There are lots of trends in YA books, especially fantasy or paranormal. There are werewolves, fairies, and vampires. While I am not always crazy about these trends, at least I understand the appeal. There is one trend I just don’t get.
I picked up my first angel book last night, Fallen by Thomas Sniegoski. I read about half of this book, but I just couldn’t finish it. The writing was fine, and the characters were fine, but I didn’t really enjoy the overall plot or what it was saying, or the angels aspect. I don’t like the level of religion that is automatically inserted.
In this book, there was a corrupt angel that goes around killing 18 year olds because he feels like God is telling him to, even though God doesn’t communicate with him anymore. Then there are other angels who screwed up and are repenting, but this bad angel still goes around killing them and innocent people.
Really? God will communicate through Aaron (the main character) but won’t stop these bad guys? They are HIS angels. And it is just explained by “he works in mysterious ways” which I just can’t buy in books or in life. I didn’t finish they book, but I don’t like that they can just throw that excuse out and have it be acceptable plotting. Not even getting into faith and beliefs, I think it is bad storytelling.
So that explains why I didn’t enjoy this book, but not why I am not interested in books on angels as a whole.
When you write about angels you are going to bring in religion as a whole. That is fine and I think it can make readers think and explore new ideas, which is something I am a huge fan of, especially in YA. It has to walk a very fine line between being preachy and being completely out there to the point that I got to with Fallen. And based on reviews I have read, it doesn’t seem like many of the books have been.
Maybe I am wrong and there are some amazing books on angels. Maybe my doubts in religion or God make me jaded towards these books. Mostly, I think it is that by making fantasy books about something that some people believe in so strongly, you have to add in elements that feel forced. I feel like authors will have to talk about faith or how God sees things or another level that won’t be discussed fully because it can be a book all on its own.
I won’t give up on this trend completely and will have to check out others, but for now, I just don’t get it.
Have you read any good angel books? Are there any trends that you just don’t understand? Let me know in the comments what you think!