There's a good reason fans of Becca Fitzpatrick's novels "Hush, Hush" and "Crescendo" are excited about today's big reveal of the cover of "Silence," the third book in her fallen angel trilogy, due out on October 4. (And as a special surprise, scroll way down for an excerpt!) The black-and-white photograph of a winged, shirtless man in black jeans, falling rather dramatically through the sky, was so striking, it certainly compelled even the angel-averse to pick up "Hush, Hush" from the shelves. And rather than depicting bad-boy angel Patch, the cover for "Crescendo" featured a young woman, Patch's on-again-off-again girlfriend Nora, standing in the rain and looking back at a bolt of lightning as a red feather falls from her hand.
At last, after two desolate covers, we see a picture of Nora and Patch together. Not that this looks like a happily ever after, what with Nora looking pretty unconscious and Patch either saving her or getting to toss her into the dangerous waves of coastal Maine.
For the uninitiated, the trilogy is the story of fallen angels who possess the bodies of Nephilim (half angels) for two weeks out of the year in order to live it up like humans. Fallen angels aren't always happy with their lot, and they've discovered a little loophole involving human sacrifice that could improve their own circumstances. Apply all of that mythology to the story of a smart, adventurous high school girl who's really attracted to the wrong kind of boy, and you have the makings of a deliciously action-packed read.
After seeing this cover, I got Becca on the phone to ask what the image says about what will happen to this seemingly doomed pair.
"The conflict and the noise between Patch and Nora is gone in this book, and they're working together to battle this villain who is bent on destroying both of them," she explained.
And though I'm worried about what those crashing waves symbolize, I think that may be reading too much into the image, which is by photographer James Porto, who did the previous two covers as well.
"The photographer was able to read both 'Hush, Hush' and 'Crescendo' before he did the photo shoot [for those], but I was really behind with this third book, so he didn't get the chance," she said. "So I was just giving him ideas. I said, 'Well, a lot of the story does take place right on the coast in Maine,' and so I think that's where he got the idea for doing this ocean scene."
I kind of love that such a dramatic image can come from mere suggestions, as if Becca is slightly unaware of the power of her words. But we are all too aware, and here is a little peek at "Silence":
He closed the distance between us, and just when I thought he'd drawn me against him, he stopped, holding himself in check. I exhaled, trying not to cry. He leaned his elbow on the doorjamb, just above my ear. He smelled so devastatingly familiar, soap and spice, the heady scent bringing back a rush of memories so pleasurable, it only made the current moment that much more difficult to bear. I was seized by the desire to touch him. To trace my hands over his skin, to feel his arms tighten securely around me. I wanted him to nuzzle my neck, his whisper to tickle my ear as he said private words that belonged only to me. I wanted him near, so near, with no thought of letting go.
"This isn't over," I said. "After everything we've been through, you don't get the right to brush me off. I'm not letting you off that easily." I wasn't sure if it was a threat, my last stab at defiance, or irrational words spoken straight from my splintered heart.
"I want to protect you," Patch said quietly.
He stood so close. All strength and heat and silent power. I couldn't escape him, now or ever. He'd always be there, consuming my every thought, my heart locked in his hands; I was drawn to him by forces I couldn't control, let alone escape.
"But you didn't."
Check back here next week for more from our conversation with Becca, who spoke to us about the upcoming graphic novel adaptation of "Hush, Hush," which is also due out in October. In the meantime, tell us what you think of this cover! (And don't forget to snag your own "Silence" countdown widget below!)
Does this EXCLUSIVE reveal and excerpt make you more excited about "Silence"? Tell us in the comments and on Twitter!