaction to the cover. *snickers* But yeah, no. Sorry, I just can’t with yet another Peter Pan retelling. Nope.

Yash: *backs away* *keeps backing away until she reaches an alternate universe void of all peter pan stories*

  • Love The Forgetting and The Neverland Wars. Such awesome book covers! The Midnight War looks strikingly similar to Memories Flow in Our Veins, which I also loved, so points for that one, too!

  • The star touched queen cover is almost magical. I’d grab it off a shelf.