I'm looking for an eye-catching image that will also look good shrunk down on an e-book menu. As the novel incorporates elements from science fiction, fantasy and thriller, I would like the cover to avoid relying too much on one of these genres but also not to bar any out either. If it looks both dynamic and surreal, it's probably in theme with the book.
My favourite idea also bears some explaining. A central feature of the novel is a 'gate', which is a breach in the 'real world' that leads to the fantastical one. The gate's appearance is that of the real world being smashed apart like a stained-glass window or a mirror to leave a hole - the shards produced from the gate have images of the real world displayed on them as if they had been broken off from the rest of reality. In the novel, the gate appears in a snowy forest clearing in the Rocky Mountains, in Canada, on a clear starry night. I would quite like an image of the gate opening, like a freeze-frame of shattering glass. The novel describes a 'swallowing white light' as appearing through the gate that reduces any object silhouetted against it to a blurred outline. The gate is also how the central character from the novel enters the real world. I quite like the idea of him appearing as a silhouette against the white light coming through the gate, as the combination of dark-within-light-within-dark would still be distinctive when appearing as a thumbnail, as e-book covers do to a browser. The main character appears as a boy of around fifteen-to-seventeen (deliberately ambiguous), who wears loose clothing, has messy hair and carries a crooked staff and a long curved sword, should you choose to depict him with them. I would like the precise details of his appearance, such as his face, not to be depicted, as he is quite a mysterious character, especially at first when the gate appears. Hence appearing as a silhouette. If you want, you can make his eyes visible as points of light to make him look more sinister.
The boy can appear in any position you like (in the novel he is flung violently through the gate), such as standing, falling or leaping. He can be carrying his sword and staff, have them being flung out with him, or they can not appear at all. The exact size and shape of the gate is yours to decide - although characters later walk around and camp in the clearing, so leave space for that to happen.
If you want, you can choose instead for the fantastical world to be directly visible through the gate, rather than white light. Exactly what is visible is up to you (the world beyond is large and varied), although I would suggest contrasting tones to the clearing to make it distinctive. Go as over the top as you like if you choose this - the important thing is to make it surreal. The boy can also be included with this background if you want.