Today, we're looking at a new YA urban fantasy with angels and demons and a surprising influence: Japanese anime. I'm talking about Archon, the debut novel by Sabrina Benulis, and first in a new trilogy. Read on for a chance to win a copy!
"My novel Archon...is a story of visuals, of strange and alien settings and nonstop action," Benulis says in her essay Anime and Archon. "In a nod to some of anime's intricate plots and darker stories, it is a slow burn that deliberately toys with notions of gender, identity, and Western myths. Even more so, Archon's characters fit right into the anime stereotype of tragic pasts, psychological trauma, and awesome outfits."
There's something about anime that draws people to it, says Benulis, who's loved the art form since her own days in high school. Her favorite is the sub-genre of gothic anime. "I always enjoyed how some of the best Japanese anime I watched took what could have been a run-of-the-mill fantasy story but didn't shy from giving it a dark and edgy twist."
ABOUT THE BOOK: Angela Mathers is plagued by visions of angels, supernatural creatures who haunt her thoughts by day and seduce her dreams by night. Newly released from a mental institution where she was locked away for two years, she hopes that her time at the Vatican’s university, the West Wood Academy, will give her a chance at a normal life. Unlike ordinary humans, Angela is a blood head — a freak, a monster, the possible fulfillment of a terrifying prophecy of overwhelming death and destruction. Only in Luz, the Vatican’s wondrous enclave, are blood heads accepted and encouraged to discover what kind of powers or special abilities they might possess. But within West Wood, a secret coven plots, and demons and angels roam the streets searching for the key to open Raziel’s book — a secret tome from a lost archangel. Some are determined to destroy Raziel, while others, like the beautiful Supernal Israfel, one of the highest of the high, wish to free him. And when the Archon — the human chosen to possess the spirit of a dead angel — rises as foretold, they will control the supernatural universe. Torn between mortal love and angelic obsession, Angela holds the key to Heaven and Hell — and both will stop at nothing to possess her.
I have to say that, personally, I'm not an anime fan. And I'm not an "un-fan." It's just been totally off my radar. How about you? Are you a fan of anime...or just want to read a story about angels and demons? Either way, you know the drill to win the book! One entry for comment, one for blog follow, one for Twitter follow @Suzanne_Johnson, and one Tweet or Retweet. Spread your wings!