Celestial, the Cloak of the Fallen is a recently published sci-fi thriller written by A.J. Davenport. The story follows a young man, Ivan Morrow, and his journey of discovery through the afterlife. His adventure leads him through heaven and hell, where he meets the denizens of each, contradicting everything he thought he knew about mankind’s creation. The book is unique in that it has two different covers available: a Heaven cover, and a Hell cover.
On the Heaven cover, the first thing to capture our attention is the figure of an angel, right in the center of the page. It takes up the greatest amount of space and establishes itself as the main point that draws the viewer’s eye. What’s interesting, though, is that its form lacks a solid shape; its edges are blurred, almost as though the colors are radiating outwards. In many religions angels are known as “beings of light”, from Islam to Christianity, they are often described as radiant, or even glowing with light from within. To create the angel from a rainbow – a culmination of every color, every spectrum of light – seems like a reference traditional angelic descriptions.
A much more subtle element are the eyes that surround the angel and lay scattered haphazardly around the cover. They might be easy to miss at first glance. Yet they’re present all the same – watching, just as Ivan is observed on his journey. They hint at something a bit more ominous lurking behind Heaven’s benevolent facade.
The Hell cover, on the other hand, is without any bright, happy colors. There is only black and white. On the front we have another depiction of an angel, but this one is more realistic – they have a form, a face, and a character that was lacking on the Heaven cover. Their posture suggests melancholy. Overall the angel is much more humanized. Considering the story of hell from Christianity, it could be argued that the angels that fell to hell (chief among them Lucifer) were more human in their flaws.
The one thing that remains the same between each cover are the eyes. On the Hell cover they appear more noticeable against the black backdrop. Once again they suggest an audience for Ivan’s adventure, silently judging him as makes his way through the Underworld.
Finally, on the Hell cover we also have an example of one of the inhabitants of hell. Their face is realistic save for their lack of eyes. The figure is uncanny, almost scary, but maybe just compelling enough to draw the viewer’s curiosity.
Overall the two covers show two sides of Ivan’s adventure. They make use of traditional, religious iconography to hint at the nature of the story, while still promising the reader something more. Those familiar with theological tales may find themselves intrigued by the covers; those unfamiliar might just enjoy the art style, which is appealing in its own right. But one things for certain – everyone will find themselves shocked and on the edge of their seats when they discover the secrets of Heave and Hell along with Ivan.