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Deeper Meanings — Cover Art from the Double Helix : Post by Jade Kerrion

By Imagineer @ImagineerTeam

Today, I’d like to talk about the meaning behind the cover art of the award-winning Double Helixseries. First, let me give you a bit of background for context. The Genetic Revolution has transformed our world, and humans live alongside clones, in vitros, and mutants. An uneasy peace exists between the politically powerful humans and the genetically superior human derivatives, but that peace shatters when Zara Itani, a human mercenary whose attitude exceeds her beauty, frees Galahad, the perfect, lab-created human being, from his laboratory prison.

Danyael Sabre, an alpha empath, survived a traumatic childhood and now wants nothing more than to be left alone. Galahad’s escape, however, plunges Danyael’s life into a free fall when Danyael learns that his genetic code was used as Galahad’s physical template.

What would you do if you came face-to-face with perfection, and it looked just like you? Danyael will spend the rest of his life struggling to find the answer to that question. Zara’s dilemma, though, is quite different. How do you choose between the pinnacle of human perfection and his equally compelling, though flawed, physical template?

The first three books of the Double Helix series, Perfection UnleashedPerfect Betrayal, and Perfect Weapon, trace the events around Galahad’s escape and its tumultuous aftermath for Danyael.

Double Helix Covers

The concept for the cover of Perfection Unleashed came from Michelangelo’s fresco, The Creation of Adam, where God reaches down to activate the spark of life in Adam. The hand in the cover of Perfection Unleashed comes directly from the fresco, but instead of connecting with a human, it touches a sparkling vial of DNA, the innocuous origins of Galahad, the perfect human being.

I took a chance with the cover of Perfection Unleashed. Its religious origins may result in some readers drawing erroneous conclusions as to its contents. The topic of genetic engineering and its potential ability to alter human beings has religious implications, but the Double Helix series focuses instead on the societal and personal impact on people living through those tumultuous times.

In Perfect Betrayal, the spotlight shifts to Danyael Sabre. Danyael, an alpha empath, is rare and coveted, and Galahad’s escape provides an impetus for powerful men and women to seize Danyael for their opposing ends.

Perfect Betrayal is the flashiest cover in the Double Helix series thus far. It is even more abstract than Perfection Unleashed and features curved and concentric rows of dominoes arranged in a yin-yang pattern. The yin-yang symbolizes the interdependence of seemingly contrary forces, and the cover emphasizes the duality of the forces at play; light, dark; male, female; fire, ice. Two hands—one male, the other female (representing the two contenders for Danyael’s empathic power)—are poised to push at the dominoes from either end. The dominoes will fall; the question is, will Danyael?

Finally, in Perfect Weapon, the cover shifts from the abstract to the concrete. Weapons abound; first and most obviously, the sniper rifle and person behind the scope of the sniper rifle. Too large to miss are the inhuman forms of the genetically altered super soldiers clustered in front of the Capitol. The scope of the sniper rifle, however, is focused on a lone and seemingly harmless cripple, Danyael Sabre.

Who is the perfect weapon; the remorseless mercenary Zara Itani whose finger tightens on the trigger; the super soldiers that are genetically bred for war, or Danyael Sabre, the alpha empath who can, with a touch, heal or kill?

I had a great deal of fun designing the covers for the Double Helix series, and am eternally grateful to my cover artist, Jason Alexander, who put up with all my bad artistic advice with good grace, and more than compensated for the fact that I failed art in eighth grade. I hope you enjoyed this quick insight into the meaning behind the cover art, and that you’ll also enjoy reading the novels as much as I enjoyed writing them.

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