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  • Writer's pictureIshta Mercurio

Cover Collection 11: DUST, by Arthur Slade, cover art by Lily Dormishev

Hey, everyone! Happy February! Spring is just around the corner, and things are thawing here--at least, they're thawing for now! But I don't want to jinx it, so I'd better move on...

Welcome to Cover Collection, my (mostly) weekly blog series about book covers. Here, I take a deeper look at covers I love, and talk about why I think they work. This week, we're looking at the new e-book and audiobook cover for Arthur Slade's middle-grade novel DUST, which was art-directed by Art himself (can you say, WOW?!) and which features art by Lily Dormishev, whose website you can find here.

When I first saw this cover last September, I KNEW that I needed to talk about it here. Take a look:

This cover is everything.

Okay, let's talk about the color palette. This book is set in a rural prairie town, in the middle of a drought. Previous versions of the cover have reflected this, with light, almost sun-bleached color palettes. But this cover veers off in a different direction, evoking the emotional tone of the book, which I really love.

I love the use of images here: the butterflies, which play a key role in the story, and the man, looming large and shadowed and unidentifiable. The man in the book has a name and a face, and again, previous covers have represented him more literally,with an unnaturally pale face, as he is described in the book. But he himself--his soul--is unknowable to the townspeople (or at least, to most of them), and the mystery of who he truly is is a key part of the story. I love this metaphorical representation of him, the way his true self is hidden from view, the way he has turned his back to the light and actively prevented us from seeing who he is.

Finally, let's talk about the text: the author's name is right above the title, centered in a slender font, and the title is bold, but shimmers with mystery. It's an excellent stylistic choice.

As always, I can't talk about everything. What do you think? Have you read DUST? What makes this cover work for you? Drop your thoughts in the comments, and let's continue the conversation!

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