Hungarian Cover Snark!

Princess Sorcha was kind enough (I think) to alert us to the travesty of artwork that is the Hungarian publications of the J.D. Robb collection. To quote her Highness, “I keep them wrapped in paper.” I can understand that decision!


Sarah: Half porn, half cutlery commercial, all very, very bad.

Wait. What’s that tubular thing tucked into her left stocking? Ho-lady better watch out for those knives.

Candy: WHY ARE GIANT BUTTER KNIVES CROSSED IN FRONT OF JENNA JAMESON? And what’s that wacky-looking goo spattered on them? ‘Cause with Jenna, you really don’t know where those knives have been.


Sarah: “Like, hi! Are you, like, totally trying to, like, operate on me? Because, like, anaesthesia, like, totally doesn’t have any, like, effect on me because I’m, like, toooootally undead, you know? So, peekaboo! I, like, see you!”

Wait, were there mussy-haired undead creatures in the J.D. Robb series?

Candy: It’s pretty obvious what’s going on. This woman was kidnapped by a deranged band of sleep-deprived gay medical students who are determined to do the MOST EXTREME MAKE-OVER OF ALL: surgical hair styling! Without conditioner or highlights! Except they were too wired on No-Doz to hold on to her hair, so they used forceps in an attempt to help things stay steady.


Sarah: Now that’s subtle. The only thing better would be if there were melons perched on her blouse.

Candu: The cat’s giving her such an evil look because the woman actually has her kittens smuggled under her blouse.

No, really. C’mon. This woman is pancake flat EVERYWHERE except for one very significant portion of her anatomy. Stop the senseless, inhumane use of kittens-as-prostheses NOW!


Sarah: Is she a borg? Or did she just have hot robot sex with Terminator II?

You know, it doesn’t really matter, because I want to know where he got that plumping lipstick. And that fly haircut.

Candy: It’s not big secret that I like girly men, and find androgyny in general to be a turn-on. But when a dude sports some of that Bonne Belle lip shimmer crap—well, a girl’s gotta draw the line.

And that half-metal woman doesn’t look borg-like so much as a porn star with a serious SF cosplay fetish.


Sarah: In honor of the sadness of this day, I will roll myself in dirt and perform my yoga-inspired tribute in front of this not-entirely-geographically-correct backdrop.

But you’ll have to excuse me a moment before I start. As you can see from my posture, I REALLY have to pee.

Candy: Four words: Crack Whore Interpretive Dance. I can practically hear Stravinsky’s “The Rite of Spring” piping over the garish skyline right now.

Comments are Closed

  1. Rinda says:

    Oh, these are harsh!  Do they even look inside the books at all?  Poor Eve.  She deserves better.

    And I thought the Rachel Caine one I sent you was bad.  ROFL!!!!!

  2. Jennie says:

    Poor Nora, poor Eve, poor Roarke.  Yikes!

  3. Kaite says:

    Why do I persist in trying to read those titles in English and come up with variations on Halitosis?

    And why is Borg-Woman wearing my grandmother’s old half-cape without the fox trim? That’s just so wrong!

  4. JulieT says:

    These make me really, really, really wish Eve Dallas were real, so she could go to Europe and kick righteous ass over the way they’re portraying her. Great googly-moogly. And I thought American cover art was bad.

  5. Danielle says:

    …why is that woman’s head growing out of a box?

    Is it a deranged experiment by the mad medical students Candy mentioned?

  6. Carrie Lofty says:

    Crack Whore Interpretive Dance – fine.  I’ll survive.  But I draw the line at Stravinsky, dammit!

    I think all this goes to prove that “whatever floats your boat” might actually have national/cultural – not just individual – connotations.  Tacky, sure, but if it moves books…

  7. Jen says:

    The crack whore looks like she’s annoyed at that itchy rash on her shoulders, and scratching it just isn’t helping.

    You have to wonder what she was doing to get a rash there.

  8. Ohmigod.  The next time one of us complains about bad covers from our North American publishers, Nora should whip these babies out. 

    I feel her pain.

  9. Lauri "The Donald" Doublevie says:

    The first one: I knew it was a woman who looked like Jenna Jameson (or at least Charlize Theron if she had Pamela Anderson’s hair and sex appeal), but I thought those were old airplane porpellers sticking out of her right nipple and covering the other one for modesty reasons.

    The second one: I don’t get medical romances, which is why I liked that MADtv parody of Grey’s Anatomy where the doctors were so wrapped up in their own personal problems and relationships that they don’t notice that there are sick, injured, and dying patients. Maybe that’s why this cover squicks the hell out of me.

    The third one: I don’t see any sign that the girl is actually a man, with or without the cat. She does look like she’s under the age of consent in most states (I know some states have their age of consent different than others, like Colorado’s A.O.C. is 17 [thanks to that South Park episode where the boys and the girls get pitted against each other due to incompetently taught sex ed classes] and I think Idaho’s is 14). But the bloody pentagram is a real turn-off.

    The fourth one: The Matrix meets Weird Science. Enough said.

    The fifth one: Didn’t I see this in a magazine ad for Sex and the City? (at least before 9/11, which, sadly is today, decided that the World Trade Center should be treated with respect by having it shielded from the public eye and pretending it never exists)

  10. Lia says:

    WTF is supposed to be romantic about pointy butter knives smeared with tomato sauce? (I hope it’s tomato sauce.)

    And I do not want to know what Dr Halatosis has in her little plastic lunchbox.  But I wouldn’t accept an invitation to join her for liver & onions…

  11. eggs says:

    Please tell me the guy in the specs is supposed to be McNab and not Rourke??

  12. Nora Roberts says:

    Oh, the humanity!!

    Eve has a knife through her head, soccer ball breasts or is dressed like a alien ho. Maybe the woman with the knife through her head isn’t Eve, but a corpse. Sorta looks like one, and that would be better.

    Roarke’s wearing lipstick!! And appears to like it. Could he be wearing lady’s underwear, too? I fear this could be the case.

    What have them done with Galahad the cat? He’s been possessed, no question.

    The shame, the horror!

    In my head, Eve’s on her way to Budapest even now to do some serious Hungarian ass-kicking.

    I need a really big adult beverage to blur these images out of my brain.

  13. Nora Roberts says:

    ~Tacky, sure, but if it moves books… ~

    This is an excellent point, which I neglected to consider in the initial shock of having my eyes explode out of my head.

    For all I know these covers are causing these books to zip off the bookstore shelves like butter-knife propellers.

    Note to self: Check status of forint income on Robb series.

    P.S. Thanks to Her Highness and The Bitches for a semi-hysterical laugh to end my work day.

  14. June says:

    Ha!  I would love to read Eve’s reaction to these interpretations.

  15. Tonda/Kalen says:

    Crack Whore Interpretive Dance

    *wipes eyes after swallowing cough drop down wrong pipe while laughing*

    Thank you. I needed that.

  16. Sphinx says:

    But hey! at least we know the Hungarian word for “death” now!

  17. Madd says:

    Is that what it is? I just keep thinking Spanish, which would translate to “pull them” and I’m just hoping they don’t mean the breasts … cause that could hurt … especially with all the sharp implements floating around these covers.

    And before I even read the snark, that last cover made me think crack hoe with an itchy rash. That look on her face screams “I’m dirty and covered in lice.”

  18. dl says:

    Yeah, the cover with surgical instruments is seriously creepy, and not in a good way.  I’m squicked out with Lauri.

    Half metal naked girl appears to be running from juvenile delequents attempting to recreat the Goldfinger scene with chrome spray paint…run fast!

  19. Robin says:

    The scary thing is, someone actually read these books, because the covers relate to the storyline of each book.

    1.  I’m assuming this one is Imitation in Death, since the handy dandy Hungarian/English dictionary told me that “hasonmas” means alter ego or exact copy.  But it could, I guess, also be Origin in Death, which dealt with cloning. Imitation, though, included a villain who murdered young women in the fashion of famous serial killers, beginning with Jack the Ripper (thus the surgical instruments).  Is the woman in the garters and thong the prostitute killed first? 

    2.  Conspiracy in Death featured a medical conspiracy connected to illegal organ harvesting/murder. 

    3.  Ceremony In Death had a witchcraft theme, including a black cat that plays a role in the novel a couple of times. Although the girl looks more like Nancy Drew than Eve.

    4.  Divided in Death—I assume the computer screen relates to the whole Eve/Roarke dispute and to the way Eve uses technology to detect the murderer.  Data plays a very important role in this book.  Still no excuse for the cyberporn shot, though. 

    5.  Naked in Death—self-explanatory?  I’m assuming the chick is one of the victims and not Eve because of the coked out eyes.  But then again, Eve does spend a good deal of the book naked . . .

    Overall, frightening and garish but informative, I’d say.

  20. Cindy says:

    Do you think that NR could get compensation for the mental anguish caused by these covers?  Do you think we can????

    Christ Jesus, these are bad….
    to the Hungarian publishing house you don’t have to try to tell the story on the cover – especially when you do it badly – sometimes a cover is just something to hold the pages together.  Damn!

  21. Kristie(J) says:

    LOL The first thing I thought when I saw these was Eve would fly over to Hungary and be ripping the heads off all the heads of publishing there and Roarke would be with her buying up the company and making those people PAY!  Then I thought – wait – Eve and Roarke aren’t real people.  Then I read the comments and so many who read the JD Robb books had the same thought as my first one 🙂

  22. Ro says:

    The Hungarian version of The Reef or The Villa has a MUCH better cover.  I can’t remember which one I saw in my local bookstore.

  23. RandomRanter says:

    Excellent, Robin!  I was oing to ask if it was weird that I went and figured out what I thought each book was (my Hungarian is not so good) – but Robin has done that.  Although I would like to point out that the original North American covers of the first few In Death books had naked green people on the covers.

  24. Wry Hag says:

    Ah *sigh*, let’s face it.  We’ve all had our hearts trapped in tackle boxes or wedged between knives at some time or another.  Men do shit like that—especially after catching wind of the fact we don’t like fem-dom erotica.  So let’s all cross our arms protectively over our chests or, better yet, find alert feline familiars.

    Men are beasts, I tell you.  Beasts.

  25. Ann Aguirre says:

    Holy crap. Not a single covers looks even remotely like I pictured Eve. I would guess some of these were straight sci-fi too, based on the covers. I finally got going on these books and I have to say that I concur with whoever said they get better as they go on. The relationship between Eve and Roarke only gets better, despite the marital kiss of death. It’s nice to read that, even though they should both be plus twenty pounds and watching Simpsons reruns instead of having sex four times a day.

  26. Sorsha says:

    Robin is quite right however awful the covers are trying to be informative. I decided long ago that they are not Eve Roarke and co. but the cover artist visualizing the content (he must be a relative to the publisher). I am still amazed that the books are a success here with these awful drawings. The first cover is Imitation in Death and the rest are as Robin deducted from her Hungarian dictionary.

  27. Oh my, those are rather harsh on the old eyeballs. There’s a lesson in there somewhere along the lines of, “No matter how popular and/or good you are, you can still be stuck with a dreadful cover.”

  28. Madd says:

    —especially after catching wind of the fact we don’t like fem-dom erotica.

    We don’t? o_0

  29. Wry Hag says:

    Madd, I’m only parroting what EC says….

  30. Amy E says:

    Does anyone else think that Jenna looks like she’s tucked her trusty dong into the elastic of her stockings, just in case her man of the moment can’t, shall we say, follow through?

    Either that or Jenna has some equipment that has never been filmed before.  Yikes.

  31. Letty says:

    OK guys, I have sent these comments to the publisher here in Hungary, so far no response whatsoever.

    Maybe it would do some good, if you send them some advices or critics, and it would aproove the style of the cover art.

    If actidentally Nora Roberts reads these pages, please, please try to write the publisher about the covers !!!!

    Here is the mail adress of the publisher:

    info @

    Since I read those books both in hungarian and english the inside is much, much better, actually great translation, so no use to pick on it. But the covers need a change!

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