Angels Are the New Vampires

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04/05/2010 2:31 PM |

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A friend of the L, an observer of contemporary young adult literature, has been saying for some time now that the trend in teen-targeted vampire romance is soon to be supplanted by a fallen angel craze. Which makes sense: for an audience that has proven receptive to neutered vampires—formerly sexy because dangerous, now brooding but cuddly—slightly peevish gorgeous deity-beasts are the next logical step. The creepily paternalism of the YA vampire romance genre, too, finds a logical analogue in the angelic guardian—even more literally “someone to watch over me.” See, for instance, the hybrid angel-vampire teen romance Eternal.

The Guardian today proves our friend right with an article on the “host” of heavenly new books striving for blockbuster status, both in the adult and young-adult markets.

“‘Angels are all around us,'” the article begins, quoting the jacket copy of a new book, the first in a trilogy: “‘Their beauty is intoxicating, their presence awe-inspiring, their energy irresistible. Angel fever is spreading.'”

After running down the coming crop of angel books in the US and UK—there’s soon to be many, more than could ever fit on the head of a pin—cultural reporter Vanessa Thorpe gets a quote from a Milton scholar who approves of the trend, and its potential for addressing theological issues: “On the ladder that goes up from the mushroom to God, angels are one rung above us.”

She also talks to the author of Angel, Angel Heat and Angel Burn, who says: “I am not getting into religion and the whole Judeo-Christian tradition. I concentrate really on their heartbreaking beauty.”