French Cover: The Skybound Sea by Sam Sykes

News flash, intrepid readers. France knows how to paint. I could say Marc Simonetti knows how to paint, but it seems like everyone in French publishing gets it to a degree America does not.

Look at this gorgeous cover for Sam Sykes’ newest novel, The Skybound Sea:

skybound sea french

I don’t want to belittle the covers for Sykes’ US and UK editions, but I’m going to anyway. I mean, it’s like comparing a US aircraft carrier to my rubber ducky.

Skybound Sea USUK


Am I wrong?

Justin Landon

Justin Landon is the Overlord of Staffer's Book Review. When he's not writing things of dubious value to the world, he's at the gym or being a dad. You can follow him on a multitude of social media, which is strongly suggested lest you miss out on vital information that could someday save your life.

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  • Paul Weimer (@PrinceJvstin) January 23, 2013 at 4:11 pm

    Night and day!

  • Stefan January 23, 2013 at 4:14 pm

    Good god, that’s fantastic! (Fantastique, even.)

  • Jared January 23, 2013 at 4:28 pm

    I love the French covers. They’re insane and pulpy and gorgeous. Rubber ducky vs aircraft carrier it is…

  • Courtney Schafer January 23, 2013 at 4:46 pm

    French cover kicks US cover’s ass in terms of overall artistic style. However, I will give props to the US cover for putting the female character in actual, practical clothes.

  • BigZ7337 January 23, 2013 at 4:50 pm

    Wow, is there any way to get an English version of this cover other than buying both and going at them with scissors and glue?

  • Sam Sykes January 23, 2013 at 5:29 pm

    I should point out that the US/UK cover above was a rough prototype. We went with something slightly less boring as the main cover (currently featured on the front page of my website).

    • Justin Landon January 23, 2013 at 5:33 pm


      • Sam Sykes January 23, 2013 at 5:34 pm

        Maybe not so much “amateur” as…well, hm. What’s the word that’s like “amateur,” but attributed with malice?

  • Tim Ward January 23, 2013 at 5:47 pm

    Incredible. I want a poster, and to have written the story that cover illustrates. Cheers, Sam, you win this round.

  • nrlymrtl January 23, 2013 at 8:50 pm

    The second cover has the woman in leather armor, and armed, in a defensive pose. The first cover has an armed female in a very open, easy to hit pose, in a glorified bikini. I like them both, but common sense weighs out. Cover #2 for me.

  • Martin January 24, 2013 at 5:42 am

    I’m not a fan of the French version but the US/UK ones for this series are embarrassingly bad.

  • Mihai A. January 24, 2013 at 7:56 am

    Marc Simonetti has done better covers for the French covers, but the UK/US covers are, well, let’s say “unattractive” for me.

  • Bob @ Beauty in Ruins January 24, 2013 at 8:16 am

    Absolutely no contest – that French cover absolutely blows away the US/UK one. Sets a completely different tone/expectation, so I’d be curious to see which is a better reflection of the text.

  • Sam Sykes January 24, 2013 at 3:05 pm

    I’d probably say the French covers have a better representation.

    Personally, I’m okay with the US/UK covers. I’ve had a long time to get used to them, though. After a lot of reflection, I think they don’t really represent the book all that well. These are very high-emotion, high-action, stab-in-the-face books that aren’t really well served by a dude standing in water.

    I mean, eventually, they’ll get re-covered and we’ll try better next time. But for now, Marc’s probably one of my favorite cover authors.

  • John January 24, 2013 at 3:25 pm

    Please correct the name of the artist,it’s ‘Marc’,not ‘Mark’.

  • marc simonetti January 25, 2013 at 10:36 am

    Hey thanks Justin!

    By the way fur bikini warriors are by far the best. (that’s why they don’t need armours, they can both fight AND sell a book at the same time :) )

    Sam’s book are truly fun, and violent too, I had to put that it the cover art.

    For those interested you can see the whole making off there:

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