I have no idea how I missed this - I mean, really don't know - when it appeared online a couple of weeks ago but as you can see, the artwork for the sixth book in Adrian Tchaikovsky’s hugely entertaining Shadows of the Apt series has been released. I previously mentioned the sixth book when its title, The Sea Watch, was revealed at the end of June. Now its cover is available for all to see, and what a cover it is.

This beautiful piece of art from Jon Sullivan manages to keep a certain feel from the previous covers of the series but also expand their format and grace us with a much more detailed and interesting cover. There has been an evolution of these covers with each new book, and for the most part that has been for the better, avoiding a sudden change in style and slowly building up to something new. The first couple of covers were very diminutive, with only a single character depicted, but with book three small details - branches and roots - began to appear, then the fourth had even more elements of the environment and it was followed with the cover for The Scarab Path which had a full-fledged background but kept only one character. Now this cover also features a full background but also multiple figures, and those are of an intriguing and new kinden. I am glad that Tor UK chose to work this change in style gradually so that they may all look well when sitting together on a shelf.

The Sea Watch, sixth volume in the series and second in the arc that begins with The Scarab Path, has a tentative publication date set for the month of February 2011. Meanwhile, The Scarab Path has just been released in the UK and Salute the Dark is going to get a September release in the Unite State, so there will be plenty of Tchaikovsky to go around as we wait for this novel.

Adrian Tchaikovsky's Website: http://www.shadowsoftheapt.com
The Sea Watch is already available for pre-order on Amazon.co.uk