This cover reveal for Dreams and Shadows could well be the worst kept secret in genre publishing. I love this cover so much that I kept forgetting all our carefully laid plans (Sorry Jenn!) and have been tweeting previews and glimpses all over the place.
But what this cover does do (whether this is the first time you’ve seen it or not) is introduce you to the best new American writer I’ve read in ten years.
But let me begin by telling you how he introduced himself to me, long before there was a cover. C. Robert Cargill announced himself with a painfully sweet love story. Sweet boy meets sweet girl. They’re perfect, their love affair is perfect, they’re meant for each other, they’re meant for the reader, for you and me – they even lock eyes for the first time in a library for heaven’s sake. What could be more perfect? They move in together, it’s still perfect. (You’re sensing something is amiss here, perhaps?) Their love is rich and deep and fulfilling. They have a baby, he is perfect. They couldn’t be more happy . . .
Until something unspeakably vile scuttles up the wall of their apartment block and swaps their baby for a changeling. And everything goes to hell in a handcart.
The baby looks just like their child. But he isn’t. A mother knows her child – she can see what no-one else can see: this isn’t her baby. It’s a monster. No one believes her, no one believes there is a monster in the house. There’s only one way out . . .
And that’s just the first few pages.
This is a story about a world of dreams and shadows. Both a love story and a tale of dark adventure in a mythic land that lives alongside our own.
And suffice it to say there is one part of this book in particular (one part amongst many) that entranced me and scared me and punched me breathless – it’s as good as anything else I’ve EVER read. Before that section I loved this book. After it I simply HAD to acquire it. It starts with an ill-advised camping trip in the woods…
This is Cargill’s first book. If he can scare me and make me wonder like he can now, I hate to think what he he’ll be able to do over the next few books…
Is it just possible I’ve introduced you to your new favourite author? Let me know. Send me a message on Twitter (@gollancz) or leave a comment below. Use #DreamsAndShadows. Over the next few months we’ll be bringing you a chance to win an early reading copy and get a sneak peek at the opening chapters of the books.
And as for the cover. Well all credit for that goes to our superb designer Sinem Erkas, who read the book and fell in love with it too.