From Publishers Weekly
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.
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc.
From Kirkus Reviews
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. -- Copyright ©1993, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.