Saturday, July 1, 2017

Shelf Candy Saturday No. 217: Falling to Ash, by Karen Mahoney

Welcome to Shelf Candy Saturday!

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

This week, I'm comparing two
different covers for the
same book!

Falling to Ash
(Moth, Book 1)
Karen Mahoney
Trade Paperback, 342 pages
Random House, Australia
   Paranormal Romance, Urban Fantasy, 
Young Adult Fiction

My Thoughts About This Cover

This week, I decided to analyze and contrast two covers for the same book, which is something I haven't done for quite some time.

The cover shown above is an exquisite work of art. Everything about it is beautiful, from the composition, to the moths, the young woman looking questioningly out at the viewer, the fact that a moth's wing is also acting as an angel's wing, as it's superimposed on the young woman's right shoulder, the simple, yet elegant font, influenced by the Art Deco style; in short, EVERYTHING in this cover just WORKS.

I LOVE the large, bold shapes in this cover. I LOVE the way the moths are placed, slowly receding into the background. I LOVE the delicate detail on the moths, which is echoed by the young woman's lacy dress. I even like her hairstyle! And, of course, I also LOVE the soft, muted background that reminds me of delicately-veined marble.

The cover above is the one for the Australian edition of the book. And now there's the cover below. This is the cover for the edition published not only in the US, but in the UK, as well, because I've checked out The Book Depository, and they carry the book with the cover below.

My Thoughts About THIS Cover

What a marked contrast this inferior cover makes with the first, vastly superior one above! In my honest opinion, the composition doesn't work AT ALL in this second cover. The various elements are totally disjointed; there's no harmony among them, no flow. The font looks SO ridiculous, too! And the ornamental flourishes, at the top left-hand corner, and the bottom right-hand corner, seem to have been added almost as an afterthought, to make the cover look "better", I guess. Instead, they have the OPPOSITE effect. They don't go with the design at all, and even make the cover look cluttered.

As for the moths located in the top right-hand corner, they have none of the delicate beauty of those on the first cover above. Nor do I see any connection between the moths and the girl. Some of her hair is blowing wildly into her face, while the rest of it is sweeping behind her, and the moths actually seem to be pulling it! What kind of "design" is this? This is not graceful. This is not beautiful. Instead, it's awkward in the extreme.

To make matters even WORSE (as if things weren't bad enough already!), the way the girl is placed on the cover is very awkward, as well. It looks as if she's going to fall right off the cover! Lol.

In short, I am totally going to try my HARDEST to get a hold of the Australian edition, because I LOVE the plot, BUT, I don't want this HORRIBLE second cover! I have discovered some store names down under, and I'm hoping that they won't charge too much to send the book here to the US.... I think I might need to check an online bookstore based in New Zealand where I used to buy books from time to time in the past. Crossing my fingers!

I have no information on the brilliant cover artist for the first cover. I will keep looking, though, and, if I find any, I'll come back and update this post.

The second cover is available on Amazon US, as well as The Book Depository. Ditto for Amazon UK and Amazon CA. Of course, this particular edition is the one that will also be available at retail bookstores, on this side of the Pacific.

I'm not providing any information on the cover artist for the second, ABYSMALLY inferior cover. This "artist" just doesn't deserve any accolades or mentions, IMHO. 

There. Rant over. Getting off my little soapbox now.... Lol.

What do you think of 
this week's covers?
Do you agree or disagree with me?
Please leave a comment
and let me know!


  1. The first cover is MILES better than the second one! How could there be such a difference between the two, I wonder?

    1. Hi, Verushka!

      I'm so glad you agree!! And I ask myself the very same question, too! Lol.

      Thanks for commenting!! <3 <3 <3 :) :) :)

  2. I personally prefer the second cover more, but they're both so beautiful!! I think the first one is more gentle and softly beautiful, and the second one's more striking and dramatic :)

    Amazing analysis! HUGS!! <3 <3 :) :)

    Amy @ A Magical World Of Words

    1. Hi, Amy!

      You do have a point about the basic contrast between the two covers; the first one IS more gentle and soft, while the second one is much more dramatic! :)

      Thanks for the compliment on my analysis! <3 <3

      Thanks as well for your honest opinion!! HUGS TO YOU, TOO!!!! <3 <3 <3 :) :) :)

  3. That first cover is so striking and interesting. It is very different from most cover art that I have seen.

    I agree with everything that you wrote about it.

    In addition, the use of tans and browns seems so original. The use of these colors in such predominance is rare. With that, the look works for me. Of course, these colors work very well with the moth theme.

    The woman's face is also different. It is also not the classic look.

    I like the second cover, but I agree that it pales in comparison to the first.

    1. Hi, Brian!

      Yes, ABSOLUTELY!! And it's indeed very different from most cover art. I'm so glad you agree with my analysis, too!

      I really like what you've stated about the colors in this cover. You don't see such colors on book covers every day, that's for sure! And I agree that they "work very well with the moth theme".

      As for the woman, yes, she's not a typical cover model, either.

      In short, this cover looks more like fine art to me -- what you would see hanging in a gallery.

      Fortunately, I came across the first cover first. Had I seen the second one first, I would have never even bothered to read the synopsis of the book! That's how much of an influence beautiful covers have on me! So the old saying of "Don't judge a book by its cover" might be true, but ONLY if the book is ALREADY an established classic. If it's a book that's just been published for the very first time, I think the cover design should be the VERY BEST that the author is able to pay for -- if they're an Indie author. If they're going with a major publisher, then they (the author) should INSIST on approving any cover submitted by the publisher's artists for their book.

      Thanks for the GREAT comment!! Hope you're enjoying a WONDERFUL holiday weekend!! <3 :)


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