The Angel of Pain

Brian Stableford, Author Carroll & Graf Publishers $21 (395p) ISBN 978-0-88184-932-5
First published in the U.K., this ambitious yet ultimately unsuccessful sequel revisits the metaphysical themes of Stableford's The Werewolves of London while offering scant new action to anchor them. In London in 1893, 20 years after physician David Lydyard was first possessed by a being revealed to be the Egyptian goddess Bast, he is once again in thrall to this ``fallen angel'' and her alter ego, the Angel of Pain. Lydyard's former nemeses, the werewolves of London, cede center stage as Bast and her rival angels select human pawns--among them other characters from the first volume in this trilogy--in preparation for a titanic conflict. With the help of their earthly agents, these powerful spirits vie to gain knowledge of the material world that might help them dominate the others on their astral plane. Written in a turgid Victorian manner, what ensues is more pseudo-philosophical speculation than fiction. Stableford seriously jeopardizes the narrative flow when characters invade each other's minds and when things that happen in one scene are undone in the next. The result is a jumble of hallucinatory episodes enacted by stiff Dickensian characters punctuated by opaque exposition with all the appeal of an algebra book and none of the sense. (Aug.)
Reviewed on: 08/02/1993
Release date: 08/01/1993
Genre: Fiction
Mass Market Paperbound - 400 pages - 978-0-7867-0286-2
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