Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Written on

Angelia Sparrow’s Steampunk Romance SKY RAT Cover. This.

Sky Rat

SKY RAT, an erotic m/m steampunk romance novella by Angelia Sparrow, was released in July 2010 by Pink Petal Books (the link also takes you to an excerpt). I’m bummed I had somehow overlooked this title and thus didn’t blog about it sooner, particularly since the cover is two hundred ways of awesome. It was designed by cover artist and illustrator Christine Griffin.

I’ll get straight to the point: whom do I have to sleep with to get more steampunk romance covers like this? Especially for ebooks?

This cover really wowed me, mainly because it’s digitally illustrated. I’d been so resigned to cut-and-paste stock image covers that I did not expect a publisher to greenlight an actual work of art for an ebook. I’m sure it’s been done—I just haven’t come across many (good ones, that is) in science fiction romance.

I’m betting the heroes featured on the cover are dead ringers for the actual characters, and if so, how refreshing! The steampunk elements are present and also crystal clear (brass goggles! An airship!) without overwhelming the promised romance. And there’s just something about the composition that made my heart sing. It’s very cinematic.

I know, I know—who am I to start waxing poetic about science fiction romance covers? I learned some time ago to ignore the disconnect between the subgenre’s stories and their covers. Plus, genre details of an illustrated cover—especially for ebooks—might become lost when shrunk down to a thumbnail size.

Frankly, the cover for SKY RAT doesn’t make me any more or less inclined to read the book (but it’s on my virtual TBR pile anyway since it’s a steampunk romance, natch). The reason I’m excited about this cover is that the image lends both the subgenre and the individual book a visual “voice.” There’s no mistaking what it is and the quality is high (IMHO). Of course, my reaction is also purely subjective; your mileage may vary.

Since discovering the cover for SKY RAT, I haven’t been able to stop thinking about it. I hope to read this novella soon so I can see if the lush packaging is representative of the story. I hope we see more covers like this, too.

If you want to know more about Christine Griffin, I found a 2009 interview with her. She’s done covers for a variety of authors and publishers and doubtless many of you have heard of her already. I daresay she’s outdone herself with the cover for SKY RAT.

What do you think?

Joyfully yours,