When I was a kid, I had a rather unusual great-aunt who was fascinated by Revelation and the End Times. Beyond listening to her talk about the Second Coming over lunch on occasion, I can’t say that I thought much about the post-apocalyptic world. In inspirational fiction, I was aware of the Left Behind books’ huge popularity even as I have to confess that I often got the title of the series mixed up with the Simpsons parody, Left Below. However, recently, I’ve noticed an awful lot of “end of the world” books out there. Given the long-running wars and the worldwide economic upheaval, I can’t help but think that this trend in romance and urban fantasy must be an outgrowth of the uncertainty of our times.
The idea of a romantic hero and heroine banding together to take on the world is certainly not a new one; One sees it in just about every subgenre of romance. However, in books like Nightfall by Ellen Connor (aka Ann Aguirre and Carrie Lofty), the hero and heroine must take on the worldwide collapse of the power grid, giant mutant dogs that eat people, and the beginning of a new Dark Age while showing that love conquers all. It’s a far cry from outwitting an unwanted arranged marriage and obtaining vouchers to Almack’s. Still, in a way, it can be an appealing idea.