cover love: insurgent

Last Friday I was out on an all-day shoot for work, so I missed all the cover reveal-squealing for Veronica Roth’s second novel in her Divergent trilogy, Insurgent. When I got home late that evening, I hit up good ol’ trusty Google to experience it in its high-res glory.

Hey, HarperCollins? I think you outdid yourself.

As much as I hate to admit it, I haven’t read Divergent yet. But before you start raising your pitch forks, ready to tar and feather me, I think it’s actually a good thing that I haven’t in this particular post’s case. My rationale: I think you have a completely different perspective and appreciation for good cover art when you’re unfamiliar with a story. And as someone who hasn’t yet read the pages beneath Divergent’s Eye of Sauron cover, I can certainly appreciate having a clean palate.

The emblem is stunning. I sat here racking my brain, trying to think of another adjective to use, but nothing materialized except for stunning. I need to know why the tree is dying. I need to know what it represents, who it represents, what it means. The stormy clouds are eerie and absolutely haunting. The color palette, tone and mood all portray the fact that some serious crazybusiness is about to go down. I’ve seen and held a finished copy of Divergent, but I’m much more excited to see what kinds of bells and whistles Insurgent’s final jacket will have.

But what I love most about this cover is the sense of urgency it evokes. When I look at it, the cover relays the message, We are on the precipice of something. You need to read me right now to find out what that something is. It’d probably go on to say something like OMG READ ME NOW, LIVES ARE HANGING IN THE BALANCE but that may be a little too dramatic.

Or maybe not. I have a feeling reading Divergent will make me feel otherwise.

If you’ve read Divergent, which cover do you prefer?

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26 thoughts on “cover love: insurgent

  1. I’m excited for this one – I loved the set-up from Divergent and think book two will definitely raise the stakes. And the cover is so good! Read Divergent when you get the chance – it’ll change the way you view this cover (not in a bad way).

  2. The cover for Insurgent is much better than Divergent. But that may not be enough for me to read. I read Divergent and enjoyed the first half but the end was a disappointment for me.

  3. I absolutely effing LOVE this cover. I have a thing for trees anyway, so of course I like it. But seriously. This is gorgeous.

    Also: my mom (in Arkansas!) currently has my copy of Divergent . . .shall I tell her to send it to you when she’s finished with it?

    • I’m a big fan of trees on covers as well (except for The Giving Tree, I’ve never liked that cover). Thanks for the kind offer, but I’m definitely going to get this novel purchased and read this year! =)

  4. I’ve read Divergent and even if I didn’t really love it, I will still read Insurgent. I just have to know what happens next. And you’re right, it does have a sense of urgency to it. I have a feeling this will look better in print. 🙂

  5. You know my feelings on the book, and I’m extremely disappointed that you have yet to read it. 😦 I absolutely LOVE this cover. They are both amazing, though. I’m getting Divergent’s cover integrated into a tattoo. Seriously cannot wait for the pages beneath this beautiful cover!

  6. You are so right about this cover! Aside from being absolutely gorgeous, your insights into the message the cover portrays are pretty astute considering you haven’t read Divergent yet (read it read it read it). So looking forward to this book!

  7. I prefer Divergent’s cover. Insurgent’s cover actually made me do a double-take and think, “Uh, what’s that? That’s not right.” I don’t speak fluent artist, so I hope I’m using art terms correctly as I explain myself. (If not, please correct me.) The hues in Divergent’s cover make a bold impact with its clear blue and blazing gold. Insurgent’s cover consists of an all muted* palette that’s overall lower in contrast, making it pale in comparison to the high-contrast cover for Divergent. In terms of cover colors, Divergent is “POW! WOW!” and Insurgent is muddied into the ether. I’m surprised by the shifts because series covers tend to be unified in color contrast and palette, e.g. Twilight, Matched, The Hunger Games.

    *addition of browns and greys to true hues

    • At face value (and not having read it), Divergent’s cover art always made sense to me in the way that it perfectly illustrated its own title’s definition. Something that diverges = high-contrast. Taking the elements of fire and rain are a great way to illustrate that they’re completely in opposition. This isn’t to say I don’t think that Divergent isn’t a great cover, because when you see a cover like this (specifically one in a series) you can only hope that its covers will follow suit and set the bar. And I think Divergent did that.

      When it comes to critically looking at Insurgent’s cover, again, I look back to Insurgent’s definition. I feel like the cover captures the essence of insurgency within its green, haunting clouds (if that’s the true green, it may look different in print). When I think of an insurgent, I think of someone who’s constantly mobilized — on the verge of something. Those clouds? That mess is what happens before a tornado runs through a town. That’s some scary expletives going on right there.

      In the cases of Twilight, Matched, and The Hunger Games – yes, you do have a point, they’re all unified (I’ve actually discussed Mockingjay’s cover here on the blog, it was my least favorite). But I don’t think that a title not popping against a background as much its predecessor qualifies Insurgent’s cover as breaking its branded mold. Insurgent is still very much Divergent’s sibling. Its face includes a lot of the same elements that make its marketing consistent: chrome title, skyline, emblem, and tagline. But I love the fact that even as its sibling, its still telling a completely different story with a completely different theme.

      I really appreciate you commenting here and sharing your thoughts on Insurgent’s cover art, Justine. I’m always interested in hearing what everyone has to say — I’m certainly not an authority on the subject matter, and I love hearing why art works for some and why it doesn’t work for others.

      • Your insight into how the meaning of divergent and insurgent connect to the covers’ contrast levels and imagery made me squeal with delight. Or to translate that squeal into words: “Genius analysis!”

        I agree that the covers of Divergent and Insurgent are instantly recognizable as series siblings because of the consistent elements that you specified. The designers have performed brilliantly with these covers. (Only one designer? More than one designer? We need an interview!) Having read Divergent, I have complete faith that the covers accurately represent the texts. I was merely trying to explain my initial reaction to Insurgent’s cover.

        Veronica Roth joked to EW that “The third book will be called Detergent, and the tagline will be One Choice Can Disinfect You. Okay, that’s a lie.” Um, I would like to see that Detergent cover. Yes, I would.

        (Who wants to bet on contingent, convergent, emergent, or resurgent as the title of the third book? I like the imagery evoked by refulgent, effulgent, and assurgent, but those words seem too obscure to be emblazoned across a book.)

        • Oh my goodness, that Detergent cover would be FABULOUS. This needs to happen! And my vote goes for ASSURGENT. (Which reads like ass urgent. Oops.)

          Speaking of things that need to happen – I need to read this book yesterday.

  8. Whoa – that is an awesome cover. I love how obvious it is that the designers really thought hard about the thematic role of the cover image. Just brilliant!

  9. I really like the cover for Insurgent (Divergent cover was only OK for me). I love the colors and the feeling of motion here. I really liked reading Divergent and I am excited to read the sequel.

  10. I love this cover! It’s so eye catching with the tree and the leaves. I also like that the train (which plays it’s own part in the story) is there too. It ties things in from the story to the cover well. I prefer this to Divergent’s cover. The flaming eye did nothing for me as it stood too far out from the page, everything else (was there even anything else?) on the cover was just completely lost and disregarded.

  11. I really, REALLY like this cover! I love how both Divergent and Insurgent have the faction symbols integrated into the covers. My only complaint about Insurgent is that I wish the city skyline was more distinct… boast that gorgeous city of Chicago!!

  12. Let me preface my thoughts about this cover by saying I’ve never had a tattoo: I’m pansy-afraid of needles (I, sadly, do NOT belong in the Dauntless faction). But I feel like this tree would make some kick-ass body art! I wasn’t a huge fan of the first book’s cover, although I adore the book itself. But Insurgent’s cover just blew me away. I hope the content is just as amazing as its cover!

  13. I love the gorgeous tree on the Insurgent cover! I was less enthusiastic about the Divergent cover. My main complaint is the font for the title on both books. Every time I see it I think of WordArt. Ugh.

  14. OMG this is the first I’ve seen this! I like it a lot more than the original. The colors are better and I don’t know what it is about the circle tree thingy, but I’m groovin’ on it.

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