Cover Characteristics: Best Book Covers from Books I Read in 2016


So you know how I usually choose ten covers/series for my Cover Characteristic posts? Well…


Not happening this time.

I don’t know what happened this year, if it was just coincidence or if I started judging books more by their covers and letting myself be drawn in by all the pretty ones, but I read SO MANY books with gorgeous covers this year, and I want to share them all. That is why I have picked my top… 25 favorite covers. Yes, I said 25. I make no apologies. I also included some runners up that had different styles since I clearly have a type (most of my favorites are of a very similar art style) and I wanted to add some variety. So there’s actually 40 covers here, but you know, that’s close enough to 10, right?

Eh, my blog, my rules, and I say 40 goes πŸ˜‰

But I did choose just 10 to talk about the way I normally do since talking about 40 books/series individually was a bit much, even for me.

So… Enjoy!

Best Book Covers from Books I Read in 2016

The Immortal Coil by J. Armand | reading, books
Hereafter by Terri Bruce | reading, books
The Fray Theory: Resonance by Nelou Keramati | reading, books
Life as a Teenage Vampire by Amanda Meuwissen | reading, books
Girl in the Shadows by Gwenda Bond | reading, books
Roadside Magic by Lilith Saintcrow | books, reading, book covers
Hell is Coming by N.P. Martin | reading, books
Labyrinth by Alex Beecroft | reading, books
Slowly We Rot by Bryan Smith | reading, books
Starflight by Melissa Landers | reading, books
The Heartless City by Andrea Berthot | reading, books
Darkchylde: The Ariel Chylde Saga by R. Queen | reading, books
Black Snow by EAB | reading, books
Unleash the Storm by Annette Marie | reading, books
Naughty Cupid by Deanna Wadsworth | books, reading, book covers
Princess of Tyrone by Katie Hamstead | reading, books
Artificial by Jadah McCoy | reading, books
Soul Breaker by Clara Coulson | reading, books
Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi | reading, books
A Triad in Three Acts: The Complete Forester Trilogy by Blaine D. Arden | reading, books
Untaken by J.E. Anckorn | reading, books
No One Dies in the Garden of Syn by Michael Seidelman | books, reading, book covers
The Experiment by Alicia Nordwell | reading, books
Letting Lier and Finding Pax by Harper Moon | reading, books
The Paranaturalist by Ki Brightly | books, reading, book covers

Pin the Collage!

Runners Up: General

Murmuration by TJ Klune | reading, books
The Man in the Long Black Coat by J.L. Aarne | reading, books
Deadgirl by B.C. Johnson | books, reading, book covers
Braineater Jones by Stephen Kozeniewski | books, reading
Scrudge & Barley, Inc. by John Inman | reading, books

Runners Up: No People

The Ghost Chronicles by Marlo Berliner | reading, books
Welcome to Deadland by Zachary Tyler Linville | reading, books
Captive by Jex Lane | reading, books
The Haunted Pub by Melanie Tushmore | books, reading
The Ferryman Institute by Colin Gigl | reading, books

Runners Up: Character w/ Background

Ringmaster by Trudi Jaye | reading, books
Supernatural Freak by Louisa Klein | reading, books

Runners Up: I Don’t Know What to Call This But They’re All Similar So Whatever

As Wings Unfurl by Arthur M. Doweyko | reading, books
Shadow Fall by Audrey Grey | reading, books
The Other Side of Gravity by Shelly Crane | books, reading, book covers

My Top Ten
(Kind of. Maybe. IDK. Decisions are Hard.)

Untaken by J.E. Anckorn

Untaken by J.E. Anckorn | reading, books, book covers, cover love

This one is just so intense and gorgeous and it fits the characters in the book perfectly.


Shatter Me Series by Tahereh Mafi

Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi | reading, books, book covers, cover love
Unravel Me by Tahereh Mafi | reading, books, book covers, cover love
Ignite Me by Tahereh Mafi | reading, books, book covers, cover love

I’ve always thought these were just so pretty and unique, though I’m not really sure how they relate to the books (other than the birds).


Slowly We Rot by Bryan Smith

Slowly We Rot by Bryan Smith | reading, books, book covers, cover love

This one is kind of different and unique too, and I love that this scene is actually in the book, but it’s also a good representation of the book overall.


Afterlife Series by Terri Bruce

Hereafter by Terri Bruce | reading, books, book covers, cover love
Thereafter by Terri Bruce | reading, books, book covers, cover love
Whereafter by Terri Bruce | reading, books, book covers, cover love

These are just really pretty and almost kind of elegant in a way (maybe that’s not quite the right word, but close enough). And I love all the red.


Letting Lier and Finding Pax by Harper Moon

Letting Lier and Finding Pax by Harper Moon | reading, books, book covers, cover love

This is lovely artwork, and it makes me feel more connected to the characters and portrays them well. I just really like it.


Gallow and Ragged Series by Lilith Saintcrow

Roadside Magic by Lilith Saintcrow | books, reading, book covers, cover love
Wasteland King by Lilith Saintcrow | reading, books, book covers, cover love

Even though Trailer Park Fae is my favorite of the series (not here because I read it last year), these still have great artwork.


The Heartless City by Andrea Berthot

The Heartless City by Andrea Berthot | reading, books, book covers, cover love

This book got a cover change when the second one came out, but I still love this original cover. It’s so pretty and mysterious.


City of Crows Series by Clara Coulson

Soul Breaker by Clara Coulson | reading, books, book covers, cover love
Shade Chaser by Clara Coulson | reading, books, book covers, cover love

These are great and fit the urban fantasy stories nicely.


Black Snow by EAB

Black Snow by EAB | reading, books, book covers, cover love

I just adore this cover. The artwork is incredible and really captures not just what the characters look like but kind of who they are too (I mean, look at that defiant tilt of the redheaded character’s chin). And this one also made me feel more connected to the characters.


My Favorite:
The Immortal Coil Series by J. Armand

The Immortal Coil by J. Armand | reading, books, book covers, cover love
Shadows of Humanity by J. Armand | reading, books, book covers, cover love
Gospel of the Forgotten by J. Armand | reading, books, book covers, cover love
The Alabaster Concordat by J. Armand | reading, books, book covers, cover love

These covers. Are. PHENOMENAL. Not only are they gorgeous and perfect portrayals of the characters and given a background that relates to each specific book, they are so DETAILED. (For some reason the picture won’t display full size, but you can click to bring up the full version.)

The Immortal Coil by J. Armand | reading, books, book covers, cover love

The words on the CDC van. The reflection in the CDC van’s side mirror. The bloody hand print. The numerous infected people in the background. The architecture of the building. The individual strands of Dorian’s hair. There’s no parking allowed from 10:30 AM to 1 PM on Thursdays, guys. I know that because it actually says that on the sign. That’s how detailed it is. But anyway, all of these covers, all of Greg Opalinski’s artworks, actually, including this one that shows two of the characters from this series (one of whom was my favorite male character of 2016!) are incredible.


Check Out the Rest of My 2016 Top Ten Posts!

Top Ten Male Characters from Books I Read in 2016
Top Ten Female Characters from Books I Read in 2016
Best Book Covers from Books I Read in 2016
Top Ten Books I Read in 2016


Talk to me!

Which is YOUR favorite book cover from my list of favorites?
What's your favorite book cover from the books you've read in 2016?

Best Book Covers from Books I Read in 2016 | books, reading, books covers, cover love

Your Thoughts


46 thoughts on “Cover Characteristics: Best Book Covers from Books I Read in 2016

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  1. Greg

    Lol you weren’t kidding! Okay the ones that jump out at me the most are Roadside Magic (shocker I know), Artificial, Starflight, Darkchylde and The Shatter Me ones. I think those are all excellent. The Shatter Me covers are just like not anything else out there. Unravel Me might be my fave of those. Black Snow *nods*. Darkchylde is just a trip. I mean seriously. And Artificial just seems cyberpunkish/ cyborgish to me.

    I like Unleash The Storm and maybe The Experiment too.

    I can definitely see why you like The Immortal Coil covers though- they are nice (and the detail on that one IS amazing).

    As for the runners up I like Dead Girl with her going through a wall, and Gravity. I like the upside down- ness. Ring Master isn’t bad. That’s a nice end of the year collage. πŸ˜›

    1. Kristen Burns

      About going overboard? No I was not lol. Huh, you like Roadside Magic? I never would have guessed πŸ˜‰ But obviously I can understand why you like all the ones chose since I love them too. And you’re right, I think that’s part of why I love the Shatter Me cover, not only are they pretty, they’re so different from anything else out there. I think Unravel Me is also my favorite of the trilogy. And Artificial is cyberpunk with androids, so apparently the cover does it’s job of portraying the genre perfectly.

      I think I mostly like Unleash the Storm because of the dragon.

      So detailed!!! And thank you. I tried to group my college roughly by color because I’m anal like that with my collages lol.

  2. chucklesthescot

    I really like the City of Crows covers and I plan on grabbing those books soon, LOVE the J Armand covers especially The Immortal Coil and I need to check out the blurb on that one, like Slowly we rot…nice selection! I think I need to do a covers of the year feature as well as a best books of the year feature. Guess I’ll be working on those today! I might think about joining in with this Cover Characteristics next year.

    1. Kristen Burns

      I think you’d like the City of Crows books since you like urban fantasy. I think you did see my reviews, but if not you can check them out. I’m so glad you love the J. Armand covers because obviously I love them but most people haven’t mentioned them as one of their favorites! And I don’t understand why! They’re also great books, but I haven’t reviewed them all yet. And Slowly Rot was also a great cover and a great story. Can’t wait to see your posts! I don’t know when the official Cover Characteristics will be back since it’s been on hiatus, but me and Greg have just been making our own topics.

  3. Lucia @Reading Is My Breathing

    So many pretties! I totally understand why you could not pick only 10 covers πŸ˜€ I think I like Darkchylde and Shatter Me the most from your list.
    And my favorites 2016 covers were Truthwitch and Like a River Glorious.

    1. Kristen Burns

      Lol seriously there were too many! And both of those are so pretty! I think I’ve used Truthwitch in another cover post and I just looked up Like a River Glorious, and I can definitely see why you love those!

  4. Dragonfly

    I have to say your blog has the best covers around. That’s one of the things I love about visiting your blog: the covers! So one of my favorite features on your blog is Cover Characteristics.

    So, my favorites of your 40… wait… FORTY REALLY??? yeah yeah ok your blog your rules πŸ™‚

    JK! I actually would have loved 100 of them!

    Ok so the favorites are: Captive: Beautiful Monsters and Artificial. I have both eBooks so I’ll try to read them.

    I actually started reading Captive: Beautiful Monsters. I even left you a comment. It ALMOST got me over my reading slump. I think I read at least 60% during this insanely crazy fall which is LOT to say. Great book! Great post. Can’t wait for the next Cover Characteristics post!

    1. Kristen Burns

      Lol I’m an art lover, and covers are just little mini versions of artwork!

      Be careful what you wish for, at this rate I might be doing 100 next year, haha.

      Oh I forgot that you had Artificial, from I do remember you being interested in Captive! Damn, well that’s pretty good if it almost got you over the slump! You have to finish it once you really are over the slump! Thanks πŸ˜€

  5. Barb (boxermommyreads)

    Well, I’ve said it before on another blog recently but it needs repeating here. I might as well just bookmark this page and get ready to add to the wishlist. I have to admit to being a cover junkie as well. I love that you showcased more than 10. That’s the fun thing about blogging sometimes – making your own rules. I have always loved the artwork on this Saintcrow series. I own the first book but need to get started on it – story of my life. What a lovely post!

    1. Kristen Burns

      DO IT. ADD THEM ALL. Lol. Actually a few of these I didn’t even like, but they still had pretty covers. But yes, it is nice to be able to make my own rules. I knew my fellow cover junkies wouldn’t mind πŸ˜› You should definitely read Trailer Park Fae! I loved that book. The rest went a little downhill, but not so much that they weren’t still enjoyable too. And I’m actually quite obsessed with the Trailer Park Fae cover, it made my #1 spot last year lol.

  6. Lola

    I have such difficulties picking favorite of any kind, so I am pretty sure I would end up with a long list if I would do a post like this as well. I did a best books of the year post and already had trouble narrowing that down. I do think this list gives a good feel of what kind of covers you like seeing. I like quite a lot of these as well. I like all the detail on the Immortal Coil covers and how they have both a character and a scene. Although those covers might not catch my attention the first time, they sure have grown on me after seeing them on your blog so often.

    I like that new trend for Urban Fantasy covers with all the bright colors, it seems to fit the genre and there are some very pretty UF covers that got revealed this year.

    I like the Shatter Me covers, I actually wasn’t interested in the series until I saw the new covers, that’s when i bought the first book. Sadly it wasn’t a book for me, but I still like the covers. One the one hand it’s a bit weird with how it’s only an eye, but I also think they are very unique and I like how pretty they look. Not sure if the fit the series, but they sure are nice to look at.

    I always like looking at all the pretty covers you share in these posts!

    1. Kristen Burns

      Lol I’m indecisive too which is why I ended up with 40 covers (technically more since I shared numerous from some series). That’s a legitimate third of the books I read this year, haha. And yay! I made the Immortal Coil covers grow on you! πŸ˜› I do keep mentioning them. I just love them so much.

      I like the bright light urban fantasy covers too, although now the problem is that they’re becoming kind of overdone and a bit generic. On the other hand, they’re doing their job well because when you see one like that, you automatically know it’s urban fantasy, and they do keep catching my attention.

      Yeah the old Shatter Me covers are awful. They really don’t fit the series though, that’s the thing. I have no idea why an eye and why the flowers and stuff growing. But yep, they’re pretty to look at lol.


  7. suzanna

    Yep, you definitely have a type lol. The artwork on the Immortal Coil series is fantastic but the covers that stand out to me are Roadside Magic and Shade Chaser as well as the Shatter Me series.
    Great work with the Cover Characteristics posts. I always like to read your views on them.

    1. Kristen Burns

      Yep, I really do lol. Yay, I’m glad you like the Immortal Coil covers too! But I do also love the Roadside Magic covers because I love that artist’s work too. (The first book made my #1 spot last year.)

      Thanks! I’m glad you enjoy the posts πŸ™‚

  8. Krystianna

    I love the Shatter Me covers! This reminds me that I read Shatter Me forever ago but still haven’t gotten around to reading the rest of the series…
    Krystianna @ Downright Dystopian

  9. Cyn @ Book Munchies

    Great collection of covers! I’ve never heard of the Immortal Coil series, but gotta totally agree, the covers are lovely. I really like the art and the detail in them! Is each book about a different character (in the same universe?)

    1. Kristen Burns

      I’m glad you like those covers too! They’re actually all about the same protag (the guy on Book 1), the other covers show other important characters in the series.

  10. Caitlin @ Words and Other Beasts

    I like the cover for Untaken too! I agree that it’s just so intense, it makes me want to pick up the book! I also like the cover for Starflight, it reminds me of Star Trek when ships go into warp speed haha. It definitely makes the book seem like it’s going to be adventurous and will wow you. Whether the book actually does that, I don’t know, but I might have to read it and find out! Great selection!

    1. Kristen Burns

      I’m glad someone else likes that one too! And it was a good book, really amazing characterization. And Starflight was, in fact, a very adventurous book! I definitely recommend it!

  11. Adalyn

    The Shatter Me covers are SO gorgeous! I didn’t end up liking the books though, but still. Those covers though. *heart eyes* I love the Starflight cover as well! one of my favorite covers is The Dark Days Club by Alison Goodman, but THEY CHANGED. *cries* The first one was so gorgeous but then the author announced they were being changed and ughhh they just don’t look as good. πŸ™

    1. Kristen Burns

      I did enjoy the books, but there are a couple books in this post that I didn’t like. It’s always kind of disappointing when a book has a gorgeous cover that you love but then a story you don’t like! And it sucks when a cover you like gets changed. I just looked up Dark Days Club but idk which was the original? I like the one that’s mostly black with the girl with the umbrella at the bottom.

  12. Becky @ A Fool's Ingenuity

    I’m noticing you definitely like your covers with people. Also, you prefer them to be art of people not photos. There is a definite trend with your favourite covers. I do like quite a few of these. I like the Gallow and Ragged covers (a series I need to finish!) and the cover for Slowly We Rot is awesome. I don’t know what my favourite covers would be from this year. Now I want to go take a look and find out.

    1. Kristen Burns

      That is exactly the kind of covers I like best lol: custom artwork that shows the characters. You seriously need to finish Gallow and Ragged so we can discuss the ending! And I do love that cover for Slowly We Rot. I have a GR shelf for my favorite covers since I’m cover obsessed, so this was easy for me lol.

  13. Karen Blue

    I love all the covers you picked. I love the art on these. I don’t like photos for covers, so these are a nice alternative while still imagining the characters. My favorites are Shatter Me (series), Princess of Tyrone and Murmuration. Those really speak to me. Thanks for sharing all these!

    1. Kristen Burns

      I don’t like covers that are just a plain photo either. That’s why I love original artwork on covers so much! And I definitely love those ones you mentioned πŸ™‚

  14. Bookworm Brandee

    You are the boss around here so yeah, 40 goes! πŸ˜‰ And they are all so gorgeous. I don’t think I’d have been able to narrow it down to less either. The Shatter Me series are favorites of mine – and I do own them in paperback. I agree with you about The Immortal Coil series covers as well. Oh, and Black Snow, too! Well, I guess I don’t need to list them because I couldn’t pick favorites. πŸ˜‰ I’m just happy that you got so many good reads with so many great covers in 2016! πŸ˜€

  15. Shannon @ It Starts at Midnight

    My favorites from your list are definitely the Shatter Me series! And I also like Starflight a LOT, and Girl in the Shadows, and Shadow Fall and The Other Side of Gravity are all really great! From all the books I have read… I guess I’d have to say Like a River Glorious is probably my favorite cover! This is so fun, I don’t blame you for choosing so many! I love covers πŸ˜€

  16. AngelErin

    Great list! These are some great covers. Personally I love the Shatter Me series covers the best. I still need to try that series. πŸ˜€

  17. Lori

    You have so many awesome covers in this post! I’ve always loved the Shatter Me covers, They’re so striking and way better than the original design with the girl in the dress.

    Thanks for linking this up on Saturday Situation!