And the new:
Release: October 26, 2010
Synopsis: Ethan Wate used to think of Gatlin, the small Southern town he had always called home, as a place where nothing ever changed. Then he met mysterious newcomer Lena Duchannes, who revealed a secret world that had been hidden in plain sight all along. A Gatlin that harbored ancient secrets beneath its moss-covered oaks and cracked sidewalks. A Gatlin where a curse has marked Lena's family of powerful supernaturals for generations. A Gatlin where impossible, magical, life-altering events happen.
Together they can face anything Gatlin throws at them, but after suffering a tragic loss, Lena starts to pull away, keeping secrets that test their relationship. And now that Ethan's eyes have been opened to the darker side of Gatlin, there's no going back. Haunted by strange visions only he can see, Ethan is pulled deeper into his town's tangled history and finds himself caught up in the dangerous network of underground passageways endlessly crisscrossing the South, where nothing is as it seems.
Cover: First off, let me just say that I was a HUGE fan of the first cover. I was lucky enough to snag an ARC of Beautiful Darkness at BEA, and I thought that the cover did a nice job of representing one of the key plot points. Representative, haunting, and alluring with its gorgeous color scheme -- the cover was perfectly fine.
However, the moment I saw the new cover I jumped ship, and joined its fan club. When you put the two covers side by side, you see that the original cover looks flat and lackluster. While it's still pretty, the new cover is simply better. They lightened the blue lettering, really making the words pop, and added more depth to the cover with the new background image. Rather than just having the gate on the bottom, the steps encompass the whole cover. This reduces the amount of empty black space and makes it more eye-catching. The airbrushed look of the steps also better resembles that of the trees on the Beautiful Creatures cover, which is always a good thing in a series. Finally, the steps are far more representative of the plot than the gate on the previous cover. Having read the book, I think that this new cover really captures the essence and feel of the novel. The steps are a very important piece of the major story, so it's only right that they have a place on the cover.
This new cover is an overall win, and a great improvement upon an already lovely cover. Kudos to the design team!