Mary Arline (queen_of_kithia) wrote,
Mary Arline

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Judging book covers

Last month I reread some Madeleine L'Engle books that I hadn't read since high school, specifically The Arm of the Starfish, Dragons in the Waters, and A House Like a Lotus.[*](And also A Ring of Endless Light, but its cover doesn't apply.) It made me really appreciate how versatile she was as a writer, that she could write sci-fi and mystery/thrillers; literary fiction and fiction that was mostly mundane with just a thread of the fantastic running through it; novels for adults, novels for children, and everyone in between; poetry and nonfiction to boot.

But at this point, I'm less concerned with the content of her books and more concerned with the covers.

I was reading the e-book editions with covers that were new to me, but apparently they've also published paperback versions with these new covers. I didn't think much about the covers at first, except to notice that they looked sleek and elegant.

And then suddenly it hit me: Minimalist light-colored image on a black background? That's the Twilight cover aesthetic. They Twilightified my Madeleine L'Engle!


I honestly don't know whether to laugh or be offended. Next thing you know, they'll be trying to pass Zachary Gray off as a vampire. Actually, metaphorically speaking, they wouldn't really be that far off.

To be clear, Zachary Gray is not a vampire, but there's a very strong suggestion that he's a descendent of the nephilim from Many Waters. I noticed it this time around when I was rereading those books. Zachary is described as being so pale as to be almost white-skinned, with dark hair, and he's obsessed with power and sex. The nephilim are all described as having white skin, most of them have dark hair, and not only are they obsessed with power and sex but they go around seducing human women and begetting half-nephil hybrids all over the place. When she describes Zachary's mannerisms, they are also similar to the nephilim's mannerisms.

Many Waters was written after most of those other books, so it seems to me that she very deliberately (and cleverly, I might add) modeled the nephilim after Zachary Gray. But then, maybe she had it in her head all along that Zachary was literal demon spawn, albeit many times removed.

Man, I wish I could ask her about it.
Tags: books
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