Book Cover Friday: The Last Days of Night

Happy Friday, wonderful SEers! Mae here with Story Empire’s first “Book Cover Friday” post of 2018. The idea behind this new rotating feature is to showcase covers that appeal to us. These don’t necessarily have to be books we’ve read, but from works that attracted us for one reason or another. What did we find compelling about the cover? Of course, we hope you’ll weigh in with your thoughts as well.

The old adage says not to judge a book by its cover, but I almost always do. Yes, I know that’s not fair, but I’m a visual person. Make a strong first impression with a great cover, and chances are I’m going to look farther. Naturally, we each have differing opinions on style and what draws the eye.

Book cover for The Last Days of Night by Graham MooreAs an example, I was intrigued by the moodiness of this cover with its suggestion of fog. The wash of smoky amber hues lend an almost sepia-tone finish, while the cobblestone walk and old fashioned street lamp give the impression of an earlier time. Bonus points: I’m drawn to books set in the late 19th to early 20th century. Add the tall spiral of the background monument, hazy array of lights and stark leafless trees, and the artwork reeled me in. The title is superb, bordering on poetic. Of course I read the blurb—and hit a snag.

Written as a novel, The Last Days of Night retells the story of the AC/DC current war between Thomas Edison and George Westinghouse. Historical figures such as Nikola Tesla, Alexander Graham Bell, and J.P. Morgan are prominently featured, especially Tesla.

Eh. How interesting could electricity be?

I waffled and added The Last Days of Night to my wishlist rather than one-click. But the book kept popping up everywhere and eventually I downloaded it.

Did the story live up to that fabulous cover? Absolutely. I devoured this book, enjoying  it so much that I bought the print copy as well. That’s something I reserve for only a handful of books. In the event my Kindle would go belly up, I want a readable copy to fall back on, as this is a book I will almost certainly read again. Yes, it’s that good.

Book cover for The Last Days of Night by Graham MooreThe print copy has a different cover. Still very moody and atmospheric, perhaps a bit darker in tone. The trees are gone, the statue (different) more prominent and there is the addition of a man’s silhouette. I think the feel of rain is stronger in this one, the night raw. Notice the different title font and the presentation of the author’s name.

Which do you prefer? Would either cover tempt you to pick up the book and read the blurb?

Genre aside, plot aside, would either book cover do its job and reel you in?

Share your thoughts in the comments below as we kick off Book Cover Friday!


Bio banner for author Mae Clair

37 thoughts on “Book Cover Friday: The Last Days of Night

  1. This is going to be a fun series of posts, methinks. Personally, I’m not drawn to that period in history, though I love the story of Edison vs. Westinghouse (and Tesla. I don’t know why, but Tesla is fascinating to me). As for the covers, I’m not sure either one would inspire me to grab the book. I might put it on my TBR because of the subject (of course, though, now that you loved it, I’m going to for sure have to add it to my TBR list 🙂 ) If I had to choose, I’d lean more toward the print cover because I prefer cool colors. Because I don’t have a cover for my book yet, these posts will really help when I work with my publisher on it.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Julie, it’s wonderful to hear these posts will help as you consider your own cover. I like cooler shades too and moody, atmospheric covers, but for some reason, I’m drawn to the e-cover among these two. It could also be because it was the original cover, and I’m partial because that’s what attracted me in the first place.

      I remember you mentioned a fascination with Tesla before. Given that, and your interest in the story of Edison vs. Westinghouse, I think you’ll probably love this novel, despite the time period. I was riveted!


  2. Pingback: Writing Links…1/29/18 – Where Genres Collide

  3. Book covers are such an intriguing topic and an awesome new feature to SE. I’m drawn to covers for so many reasons. Soft tones always grab my attention, though. I’m also more of a “less is more” type, but I’m not a fan of that phrase. lol. Book one is my favourite. The differences are subtle, but significant. Quite interesting, isn’t it? Thanks for sharing. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m glad you like the new topic, Natalie. I positively love looking at book covers and often think of browsing through them in a book store like opening a box of chocolates. I tend to like moody covers the best, but any cover that is artfully orchestrated will draw me in.

      And No 1 had my vote too.:)
      Thanks for sharing!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I definitely judge a book by its cover. We all do, whether we admit it or not. Then, the next thing I do is read the blurb. That just shows how important the blurb can be and in this case, it didn’t reel you in. Yet, the book obviously made an impression. Great post, Mae. The cover is something we need to give a lot of attention to and get outside opinions before we set it in stone.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Blurbs definitely need to deliver on the promise of the cover or that can prove the stopping point. In working with a publisher, I’m able to make suggestions of what I’d like to see for cover art, but they ultimately have the final say. I do know my covers go through many hands with various people in marketing weighing in before the final cover is sent to me. In a way, I guess even working with a publisher, multiple opinions are given before the final is set in stone. To me, the cover is the first element that sells the book!

      Thanks for visiting and sharing today, Jan. Your comments are spot on!

      Liked by 1 person

    • The Kindle cover has my vote too, Robbie. Which is odd as I’m normally drawn to cooler shades rather than warm ones. But there’s something about the first cover that really resonates with me. Thanks for sharing your opinion!

      Liked by 1 person

    • Harmony, I was really caught off guard by how much I liked this book. It’s utterly fascinating and the people compelling.
      It seems like the cover did indeed do what it was supposed to do 🙂
      I hope you enjoy the read!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I’m naturally drawn to warmer colors, so I like the first based on that. The color is the thing I notice first. Then the title and author. I prefer the print because angling the author’s name adds a little motion to the design. Then the image—I’m not as fond of the fountain as I am of the spire. I also prefer the composition of the e-cover better, as the spire is offset but the fountain is dead center. I love the streetlamps in both. I like that they added a man… his hat helps ground the time period. Finally, the border. I find it distracting, although I know why it’s there (to de-modernize the look). The words “A NOVEL” rest on one of the swirls, but they’re almost too small to notice. And I don’t like the starburst behind the title in the print copy. In this case, I think less is more and the addition of the border and the starburst (in the print one) detract from the look. Maybe if they just stuck with the corner gingerbread. But the full border was too much.

    All that said, I’d flip both over to read the blurb. I love that time period, and Tesla fascinates me (I have a special about him on my Directv receiver right now that I’m looking forward to viewing when I get a chance), so I’d definitely read it.

    Great selection, Mae.

    Liked by 2 people

    • As many times as I’ve looked at these covers, I never noticed the swirl with “A novel” in either, until you pointed them out. I agree with you about the starburst on the print cover. That, along with the blurbs at the bottom, almost make it too busy. I do like the stronger feel of rain in the print version. Good point about the man’s hat helping ground the era. I’m the opposite of you in that I’m naturally drawn to cooler tones and colors. That aside, I still love that amber e-cover better.

      Tesla is a major player in this book. I learned a tremendous amount about him and his life as a result. I think you’d enjoy this novel.

      I don’t know if it’s the result of this book (and a few others that are out there about the “current war”) but there seems to be renewed interest in Tesla right now. I even picked up a hard copy book on him and Edison, currently residing on my mammoth TBR!

      Liked by 2 people

  6. It’s true we all have different tastes when it comes to book covers. Some readers prefer a lot going on in the image or people on the cover, others prefer a more minimalist approach (which is where my preference lies). That being said, this is a beautiful cover you’ve showcased here. I like them equally well!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks, Carrie. The moment I saw the first cover, I fell in love with it. I’ve now grown attached to the second cover too.
      I’m all over the grid when it comes to what I like. People work for me sometimes but mostly I prefer scene settings on the cover, the moodier the better.

      Thanks for dropping by to check out our new Friday feature. There are so many awesome covers out there, it was tough to choose one (or in this case two, LOL).

      Liked by 2 people

  7. I most definitely prefer the ebook cover. The paperback image would not draw me at all; in fact, I don’t like it, lols. For sure, the ebook cover would pull me in for a closer look and to check out the blurb, and then I’d probably do a ‘look inside”. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    • That’s the way I decide on books too, Harmony. Cover, blurb, then look inside.

      Interesting that you don’t like the print cover at all. I wonder if the publisher changed the primary color on the cover to better reflect “night” in a tip of the hat to the title. I do like them both but I’m still partial to the first one. Either one, however, would draw me if I weren’t already familiar with the book.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. I like both covers for different reasons. The addition of a human is an important touch, but the amber glow is what catches my eye. I prefer the angle of the fonts on the print cover. I would probably read the blurb of either one.

    Liked by 2 people

    • The amber glow is what draws me too, Craig. Although I’m partial to the e-cover, I do like the moodiness of the print cover, and I think the silhouette of the man adds to that. The publisher did a great job with these. It sounds like most of those who have commented would follow through and read the blurb.

      Liked by 2 people

    • Joan, you and Harmony both feel the same way about the print cover. Either would draw me, but I am partial to the e-cover. It’s interesting what works for some and not for others. I would love to know the publisher’s reason for changing the cover. I know it was a new print run and they clearly wanted to add all the accolades the book had received, so maybe they just wanted a new look all around.

      Liked by 2 people

We'd love to know what you think. Comment below.

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s