Saturday, October 5, 2013

Shelf Candy Saturday #87: Libriomancer, by Jim C. Hines

Welcome to Shelf Candy Saturday!!

This weekly feature
showcases beautiful book covers,
and provides information,
if available, on their very talented creators!

For more information
about Shelf Candy Saturday,
just click HERE.

This week, I am again comparing
two different covers for
the same book!

(Magic Ex Libris #1)
Hardcover, 400 pages
DAW Books, Inc.
August 7, 2012
Fantasy, Paranormal Fiction, Urban Fantasy
Young Adult Fiction

Why do I love this cover?

The first word that came to mind when I first saw this stunning cover was 'magical', which is, of course, a pretty obvious adjective.  Still, everything about this cover is indeed magical, and I don't just mean the imagery.  The handling of light and shadow by the artist, as well as the very realistic, yet otherworldly, atmosphere, contribute to this cover's enchanting appeal.

Of course, being a lover of Arthurian fiction, I was instantly drawn to the sword the young magician is pulling -- not from a stone -- but from a book.  What an appropriate literary allusion!  Books are indeed magic!  The young libriomancer is also surrounded by them, which emphasizes the fact that all sorts of magic actually takes place in libraries and bookstores, unbeknownst to the casual observer.

I wonder if the spider sitting so calmly on the young man's left shoulder is another literary allusion.  The first one I can think of is Shelob, the giant spider in The Lord of the Rings  trilogy.  However, this one is not very large.  Also, the young man doesn't seem at all disturbed by its presence.  I wonder if the spider is some sort of magical mentor?  I would only know if I read the book, which I've already ordered from Amazon!

I love the very literary-looking font used for the title.  The fact that it's all in caps is also very effective. 

The creator of this totally enchanting cover is Gene Mollica, who describes himself as 'a photo-illustrator'.  Originally a painter -- he graduated from the Rhode Island School of Design in 1990 --  he switched to digital media in graduate school, getting his degree from the School of Visual Arts in 2001.  Gene creates images mostly for book covers, and all are breathtakingly beautiful!

(Magic Ex Libris #1)
Jim C. Hines
Trade Paperback, 320 pages
Del Rey
August 22, 2013
Fantasy, Paranormal Fiction, Urban Fantasy,
Young Adult Fiction

This is the cover of the UK paperback edition, which is available at the Amazon UK link above.  This version has a more dynamic, urban fantasy feel to it.  Although I checked the Amazon online reader, I could not find any artist credit for it.  From the style, I would imagine that it, too, was created by Gene Mollica.  I hate it when book publishers fail to credit a highly talented artist such as Mollica! 

Although both covers are stunning, I must admit to preferring the hardcover one, because it simply conveys much more of an enchanting, mysterious atmosphere.  The young magician on the paperback cover is holding what appears to be some sort of ray gun, which also brings in an element of science fiction.  I much prefer the sword, on the hardcover version.  However, both covers are equally brilliant!  Interestingly, I do prefer the font used for  the title on the paperback edition.  It has an appropriately medieval look to it, in spite of the modern style of this cover. 

Gene Mollica

Online Links 

What do you think of my choices
this week?
Leave me a comment
and let me know!

1 comment:

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