Welcome to all those who decided to do a read-along with Batty. Welcome to those who are just stopping by the blog to hear about Vessel. Today’s post is totally spoiler free, since we are just discussing the cover. We plan to read the book over the next two weeks and post our complete discussion on May 31st. We'll be posting quotes and and periodic thoughts and questions on the Facebook page before our main posts.
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For those of you who are new to our Batty Chats - Maria’s thoughts with Kathy’s responses are hosted here on the Melange. Kathy’s thoughts with Maria’s responses reside on The Brain Lair. Take a peek at both of sides and add your own voice into the mix!
Cover Appeal Thoughts
I’m going to start with the art on the spine. So many times all a book has going for it - in the endless quest to make it onto someone’s pile - is that one little inch or so of design that sets it apart from the others on the shelf.
The face definitely catches my eye. She’s beautiful, yes, but it’s more than that. Her expression looks confident and defiant. I want to know what she’s looking at. What are her goals? Is someone standing in her way? The glimpse of her clothing looks high fantasy. Maybe a brocade corset - with flowing cloth all around. Let’s also give praise for the fact that her dark skin is clearly displayed and celebrated.
Kathy: She is eye-catching. I focused on the look in her eyes, too! It draws you in. I thought she looked determined. The tilt of the mouth *does* make her look defiant! I love it. The clothes evoke a history and the swirling cloth just adds to it. And she is a person of color! Highlighted and celebrated!! Love it!
The title doesn’t tell us much, but it is consistent with the old fashioned feeling I get from the style of dress. A “vessel” stores things, but also makes me think of power. Maybe it’s the Biblical connections I make with the word.
Kathy: I do think the title makes you think of the past, but I hadn’t made that biblical connection until you mentioned it! It makes sense, seeing that’s what she is supposed to be, a “vessel” for a goddess. Good call!
So the spine makes me take it off the shelf, where my next step is to glance at the cover and then read the back.
I love the extra details I get on this character from the cover art. She’s regal - her clothing looks expensive and well made. I love what appears to be tattoos on her arms. A mark of special power? The huge full moon and misty bottom seem to confirm this.
Kathy: The tattoos look like henna to me. The must mean something as I know henna tattoos, especially on the hands are usually done at specific events. The way she’s holding the cloth, makes it appear as if she’s dancing and twisting it around her. Maybe they denote the dance she is doing. (Check out the post I liked on the FB page, which is a video of the author describing how she got her idea for the book. It ties in the dancing!) The misty bottom and moon make me get into the desert mood. I can almost feel the hot sand swirling around.
She’s supposed to give up her life to be the vessel of a goddess for her tribe. Intriguing. I also like the fact that it is clear from this copy that it’s not just women who are asked to give themselves in this way, since she meets a boy who has become a vessel.
Kathy: My hc doesn’t have this on the back but instead on the flap-jacket. The idea that she’s talking to a god inside of the vessel has me intrigued too. Especially since she warring within herself, thinking she wants to stay human. This reminds me of The Kane Chronicles by Rick Riordan and The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel by Michael Scott. In both, the siblings are possessed by gods except they don’t lose themselves, unless in battle. I’m interested to see how Durst handles her vessels and gods.
I am also excited to note that a vessel can be male or female. I’m intrigued by Durst’s ideas and wonder if this book will lead me to her others. She has a middle grade duo and some standalone YA books that have great covers, too!
Let’s do this!