Saturday, December 12, 2015

Shelf Candy Saturday #166: Astra (No Ordinary Star), by M.C. Frank

Welcome to Shelf Candy Saturday!

This is my weekly feature
showcasing beautiful covers!
It also provides information, if available,
on their very talented creators!

Here's my choice for this week!

(No Ordinary Star)
(Astra, Book 1)
M. C. Frank
Kindle Edition, 122  pages
Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
November 25, 2015
Christmas Fiction,  Dystopian Fiction, 
Science Fiction, Young Adult Fiction

My Thoughts About This Cover

This cover is so beautiful that I honestly think, if all the lettering were removed, it would really belong in an art gallery! It's just absolutely stunning!

Everything about this cover appeals to me -- the overall color scheme, the composition, the sense of a cosmic explosion.... 

There are circles in the composition, and I have always loved circles. These circles suggest a grand cosmic clock, which the two crossing bars obviously refer to.

The swirling colors make me think of two things: the Northern Lights, or Aurora Borealis, and The Big Bang. No matter how these colors are interpreted, though, they give a very exciting, powerful feel to the cover.

Although not immediately notiecable, there are several snowflakes scattered throughout the cover. This is very appropriate, as the  plot has to do with the North Pole, in a future time in which the world is ruled by a gigantic clock, and Christmas is obsolete. It's a world inspired by the stories of Ray Bradbury, too, so this is a book I automatically want!

I also love the billowing red of the woman's dress, although I don't really like the dress itself, strangely enough. It just looks much too plain. That's the only little complaint I have about this cover, though.

The font used for the lettering is just perfect, too! It's a very stark one, influenced by the Art Deco style, and yet, it does look very futuristic.

Unfortunately, this cover is not available anywhere....  Somebody -- perhaps the author and/or the publisher -- decided to change the book's title and cover art. The book is now titled No Ordinary Star, and the cover is entirely different.

I think the cover art was probably changed because this is a YA novel, and the woman in the red dress looks too old to be a YA heroine. However, the artist could certainly have transformed her into a teen girl. I don't see the need to throw out this cover  because of that. Another reason could have been the body language of the woman in the red dress. Maybe the author thought that  she looked too hopeless and defeated, and so, did not match who the heroine was supposed to be. Actually, I now think this cover -- minus the snowflakes -- would have been perfect for a Margaret Atwood novel. In spite of the very bright colors, it does have a feeling of impending doom. Still, the artist could certainly have changed the woman's demeanor and looks, and kept the rest of the cover, with all those gorgeous swirling colors.

Since this cover has been scrapped, I have no way of finding out who the brilliant artist is.... 

No Ordinary Star
(Astra, Book 1)
M.C. Frank
Trade Paperback, 168 pages
CreateSpace Independent Publishing 
Platform, Inc.
November 7, 2015
Christmas Fiction, Cystopian Fiction, 
Science Fiction, Young Adult Fiction
The new cover certainly has a different feel to it! The young girl looks confident and triumphant. The sweep of her dark green dress becomes a towering mountain behind her. and the universe stretches out beyond her.  In contrast to the woman in the red dress, this young girl is certainly very much in command, and I do love that! However, I miss the bright color scheme of the cover above. This second cover, too, is a very striking image, but again, I miss the bright colors of the first cover, and I certainly prefer it to this new one.  

What do you think of this 
week's cover?
Would it entice you to buy
this book and read it?


  1. That really is a great cover. I share your enthusiasm for it.

    Though I do think that it is ashamed that they changed the cover I think that modifying the original might have been a great idea. Often such things do not work well.

    The impression that I initially get from the woman’s body language is contemplation, though I can see how it can be also viewed as defeat.

    One thing that I really like about this picture is the use of circles. They are used so well not just in the center image, but also in the planets that are in the background.

    1. Hey, Brian!

      I feel so sad and disappointed about the cover change.... I really do think they could have made the woman in the red dress look younger, her demeanor a more confident one, and kept the rest of the image. I don't mind the title change, although I do think that "Astra" is a more dynamic title. However, there are several novels with this title (and Jack Campbell wrote one titled "Ad Astra"), so maybe M.C. Frank didn't want her novel to be confused with any of the others.

      How interesting that you feel the woman's mood is one of contemplation, instead of defeat. That's the great thing about art -- it lends itself to so many different interpretations!

      Oh, I LOVE those circles!! My favorite visual elements are circles, and the color blue!! I am so glad that planets are really circles in 3D!! A rectangular planet simply wouldn't be as visually appealing, or a triangular one, either! Lol.

      Thanks for the great comment!! : )


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