This is a continuation of the It’s just a Job series.
We’re starting to get into the more and more “obvious” fantasy species in this series, but in order to keep the series complete and whole, they all have to get a post of their own, even the most well known species, like vampires.
Angels and demons fit that classification, too — well, for me they do. They’re super popular in paranormal and urban fantasy, right up there with werewolves and vampires. But they really only came to my personal attention as fiction fodder thanks to shows like Supernatural, that took a lot of the faith-based orientation out of their species and made them into more purely black & white species fighting for good and evil.
That’s something I can handle better — and apparently, far more of the world in general, too — for their popularity as fantasy fiction creatures exploded.
I still have a soft spot for Castiel from Supernatural. He was my first humanized angel, although I had seen angels in the movies before: City of Angels and Michael, although neither of those really got me in the gut the way Supernatural handled the whole angel & demon mythos.
A common misconception about angels, if you’re not steeped in the lore from shows like Supernatural, etc., is that they’re airy, winged creatures descending from heaven to look down upon humans from on-high, too delicate to do more than gaze glowingly upon the blessed.
Here’s the facts from biblical times:
1) Angels don’t have wings. Only cherubs and seraphim do. (That was the real shocker for me–every angel I’ve ever seen in fiction has wings, including Lucifer on the Lucifer TV series, who spent an entire season trying to get his wings back).
2) Angels are generally god’s messengers, but they’re not above fighting. Michael was a warrior, and others have carried and used weapons throughout biblical literature.
3) Archangels are the higher ranking and better known angels, such as Michael, the first of them, who sent Lucifer, his brother, to Hell.
4) Angels are not a purely Christian phenomenon. They also appear in the Muslim, Bahá’í, Neoplatonism, Zoroastrianism and Brahma Kumaris faiths.
Like demons, vampires and werewolves, angels have appeared in thousands of novels. It would take me weeks to list the individual titles here and it would be out of date in a couple of weeks, anyway.
I encourage you to search for books featuring angels. I plugged “urban fantasy novels featuring angels” into Google and got 8 million hits. The top results were from GoodReads, too.
There is a lot to choose from!