This Top Ten Tuesday is a Halloween Freebie, so we’re going to go visual, and talk about our favorite horror-themed book covers. Notice my wording there, folks. We aren’t judging a book by it’s cover, because in at least a few cases of the actual books in this post, the cover was the best thing about the book. While most of these books are perhaps not completely original, there is still something special about them that invites the eye. So sit back, relax, and enjoy a fine selection of awesome (or maybe awesomely bad) book covers.
Top Ten Tuesday is brought to you courtesy of Broke and Bookish.
Oh, yeah, there might be more than 10. Sometimes you just can’t leave one out!
I think it’s that this cover has a vaguely nostalgic feel to it. It clearly indicates it is going to be a monster book, but it looks almost … cute. Of course, coming from Hunter Shea, you know cute isn’t going to play into it. And ain’t that the truth!
This cover just makes you want to look at it. From the expression in the man’s eye, to the way his hat transforms into the swamp. And with a name like “Deadlight Jack”, it combines to have this mysterious allure.
While the ‘old and ramshackle house’ isn’t exactly what one might call a new idea, the designer who did this cover worked magic with their color palette. The soft, earthy tones should be friendly and evoke pleasant memories. It isn’t anything like the cool, dark blue tones normally associated with this type of book cover.
It’s amazing how such a little thing can make such a big difference. The illustration of the rabbit head on top of the suited torso is kind of interesting, but easy to shrug off. Add a few drops of blood, and suddenly it’s a game changer.
Shutter by Courtney Alameda
This cover is cheesy. That’s undeniable. But there’s also something fun about it. The creature on the film strip partnered with the name tells you all you really need to know to immediately grab this book and take it home for a read.
Apocalypse Cow by Michael Logan
Well, with a name like Apocalypse Cow, you know that the cover was going to have to have a cow on it in some fashion. However, out of all the directions they could have went, they went with a fairly standard recognizable shot, and turned it horribly wrong. Amazing what glowing red eyes will moo.
Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake
I love the way the whole cover is put together. The old farmhouse, the figure in the foreground. The black and white with just the touches of red. The misty fog gives it a creepy, dreamlike quality that makes it oddly beautiful but sinister.
Basic Black: Tales of Appropriate Fear by Terry Dowling
I like the grey/sepia tones, as though it could be an actual picture of a traveling salesman. He looks inviting and trustworthy…don’t you think?
We Have Always Lived in the Castle by Shirley Jackson
I have always loved this cover. It’s moody and makes the main character, Merricat, mysterious and slightly unreal. Ghostly and partly wild, perhaps almost feral. Blue tones get overused a lot (particularly on Gothics) but there seems to almost be a pattern to the shifting blues of the background and who can say what they’re obscuring?
THREE by Guy McBryde
Birds and trees in silhouettes are pretty common in horror, as is fog. This caught my eye because the combination of the, well, three, images along with the chessboard-like floor gives it a rather unique feeling of weirdness.
Cthulhu Lies Dreaming edited by Salome Jones
What? Did you really think The Great Old One wouldn’t make an appearance? I particularly like this cover because of the suggestion of the iconic Cthulhu visage and the watery blood with the hint of tentacles in it. It’s a great representation of the ineffable nature of the Old Ones and the madness that comes with it.
Bad Apples by Edward Lorn, Jason Parent, Evans Light, Adam Light, and Gregor Xane
This might more properly belong on a Halloween list but c’mon! How can you not love an apple that’s rotten to the core? A veritable seed of evil that didn’t fall far from the tree.
There you have it, folks, a selection of our favorite horror book covers. What’s your personal favorite? Of course, if you’re offended that we left a cover off, you’re welcome to let us know what it was! – L&G