ANGEL OF PAIN by Brian Stableford


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 More about the biology of angels, subgenus werewolf, by biologist-sociologist-novelist Stableford--in volume two of a trilogy begun with the well-received The Werewolves of London (1992) and to be rounded out by The Carnival of Destruction. Queen Victoria's London (it's 1893) is still haunted by werewolves. The asp-like snake that bit David Lydyard in remotest Egypt infused him with the soul of the Sphinx, the slowly awakening great cat-mother of the fallen Creators from the Golden Age of the Gods. Now the Sphinx wants to be born again, but civilization has brought such changes that the Sphinx needs human interpreters to help clear her mind. There are, however, seven fallen angels ruling the earth in their own way, three of them hostile. It's been 20 years since David was bitten in Egypt, and he suffers the tortures of Prometheus and Satan with advanced rheumatoid arthritis and a constant pain laudanum relieves only slightly--a pain David calls the Angel of Pain. Not until he comes to terms with this Angel will he be released. But the hostile (?) werewolves themselves attack and infect him with a new transformation--though not into a werewolf. Also returned is ultrabeautiful wolfwoman Mandorla, seemingly not a day older, who befriends David. But David has heavy problems--one being an invasion of waking dreams and dreams within dreams, as he unfolds into a new being. Will the rejuvenated David, his arthritis fled, outlive his wife and children by a thousand years, when the fallen angels themselves have been here ten thousand, though they sleep for centuries, then wake to an ever new world of men? Will there be a Satanic Eden? The best pages, midway, are a long disquisition on pain and its general uselessness in human health. As ever, Stableford is talky, with eruptions of action that subside into more talk and heavy decor.

Pub Date: Aug. 16th, 1993
ISBN: 0-88184-932-4
Page count: 396pp
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15th, 1993


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