Friday Face-Off: First Contact
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:
“Ack, Ack, Ack, we come in peace”
~ a cover featuring FIRST CONTACT
When the story of Armada starts, our protagonist Zack Lightman is worried that he might be losing his mind. Staring out the window in his boring math class, he thinks he spies a flying saucer in the sky – and not just any kind of flying saucer, either. The spaceship looked exactly like an enemy Glaive fighter in Armada, his favorite first-person space combat flight sim MMO. In the game, players from all over take the role of drone pilots, controlling Earth Defense Alliance ships to do battle with alien invaders. Zack’s been playing the game so much, he’s starting to think he’s hallucinating it in his real life as well.
Turns out, the good news is that Zack’s not crazy. The enemy fighter he glimpsed was as real as it could be. The bad news is, so is the Earth Defense Alliance and the war against the aliens. The government had known about an imminent attack for decades, and all the science fiction films and video games since the 70s have been preparing humanity for this very moment. Since their inception, online games like Armada have been training potential recruits for the coming battle, and as one of its highest ranked players, Zack is enlisted with other skilled gamers into the EDA’s forces.
Fun, right? Sure, it was cheesy, but I loved this book for its tongue-in-cheek entertainment and pure escapism. Let’s take a look at its various editions and see how their covers measure up:
From left to right:
Crown Publishing (2015) – Broadway Books (2016) – Finnish Edition (2018)
Czech Edition (2016) – Dutch Edition (2016) – Slovak Edition (2016)
Russian Edition (2018) – Romanian Edition (2017) – Italian Edition (2018)
Chinese Edition (2018) – German Edition (2017) – French Edition (2019)
A lot of nostalgic covers this week, and I spot a few inspired by the likes of Space Invaders, Stranger Things, and even an X-Wing?! But it’s tough to beat the original. I’ve always had a fondness for the “classic” look of the Crown Publishing cover, and since it’s the edition I own, there’s also a factor of familiarity.
But what do you think? Which one is your favorite?