I think it’s a pretty fair assumption to say that titles have a big impact on the way I perceive a novel’s cover.
When I saw the cover to Michael Harmon’s Brutal, my first thought was, “Whoa.” And then I thought, “I wonder if this book is about domestic violence.” There is something very disturbing about a little fake house sitting on fake astroturf-looking grass with the words BRUTAL floating above it in a happy fake blue sky.
Brutal’s cover is the ten millionth reason why I insist that covers (like all pieces of art) can immediately evoke an emotional response. In the same vein that Tim Burton can pull off creepy and imaginative, this cover’s designer does the exact same thing. There’s a sense that Brutal’s fake scenery is just the tip of the iceberg.
And I’m dying to know what’s going on inside that house.