Fresh Friday Cover Face-Off

Welcome to the Friday Face-Off, a weekly event of bloggers pitting several book covers for one title to present a favorite. This is my first time participating.

Friday Face-Off header

I’m fascinated by book cover designs. The best covers are art, yet unlike art in a gallery, the designs are meant to be judged for their appeal at a glance.

At bookstores, I find myself considering the cover design as much as the content, not (when studying the art) to know what to buy, but to take in trends and how they have or are changing.

For this Friday Face-Off, I wanted to choose a familiar title with a large selection of covers to see how the covers for one title changed over time and across cultures. The work also needed to fit with the theme of starting a new cycle.

Today’s Theme

A cover that is fresh – New beginnings for a New Year

The Competing Title

I ended up choosing a title that’s set in the United States and has apparently not caught much attention elsewhere in the world. Still, this is one of my favorite novels. Learning more about its publication history was interesting.

Title: Jumper by Steven Gould

In this 1992 novel that started a series, an abused kid discovers he can do what so few kids in his situation can–get away. He attempts to start his life fresh by using teleportation, his new resource, but he learns he can’t get away from himself. Becoming a hero might be the only way he can jump forward in life.


1992 hardcover by Tor
1993 paperback by Tor
2002, by Starscape
2008, Editura Nemira
2008, by Tor
2008, by Harper Voyager
Jumper with figure made out of words
2010, by digitalNoir publishing
2014, by Tor

My Judging Notes

A movie loosely based on Jumper came out in 2008. That movie featured a generic story for a fantastical thriller, using annoying tropes, and turning Davy into an anti-hero. I feel that the book covers from that year better represent the movie than the book.

Starscape’s cover presents an oddly phallic symbol. The digitalNoir cover looks to me more like a class art project than a sci-fi cover. Tor’s recent cover reminds me too much of the Bourne series. (Although the 2014 fonts are nice).

In contrast, Tor Science Fiction‘s original releases worked in suggestions of Davy’s love of books, scientific curiosity, unique ability, and need for secrecy.


The original 1992 hardcover. I think the more realistic presentation of colors is more interesting than the overuse of teal on the 1993 paperback.


Which would you choose?

The Friday Face-Off meme was originally created by Books by Proxy. To join next week, start by checking out the predetermined theme at Lynn’s Book Blog (by a different Lynn!). You can then share on Lynn’s Book Blog with Mister Linky.