Monday, 8 February 2010

Which Cover Would You Go For? ‘The Rats and the Ruling Sea’ – Robert V.S. Redick

Publishing being the way it is, I’ll sometimes be given the same book from two different publishers. The thing is, I’m only going to read one of them but I do like to give a nod to the other so… the US versus UK cover art posts were born. These only happen when the same book comes through the door twice mind you, only these books get the treatment!

Stepping up to the plate today is Robert V.S. Redick’s ‘The Rats and the Ruling Sea’, sequel to ‘The Red Wolf Conspiracy’ (published by Gollancz in the UK and Del Rey in the US). I still haven’t got round to reading ‘The Red Wolf Conspiracy’ and really need to. Has anyone here read it? If so, what did you think?

Anyway, back to the covers.

Here’s the UK version,



And here’s the US version,



First up, you’ll notice that this isn’t just a post about cover art, it’s also a post about book titles as well. The UK edition wins this round hands down with the more fantasy sounding ‘The Rats and the Ruling Sea’. Who are these rats? And why didn’t I finish the first book earlier so I could find out who they are much more quickly? There’s a lesson for me! Del Rey’s ‘The Ruling Sea’ sounds like, well… pretty much any run of the mill naval novel with nothing there to suggest a fantasy adventure.

As far as the cover art itself goes, I pronounce this another resounding victory for UK cover art with a cover that sets its stall out and does it’s business very well. I’m assuming that the rats are on the ship…? My tip for the Del Rey Cover? If you’ve got the word ‘sea’ in the title then it might be best if the cover art has a boat in it at the very least. Fair enough, this is a compass but what’s with the spear? Better luck next time…

What about you guys though? UK or US cover, what do you think? Comments please!

18 comments:

sbp said...

No question about it: the UK cover is superior.

Martin said...

I've just finished reading 'Rats', both books I'd give 8.5 out of 10...

Tea & Tomes said...

I also like the UK cover more than the US cover. This seems to be a trend with me, I've noticed. Maybe it's just unconscious loyalty to my British ancestry.

RedEyedGhost said...

UK cover and name are much better. The book/synopsis itself doesn't interest me too much, so I guess it really doesn't matter what I think.

Seak (Bryce L.) said...

UK hands down. But, if it was between two covers with ships i would probably have a really hard time. They just get me every time.

-Bryce

Kevin said...

I'm kind of split on the covers. The UK version looks more old-fashioned, thus maybe more appropriate for a fantasy novel, but the U.S. version is slick and colorful.

As for the titles, adding "The Rats" is a double-edged sword. If you want to sell to people who haven't read the first book, having an animal in the title may make people think it's a children's or YA book. Though children's and YA fantasy books have little trouble selling to adults these days.

S.M.D. said...

UK for sure, but, to be fair, neither would make me want to pick up the book. Nothing particularly thrilling about either version, except that one is stupid, and the other is so-so.

But I'm also not into "naval fiction," even if that's not what it's advertising...

valkyriepilot said...

I would go for the UK cover.

Putting a ship on a cover is a very good way to lure me in ;)

Celine said...

I like the US cover ( it has more universal appeal, is more colourful, and looks less like an old fashioned naval saga and more an adventure tale)but I by far prefer the UK title ( for the exact same list of reasons!)

Simon said...

Well I'd go for the UK cover and title. I've read both books and can recommend them, the covers are perhaps misleading there's a lot more to this series than naval adventures. The usual fantasy tropes are used, the world building is good and there are hint's of a more SF tinge to things than are apparent at first glance.

Droidprogrammer said...

I have the UK version. I am wondering, if the blurp on the back cover reads like a newspaper article on the US edition?

Hadean said...

The UK one, by far.

Just one slight detail - the UK cover you posted is the old design that matches The Red Wolf Conspiracy cover.
I had pre-ordered it, and to my surprise, the book I found in my mail had totaly different font. That was a bit of disappointment, as the old font was much nicer to me, and would've been better if they kept it consistent through the volumes.

Here is the link to the actual cover in press:

http://www.redwolfconspiracy.com/book2.html

ediFanoB said...

No question about it: UK cover.
The cover shows you the most important location of the story: Chathrand, an enormous, 600 hundred years old sailing vessel. Home for more than 800 souls.

I read and loved THE RED WOLF CONSPIRACY and THE RATS AND THE RULING SEA.

Graeme Flory said...

Hadean - I've been looking for that cover all over and couldn't find it. Mine was the closest I could get. Next time I'll look harder...!

Booksnhorses said...

UK cover but - I was going to say that the current vogue for twirly fonts leaves me cold, but the font on the latest version (thanks for the link) is even more appalling! Ruined, so it has to be the US cover.

MatjaĆŸ said...

UK version all the way. Too bad they didn't actually use this version though. It's more consistent with book #1.

The Fantasizer said...

UK version for sure

Reuben said...

Definately the UK cover, Not only is the art more interesting, but the name is kickass, why on earth would the American publisher change the title like that? What a bunch of lily-livered wobbly legs!