What does this cover say? (Looking for feedback on design)

Hi, Folks.

 

So, I've been busily hammering away on my latest project, which is now among the beta-readers and fact-checkers.

 

In the meantime, I'm working on the cover. I'd like to know your first impressions on these rough designs. The photos are imperfectly focused, and there are some crop / tilt adjustments. Depending on what changes I make for the final cover, these photos will be re-done with the better camera under better conditions.

 

What I would like to know:

 

1. Based on the cover, what is this book about? Guess as many plot elements and obvious clues as possible.

2. Do the circled letters in some of the photos add or detract (possibly suggest plot elements)?

3. Is it obvious what the large brass object is?

4. Does the size of the brass object suggest a plot element?

 

Any other thoughts or suggestions regarding layout, color, additional elements needed, etc. would be helpful as well, and will be gladly received, as always.

 

 

 [Photos removed for space]

 

 

 

Waiting on pins and needles.

 

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