Monday, May 30, 2011

Cover VS Cover: The Mortal Instruments series

Cover VS Cover is a semi-weekly meme where we compare YA book covers from around the world and face them off, head-to-head against each other.  Today we're covering the many, many international faces of the urban fantasy phenomenon that is Cassandra Clare's Mortal Instruments series.  Be sure to tell me what you think, as always, and suggestions for covers to feature are welcome!

US Hardcovers
Yes, they're gorgeous and shiny and beautiful hardcovers.  I love looking at all of Cassie Clare's books lined up on my bookshelves-- but though I love my US editions, it would certainly be cool to have any of these others from countries around the world...

I like the effect of darker covers... the claw marks on the models' faces are a little puzzling, though.  The City of Ashes cover is my favorite.  Italian always seems like such a beautiful language, written or spoken.

German YA covers tend to have this picturesome feel to them, a lot of focus on setting or a single specific, intricate object.  I like the different gargoyles peering into the panorama, but otherwise these covers are a little too similar.  That said, the Germans are the only ones to come out with a new cover for City of Fallen Angels other than the US-style one-- all the other countries where CoFA has been released released it with the US cover, if you were wondering.
I wonder if these Bulgarian covers were inspired by covers from some other country...?  Hmm, they do look rather familiar.  As remakes go, though, these are pretty good.  I love Clary's hair and the rune on her shoulder, but what's with the smear over Jace's face on the City of Bones cover?

New US

I thought these were from the UK, but apparently they're now being sold in the US.  Sorry, and thanks for the tip-off, Amy!  Sometimes it's hard to track down where all of these lovely covers come from.  I'm not overly fond of these, though the preview of the third book in this edition (featured an Avatar-blue-skinned dude) on Cassie Clare's website looked promising.

 Personally, I'm a fan of the first cover-- Jace looks kind of like a Second Life character here, to me.  The third book must feature Isabelle, but who is that on City of Ashes?  Clary..?  She looks rather vampiric, with that cape-like jacket and the dagger.  And her scrunched-up face reminds me of Drusilla's "game-face" in Buffy, so that's not helping!

 New Canadian
These are the new Canadian paperback editions, marketed to adult readers. They're basically just simplified versions of the originals with only the skyline of the city.  Still, I bet they're *shiny*. ;)

Yes, it is the Japanese cover of City of Bones!  I love the manga-esque feel, though at first glance I was a little confused as to who's who.  The guy with the glasses has to be Simon, and I guess the dark-haired dude is Alec... the girl must be Isabelle because of the whip and the heart pendant, but at first I just assumed it was Clary.  Odd that the secondary characters appear on the cover, but I do love the way Isabelle's whip is curled around her!  Can't wait to see what the next Japanese covers look like.

Whew! Well, that's 23 covers from 7 countries, and that's all for now, folks.  Hope you guys enjoyed scoping out all the different covers as much as I enjoyed hunting for them!


Amy said...


I am from the UK and we have the same as US, don't know if that's changing. Hope not though as i really like these covers best.

We Fancy Books said...

Awesome post! I love TMI

Amber said...

This is a great feature! I love viewing all the different covers from different places. I really like the Italian cover and I think it's neat to see that the Bulgarian covers mimic the US ones. Awesome post!

~Valen~ said...

I personally love the German covers. The similiar setup is just like how the American versions have similiar setups; city and shadowhunter. The German cover kinda ties the series together, which I think is neat. The Japanese cover looks really wierd; the characters seem a bit deformed. The American covers, still, are the best!

Kat said...

@Valen-- I also like the German covers, similar or not. 'Matching' covers make my OCD happy. :)

The two covers I previously thought were from the UK actually seem to be from the US... so that's two different sets of new paperbacks in the US plus paperbacks of the original covers with the city and Shadowhunters-- a little strange that they are so many.

Jenny said...

I think I like the original US covers the best, they're so colorful and eye-catching. I do like the Bulgarian ones as well for the same reasons, and they're pretty similar as well. I don't really understand the claw marks on the Italian covers either, but they're interesting:)

Lieder Madchen said...

I love the original US covers and the new paperback versions, but the German covers are lovely, too. :)

Aylee said...

Very cool! I just love looking at international covers and how they differ for different cultures! I have to say though, I like the original US covers the best (though perhaps I'm biased because I see them on my shelf all the time). I recognize the new US paperback editions as being the covers that they use for the "adult" versions of the series here in Canada.

Tristan said...

I'm gonna have to say original US and Bulgarian. I had no idea there were that many variations of the MI series. Very cool =)

.Ambur. said...

I've always loved all of the Mortal Instruments covers, but I do love the shiny ones I have haha :)
I'm pretty sure the ones you have labelled as new US are only in Canada though. I've seen them, they're trade paperbacks, and I think I remember Cassie mentioning on twitter that they're only in Canada...and yes they are shiny. :) lol

DN (Paperback Heart) said...

I'm from Australia and we have the same covers as the US does, but there's no circle are the part where it says 'book one' etc.
I really like the German covers for some reason. Even though they look more middle grade than they do young adult!
The 'new US' ones are the old Australian covers. (Which I believe were the original UK covers? I could be wrong.)

Kat said...

@Wow, thanks for all your heads-ups, guys, though I'll admit I'm a little confused. I think it's been decided that the 'new US paperbacks' with the skylines are actually Canadian paperback editions, so I'll fix that. It's hard to tell all the covers from English-speaking countries apart because sometimes they're sold in multiple English-speaking countries. (Like I've seen the Canadian ones for sale at an indie store-- how cool!)

Marie said...

Oh the concept of this meme is awesome :D !
I never saw some of this covers they're all great !

min said...

Hello! I do realise my comment is one year late but thanks to your post, I went to look for the rest of the Japanese covers!

The one you posted is actually Part II of City of Bones. Part one is this

City of Ashes (part one and two)

City of Glass (part one and two)

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