Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme that currently resides at The Artsy Reader Girl and features bloggers sharing lists on various book topics. For this week’s Top Ten Tuesday, participants are tasked with listing the top titles or covers that made them want to read or buy a book. This is a pretty cool topic and it gives me an excuse to highlight some of my favourite covers and titles.
I have a somewhat eclectic method of choosing what books I want to read. While I mostly tend to read novels due to the author, plot description, recommendations from other reviewers, or because it is an entry in a series or franchise I like, quite a few first catch my eye due to colourful or crazy covers, or titles that really stand out (or a combination of the two). I have a lot of love for authors who invest in beautiful covers to highlight their novel’s style or plot features, and I also really enjoy cool and catchy titles. It honestly did not take me long to come up with a list of fun covers and titles, and I was eventually able to whittle it down into a Top Ten List. I tried to avoid using any novel where something else drove me to check the novel out, although there are a couple of cool Star Wars examples I had to include. I really enjoyed all the cool covers/titles below, especially as there are usually some great stories contained within them.
Star Wars: Vader – Dark Visions by Dennis Hallum
It has Darth Vader decked out as a black knight, how could I possibly resist this comic?
Child of a Mad God by R. A. Salvatore
A People’s History of the Vampire Uprising by Raymond A. Villareal
Black Leviathan by Bend Perplies
Top Ten Tuesday:
Mecha Samurai Empire by Peter Tieryas
Let us start with an extremely cool cover and a very fun name, Mecha Samurai Empire. I still remember the first time that I saw this book, as I was instantly drawn to the samurai mecha standing in front of a Japanese flag. I also was very intrigued by the name, Mecha Samurai Empire, and I had to know more about it. While the plot details did sway my decision, I already knew I was going to buy this book the moment I saw it. It really did not disappoint either, with an exciting and clever story about mechas in an alternate United States that lost World War II. This is such a great book, and the sequel, Cyber Shogun Revolution, follows the trend by having a fantastic cover a catchy title.
The Traitor God by Cameron Johnston
With a sleek, compelling name and a very well-crafted cover, The Traitor God quickly drew my attention before I even read the plot synopsis. This cover perfectly captures the dark feel of the novel, and the mysterious title is a fantastic part of the plot. This was a fantastic book, and led to a great sequel, God of Broken Things, which also featured an outstanding cover.
#Murdertrending by Gretchen McNeil
I don’t know what drew me to #Murdertrending more, the unique, twitter-handled title, or the fun cover where a group of stick figures are in danger. It probably was the title, and I liked the way in which McNeil was building up the novels critique of the social media obsessed world. Overall, this cover/title combo really grabbed my attention and forced me to buy this book.
The Shadow of the Gods by John Gwynne
I have mentioned a few times that one of the reasons I checked out The Shadow of the Gods was because of positive reviews from other fantasy fans. However, long before I heard about how good the story was, I found myself rather drawn to The Shadow of the Gods’ incredible cover. The giant dragon facing off against a lone hero is exceptionally drawn, and I loved how the artist brings this scene to life in its own distinctive and unique way. Suffice to say, this cool cover had The Shadow of the Gods well on my radar before it came out, and I probably would have read this novel, even if I had heard nothing from other reviewers.
Gideon the Ninth by Tamsyn Muir
Gideon the Ninth was another book where the cover dragged me in, although in all fairness, it is a pretty damn impressive cover. The beautifully drawn artwork features a red-haired swordswoman with skull-themed face paint walking through a mass of exploding skeletons. I mean, if that does not draw your interest and attention, nothing will. In addition, when I received the book, it was a fantastic hardcover with black edging to the pages, which really gave of a mysterious and powerful theme to it. I was so hooked even before I found out it was a novel about lesbian, space-faring necromancers, and seeing the plot only convinced me to read it quicker. This was an outstanding novel, which Muir followed up last year with Harrow the Ninth, another novel with an extremely epic cover.
Strange Practice by Vivian Shaw
Strange Practice features a great cover with a doctor standing above a vampire filled coffin. That outstanding cover contained so much detail, and I loved the combination of classic vampire aesthetics with a modern London backdrop to it. The combination of black and white walls and characters against blood red floors, coverings and cityscape works surprisingly well, and it helps to deliver a very striking cover. This awesome art really dragged me towards this book, and I had a wonderful time reading this and its fun sequel, Dreadful Company, which also featured an amazing cover.
City of Bastards by Andrew Shvarts
Ok, for this one, it was all about the name. City of Bastards is such an evocative title, and it definitely caught my attention when I first saw it as it opens up so many different story and tonal possibilities. Couple that with the pretty neat cover, which makes amazing use of colour (the purple and the blood red really work well together), and I was rather hooked on this book before I even picked it up and read what it was about.
Star Wars: Death Troopers by Joe Schreiber
A few years ago, while randomly skimming online, I saw the cover for Star Wars: Death Troopers, which really had me hooked (hah). Something about that visual of a bloodied Storm Trooper helmet suspended by a meat hook really struck me, and it drove me to grab an audiobook version of that book that very night. Thank goodness I did, as this was a really fun novel, that features zombies on a Star Destroyer attempting to eat Han and Chewie. An outstanding book that is one of my favourite horror novels, thank goodness I saw this cover.
The Bone Ships by R. J. Barker
Now, I must admit that I probably would have read this book even without seeing the name or cover. I had already enjoyed Barker’s excellent Wounded Kingdom series (made up of Age of Assassins, Blood of Assassins and King of Assassins), so I would have been curious about his next series. However, the moment I saw the cover for The Bone Ships, I knew that this book would be something special that I would need to read. The incredible cover featuring a beautifully rendered dragon, is just amazing, and the title The Bone Ships, really fires up the imagination. The combination of these features made The Bone Ships a must read from me well before I’d seen the plot, and it fully convinced me to get The Bone Ships, which ended up being one of the best books (and audiobooks of 2019).
Sixteen Ways to Defend a Walled City by K. J. Parker
When I first saw Sixteen Ways to Defend a Walled City, I initially wasn’t to impressed by the cover. However, there was something about the unique name that got me curious enough to check out some more details and that’s when I found out that this was a fun sounding fantasy novel. I had an absolute blast reading this novel, which was one of the best books of 2019, and it also led me to the sequel, How to Rule an Empire and Get Away With It, one of the most hilarious books I read last year. I honestly might have missed this series if that catchy name and cover didn’t grab my attention, which would have been a real shame.
Well that brings another Top Ten Tuesday to a close. As you can see from the above, there are some truly awesome and fun covers and titles in my reading history. Each of these featured novels come highly recommended, and I hope you also like the titles and cover art. I hope you enjoyed my latest list and let me know what covers or titles drew you to a book in the comments below.