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It’s quite rare that I’ll read about a novel before seeing its cover art. This isn’t because I refuse to be interested in a book that’s cover-less, it’s mostly due to circumstance and my own method of prioritizing of my time. You won’t find me constantly browsing publishers’ catalogs for new books to read. I’m never ahead of (or even alongside) the blogger brigade when it comes to finding out about upcoming titles. I’m that one girl who’s wheezing (or probably passed out) three miles behind, asking everyone else to wait up.

Most of the excitement I express about upcoming titles is because of other bloggers’ reviews I read. (high five to all of you!) I love being able to go to Goodreads and scan my newsfeed, glancing at books that have been thrown on my friends’ TBR lists. Covers included.

But what about those novels that I stumble upon almost purely by accident, that have no covers? The ones where I read the summary and immediately think, “Wow, I can’t wait to see what the art director cooks up for this novel.” No recommendation from a blogger friend, no simple discovery on Goodreads, no link from another post. I tell you, this is a rare, rare occurrence.

But then I read the summary for Marie Lu’s Legend (from Lu’s website):

Short Version:

LEGEND takes place in a dark future, when North America has split into two warring nations. It tells the story of a famous 15-year old boy criminal and the 15-year old girl prodigy hired to hunt him down. When their paths cross, the truth they uncover together will become legend.

Longer Version:

The United States is gone, along with its flooded coasts. North America’s two warring nations, the western Republic and the eastern Colonies, have reached a breaking point. In the midst of this broken continent and dark new world are two teenagers who will go down in history ….

Born into the slums of the Republic’s Lake sector, fifteen-year old Day is the country’s most wanted criminal. A mysterious boy with no recorded image or fingerprints. A boy who should no longer exist. A boy who watches over his family until one evening, when the plague patrols mark his family’s door with an X–the sign of plague infection. A death sentence for any family too poor to afford the antidote. Desperate, Day has no choice; he must steal it.

Born to an elite family in the wealthy Ruby sector, fifteen-year old June is the Republic’s most promising prodigy. A superintelligent girl destined for great things in the country’s highest military circles. Obedient, passionate, and committed to her country–until the day her brother Metias is murdered while on patrol during a break-in at the plague hospital.

Only one person could be responsible.


And now it’s June’s mission to hunt him down.

The truth they’ll uncover will become legend.


All artwork by Marie Lu

If you visit Lu’s website, you get a genuine visual feel of the novel. Dark backdrop. Grungy header depicting a broken future Los Angeles. You’ll also find a few teaser trailers created by Lu herself, as well as a soundtrack. Legend is a dystopian described as Catch Me If You Can meets The Hunger Games. Say what?!



Anyway, so my brain-wheels started to spin at a ridiculous speed, and I tried to imagine a cover for this epic story. There are several descriptors and ideas that pop into my mind when it comes to imagining how this cover might be visualized. Below is what I’d call A Random Act of Photoshop — it’s mainly a cluster of those words and ideas floating around in my head when I think of Legend’s potential cover art.

legendary_cover-1879250Have you ever thought about potential cover design after reading a summary of a novel that’s, well, still naked? Or is this just the makings of a fanatical person? I’ve got Legend on my TBR list, and I’ll be waiting like an impatient crazy person with bated breath until its final cover reveal. Regardless of whether it’s a home-run cover or not, the story is enticing enough to keep an eye out for it in the fall.

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Bryan Williams