I received complimentary copies of some of the books I mention here in exchange for honest reviews, which you’ll find in the posts I’ve linked to.
I’m not strictly a “judge a book by its cover” kind of reader, as I’ve found and have read some wonderful books with covers I didn’t particularly care for. 🙂 Still, I have an appreciation for cover art as a part of the reading experience, and here are covers I particularly liked from books I’ve read this year! They’re listed in the order I read them.
*And to the authors of these books, if you’d like a little gift (one for you and/or for your cover artist) for being on this list, see the bottom of this post.*
The Last Operative by Jerry B. Jenkins
Jordan Kirkwood wants to end his NSA career, but a new national security threat might end his life first. The dominant silhouette on this cover is simple but striking, as is the way the title cuts through the blacked-out man with the image’s background colors. It all effectively sets the reader up for danger and intrigue.
Unveiling Love: Episode I by Vanessa Riley
Christian Fiction/Regency Romantic Suspense
A fight for truth in English courts, and a fight for light in a tenuous marriage. It’s not the most common thing to find Regency ChristFic featuring characters of color–just one reason why this cover can make readers stop and take a second glance. The vivid imagery, lighting, and visual drama are superb, right in line with the story’s themes, with fine typography to match.
The Illusionist’s Apprentice by Kristy Cambron
Christian Fiction/Historical Mystery
They’re sure Wren Lockhart holds the secrets of the late, great Houdini–but she has secrets of her own. This image could have been taken right out of a vaudeville show, with text and embellishments that are doing a lot without going overboard. The cover has a whimsical, but not silly, flair, and it keeps the different, contrasting colors at a minimum, giving each color a chance to draw the eye.
Remember Typhon by Kimberly A. Rogers
Commander Gavril may (or may not) live to regret taking Zenia, a communications expert, along on this rescue mission. Oh–and don’t forget Zenia’s cat. Zenia in the foreground and the arc of an illumined planet behind a hint of the spaceship in the background give us a total sci-fi feel: distinct, vibrant, and out-of-this-worldly.
Heartfelt Cases One, Two, and Three by Julie C. Gilbert
Special Agent Julie Ann Davidson and her partner, Patrick Duncan, begin the action in this FBI series. The overall tone of the covers may be my favorite for contemporary suspense reads: City Lights at Night, so to speak. The darkness is obvious while the light stands out, bold and electric. I also appreciate how each of these covers fully commits to a different tint, and the three colors look good together. Pretty much makes it impossible to want to read only one of the books and not the others.
The Herringford and Watts Mysteries by Rachel McMillan
Christian Fiction/Historical Mystery
This series brings us the adventures of a female detective duo in early twentieth-century Toronto. As for the delicious covers–historical mystery feel in the images, embellishments, and typography? Check. Six designs in flawless harmony with each other? Check. And, yeah, those silhouetted images around the borders represent the various mysteries’ themes, major and minor. Quite a bit of fun to gradually learn the reasons behind the images, the further you get into the stories.
Gone: A Girl, a Violin, a Life Unstrung by Min Kym
They steal much more than a wooden instrument when they steal Min Kym’s violin. Both the choice to picture the author’s headshot by half and to make it a grayscale one are great choices for this memoir. Then, my favorite aspect is the middle of the cover: a violin ripped out of the image and now GONE, just as the author’s thoroughly cherished instrument is ripped from her life. Spot-on imagery.
Weaver’s Needle by Robin Caroll
Christian Fiction/Romantic Suspense
Finding a stolen map to a legendary gold mine could be deadly for recovery specialists Landry and Nickolai. This cover has a sense of adventure and danger, but it isn’t dark. You can almost feel the blaze of the dry and scorching sun in the intriguing and well-layered design that screams “romantic suspense.”
The Calling of Emily Evans by Janette Oke
Christian Fiction/Historical Fiction
Emily will go answer the call for mission work, even if it means going alone. Here’s a cover with a gentle, historical, painted feel. It’s subtle, but you can see the heroine’s determination. She’s not merely ambling along with a bag hanging at her side, but she’s holding her suitcase with purpose. Hence, she doesn’t look lost while she’s heading toward her “calling.” I prefer the original covers of a lot of ChristFic novels, oftentimes for (but not limited to) sentimental reasons. But I think this lovely cover is quite an improvement over its original one, as well as the other few that followed before this.
Egypt’s Sister: A Novel of Cleopatra by Angela Hunt
Christian Fiction/Biblical, Historical Fiction
Chava’s girlhood friend becomes Queen Cleopatra in this novel set during the biblical “Silent Years.” The novel’s heroine is accurately depicted here as she looks on at the growing, queenly legend before her, away from her. The rich colors and textures as well as Cleopatra’s visual domination gets the job done, perfect for attracting the novel’s target audience.
Hold the Light by April McGowan
Christian Fiction/Women’s Fiction
Art is Amber’s passion, so how can she handle going blind? This book cover excellently captures the brilliant essence of the story: a lone woman, possibly depressed, slowly approaching the edge or end of something, headed toward obscurity—obscurity that’s full of light. With attractive and telling text that takes up most of the image while taking nothing away from it, you couldn’t style this cover more fittingly.
The Christmas Blessing by Melody Carlson
Christian Fiction/Historical Fiction
Amelia has little choice but to go and see if her late fiancé’s parents will accept or reject her–and her son. Here’s another example of a cover that’s totally on point for the audience it means to reach. The design is soft, bright, and Christmassy, with a touch of nostalgia added in. Makes you want to have yourself a merry little Christmas, even if it includes a wistful sigh.
Wonderful, aren’t they? My applause to the artists who gave these books such a great look!
Entries for 2017’s Favorite Covers giveaway are now closed, but comments on the post are remaining open.
Also feel free to check out another book that has one of my favorite covers this year, World of the Innocent, a contemporary love story.
Congratulations, authors, and thank you for writing your books! If yours has one of my favorite covers, you’re welcome to a complimentary medal to display on your website, blog, social media–wherever you wish. Click the image below and contact me to receive a full size PNG medal. (The lined watermark will be removed, of course, and the medal will include the year on it, 2017.) If you know the artist who designed your cover, feel free to pass on the word about the award. The artists are welcome to display the medal as well. Thanks again!