Angels: The New Trend in Books?

I have heard from a lot of people here in Portugal that 2010 would be the “Zombie Year”, and that zombie stories were going to replace vampire stories as the new hot thing in young adult categories. I remained skeptical. There is just no way you can twist the notion of a zombie into something even remotely attractive, which, if you haven’t noticed, is what makes vampires so popular. It’s not the blood-sucking – it’s the fact that they’re handsome while still being more outlandish than any “boring” human could ever be. So I was pretty sure that people would find something else to explore to exhaustion in literature, but zombies wasn’t it.

Then I came across this article (via LitDrift).

Angels replace vampires as the hot new thing. That I can believe. Oh boy. I look forward to all the twisting and turning of the idea of angels. I bet we’ll be seeing plenty of fallen angels, evil angels, and demons who care about your feelings and don’t want to hurt you. And, of course, all of them will be dangerously attractive.

After the vampire craze I have no expectations, but… Here’s to hoping that some highly original and interesting works come out of it.

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4 thoughts on “Angels: The New Trend in Books?

  1. André Nóbrega says:

    The idea of beautiful vegetarian vampires didn’t really work for me. What I like about vampires is how they seem human and act in the limits of human behaviour, but only taking it a little further with their special abilities. They used to be allegoric characters, representing human beings’ basic needs, with a special aim at egomania and sexual desire. The recent trend seems focused mainly on their monstrosity being softened by human emotions.
    I surely hope this doesn’t happen to angels, but I’m still curious about the new books on them. I wish authors don’t restrict themselves to another tale with fallen angels or nephilim, and that they work with religious themes in some new ways. Last book I read with an interesting take on the angel figure was Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials trilogy, also referenced in the article you linked. I must say I loved it and that I plan to check Dante’s Divine Comedy and Milton’s Paradise Lost.

    • Olá André. 😀 Thanks for your comment!

      The thing about vampires as they have been portrayed recently is that when you take a concept that’s been around for a long time and corrupt it to the point where it’s almost unrecognizable, can you still call it what you want? What I mean is, if I make a character that has six arms, three eyes and green skin, and who can’t feel pain or pleasure, can I then say that he is a human, claiming that the concept of what a human is should be open to interpretation?

      I guess that I could, but really, it wouldn’t be a human anymore. There’s only so far you can push before one thing turns into something else.

      What would be really interesting is if angels aren’t portrayed simply as gorgeous humans with wings (as the vampires are simply gorgeous humans who drink blood). Haven’t read the Philip Pullman trilogy you mentioned (can I borrow it? hehe) but I do have Dante’s Divine Comedy waiting for me on my shelf.

      • André Nóbrega says:

        You’ll get His Dark Materials and I borrow Divine Comedy, what do you think? And, if concepts as old and spread as these should be open to interpretation? I would say yes. If it’s good to play with them until their name is the only thing connecting them with the original idea? Well in that case just come up with a new name and walk boldly into the Fantasy/Science Fiction book lore. I don’t like when people just rely on an idea already famous to jump to the best-selling tops.

      • If it’s good to play with them until their name is the only thing connecting them with the original idea? Well in that case just come up with a new name and walk boldly into the Fantasy/Science Fiction book lore.

        That’s what I meant, except that I don’t think the name is the only thing that’s still connected to the original idea… Rather, the name and the most easily recognizable trait (in the case of vampires, drinking blood; with angels, their wings, and so on).

        The last book I read involving vampires (Blood Bound by Patricia Briggs) actually played around with them very well. They weren’t conventional but at least they were recognizable, and made sense.

        As I read your last phrase, I remembered… Viagens na Minha Terra Com Vampiros! *shudders*

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