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This issue’s cover illustration is from John Burningham and Helen Oxenbury’s There’s Going to be a Baby. This book, as well as an exhibition of John Burningham’s work, is discussed by Julia Eccleshare. Thanks to Walker Books for their help with this November cover.
By clicking here you can view, print or download the fully artworked Digital Edition of BfK 185 November 2010
Willow is different from other girls, not only because she is a skilled car mechanic and a psychic, she is a half-angel. And in Angel, angels are not at all angelic. They are ruthless exploiters of humans, feeding on their energy to refuel their own, and luring them into joining the exploitative Church of Angels. Alex is an AK, dedicated to killing angels to stop their attempts to take over humankind. Although still a teenager he has an impressive list of angel-kills.
Although half-angel, Willow first becomes aware of the existence of angels only when Beth, a high school classmate, asks her for a psychic reading. Willow sees the angel who is sucking Beth’s energy and enticing her to join the church where he can further prey on her. Alex and Willow meet when this angel, stalked by Alex, sets out to eradicate Willow. Most of the book is taken up with Willow and Alex’s drive across much of the United States, pursued by angels and their human followers. Alex is at first repulsed by Willow’s angelic side but gradually, as he realises that Willow is not malevolent but in fact uses her psychic powers for the good of others, the inevitable romance ensues.
The chase and developing relationship is well-captured and will keep readers hooked as they read on to see what happens next as Alex and Willow try to escape their pursuers. The analogy with vampire-fiction is obvious and will appeal to fans of the genre, but the angelic predators provide an excellent twist, blending together perceptions of dark and light. The Church of Angels will also remind readers of other churches that set out to trap followers into a highly manipulative organization.
While resolution is achieved, the ending of Angel is left sufficiently open to ensure plenty of readers for the subsequent volumes in this sparkling trilogy.