Book Cover Pet Peeve: Hooded Figures

Did a Google search. Notice something?


I do not know what the deal is with hooded figures on book covers. I really don’t. Right now, they are a plague. I have seen so many books with more or less the same damn cover. Whenever I see a hooded figure on a book, aside from cringing internally, my kneejerk reaction is assuming this book is going to have either these as the protagonist:

  • I-am-a-tormented-assassin-warrior-man
  • I-am-a-mysterious-powerful-awesome-over-the-top-mage

Sometimes a combination of the two. As far as advertising goes, spot-on. [Insert tirad of curse words here]. But there are a number of reasons why it grinds my gears.

Are the above mentioned tropes bad? Well, they can be but they do not have to be. It depends on what the author has done with them. However, one of the most glossed over details of the hooded cloak is that if you are wearing one…

Your peripheral vision is null.

I agree edna! No Capes! Hoods!

You cannot see ANYTHING beyond the straight line right in front of you, and sometimes not even that if the hood is pulled low. A hooded figure making their way through a crowd would at most see a bunch of boots and legs. So, unless your mysterious protagonist can somehow see through solid textiles via magical means – ditch the hood. Not to mention that having your hood drawn that low would be more likely to draw just the kind of attention your character is likely trying to avoid. If your character is only concerned with hiding their face, great! Hood All the Hoods!

On the other hand, if we are only after the mysterious flare, I am sure there are much better ways of going about it. Be a little creative! Give your character a cool hat or something. That way, the characters will actually be able to see where the hell they are going.


About Fredrik Kayser

Everything is connected.
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