An excellent book for YA as well as adults; good allegory about the continual battle between the heavenly powers for control of mankind's mind and heart
Dr. Sabian Blake, a scientist/Cabalist, receives a strange gifta book of arcane knowledge that foretells the approach of a cataclysmic comet. As Wormwood draws near, bedlam breaks out and humanity's sinister side comes forwardall conveyed in exquisitely detailed scenes of violence and mayhem. When Dr. Blake's 14-year-old servant, Agetta, steals the book, she is pursued by demons, angels, and gargoyles come to life. Warring factions of an occult group seem to be vying with each other for possession of the volume, but in truth, it's all a plot to sacrifice Agetta so that the fallen angel Lillith can live on in her body. The horrors that evil begets are made palpable, but goodness has little purpose in this book. When the angel Rafael says, "It is not for power that the universe was created, but for love," it leaves less of an impression than the eye-popping murders he carries out by spraying his victims with his explosive blood. Indeed, the author seemed to be more concerned with special effects than with plot or character development. Agetta is nothing more than a pawn, the adults around her are unrelentingly self-interested, and the characters who do discover how their lust for power has made them blind persist in their blindness anyhow
Taylor again brings the epic struggle between good and evil earthward, but the only character who reappears is the archangel Raphael (known as Abram among humans). Wormwood, a comet, zooms toward seventeenth-century London; the collision will catalyze the fallen angel Hezrin's transition to a permanent mortal body. She selects 14-year-old housemaid Agetta as her host and sets a complicated trap for the girl that draws another disgraced angel and Agetta's employer, a follower of kabbalistic mysticism, into the fray. Abram/Raphael intervenes, and readers of many faiths will appreciate the spectacular ringside view of hand-to-hand combat between immortals.