Friday Face-Off: Clouds

Welcome to The Friday Face-Off, a weekly meme created by Books by Proxy! Each Friday, we will pit cover against cover while also taking the opportunity to showcase gorgeous artwork and feature some of our favorite book covers. If you want to join the fun, simply choose a book each Friday that fits that week’s predetermined theme, post and compare two or more different covers available for that book, then name your favorite. A list of future weeks’ themes are available at Lynn’s Book Blog.

This week’s theme is:

“I wandered lonely as a cloud”
~ a cover featuring CLOUDS

Mogsy’s Pick:

Updraft by Fran Wilde

Updraft is a YA crossover novel that sends readers on a journey beyond the clouds and into a richly imagined world of open skies, towers and wings. The story follows a young woman named Kirit Densira who lives with her family in one of the many skyward bone towers that make up the city. She dreams of one day becoming a sky trader, but to do so, first she must pass a trial to earn her wings.

However, the status of every citizen is determined by which structural tier you occupy, and no matter where you’re from, chances are you’re at the mercy of the Spire, the tallest and most powerful tower located in the heart of the city. The Spire has the final say in all matters and uses its secrets to change history and keep the other towers under their thumb. An individual tower’s prestige and benefits are determined by a special class of law makers and enforcers called Singers, whom citizens both revere and mistrust. Citizens are allowed to challenge Singers, but the results are often rigged against them. The Spire will also make the other towers pay by making examples of their lawbreakers, sacrificing them in very public displays. Citizens are not only expected to accept this, they are also expected to be thankful. Not surprisingly, the main antagonist is also the most influential Singer, a dictator-like figure who has everyone in his pocket, and of course he’s out to use Kirit for his own means.

If this weren’t such an unpleasant dystopian, I think I would love to live in a world of this book, to soar above the clouds into the wild blue yonder on silken wings. And well, I guess I would also have to be not so afraid of heights. Anyway, let’s take a look at the covers now:

From left to right:
Tor Hardcover (2015) – Tor Paperback (2016) – German Edition (2017)



Just three challengers this week, so picking my favorite was pretty easy. It’s definitely not the Tor Hardcover. I have to say, I’ve always hated that cover. It’s awful. The character has the most ridiculous expression on her face, and at first I thought all that cloud was snow.

The other two choices are much better. In fact, I was really happy when Tor gave the book a new look when it came out in paperback. Aesthetically, this cover is much more pleasing to the eye, with its soft colors and a superb perspective showing Kirit perched atop a spire and gazing into the depths below. It’s so well done, just looking at this image gives me vertigo! That’s my pick for sure.

But what do you think? Which one is your favorite?

23 Comments on “Friday Face-Off: Clouds”

  1. Perfect choice! I love how the character looks pensive rather than defiant, and the fact that the wings are not angel-like feather wings (as I first thought as I was reading your synopsis of the novel) but contraptions that remind me of many Da Vinci drawings. 🙂


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