The War Among the Shadows has begun. Are you ready to enter the fray? Will you stand with the Watchers against the Darkness? Six will face the creatures lost to myth and legend. Will you join them? Among the Shadows Kindle edition is now $2.99 for a limited time. Step through the veil before it’s too late!
Posts Tagged With: Watchers
So many people get lulled into a day-to-day existence of hitting their marks, getting stuff done, running place to place — to do it all again the next day. And the next.
Every so often there are tuggings on our minds, glimpses and reminders, that we are meant for more than just staring into televisions, playing with our phones and letting society tell us who we are and what we should be.
For brief moments we realize that we are part of an epic tale. All is not what it seems to be. A war rages in us, around us. A question demands an answer: What is your part in the story? Will you embrace it or walk away into a bottomless abyss of whatever others have decided for you?
Milena chose to step through the veil. Ethan conquered the Darkness and embraced his strength. Kane stopped fearing what he was. Duncan would find his place among those like him. Kyra made the shadows flee from her. They all stood together against the impossible.
Among the Shadows not only tells their stories, but of what simmers in us all.
Expensive biblical epics haven’t been a staple of Hollywood for decades, but this week saw the release of the first trailer of Noah which will hit theaters in early 2014.
Some like J.W. Wartick have written on concerns over possible “divergence from the Biblical story.” Fair enough, but I don’t have a problem with divergence, if it is in the sense Brian Godawa describes:
…there is nothing wrong with engaging in creative license, whether it is magical seeds or six-armed Watchers, or even Noah as a warrior. I don’t even think there is a problem in using non-biblical sources like the Book of Enoch or the Sumerian version of the Flood story, where unlike in the Bible, Noah receives dreams about the coming Deluge. The question is, does it support the spirit or meaning of the original story, or the original author’s intent. Bible believing Christians do not necessarily own this category of Biblical interpretation. The Bible doesn’t say what vocation Noah had before the Flood, only what he was afterward (a tiller of the soil). So if a Christian attacks the notion of Noah as a warrior shaman, he may really be illustrating his own cultural prejudice of the notion of a white bearded old farmer which is not in the Bible either…[bold mine]
However, Godawa does discuss quite a few concerns he had with an earlier draft of the script. Having only seen a brief clip of the movie, and not knowing how the script evolved or was edited, I’m not going to add or subtract from his analysis other than this: I do like how the film trailer does not depict Noah as a pastoral old man leading cute, Narnia-like animals into an ark. This Sunday School-fantasy version ignores the terror — and ultimately the point — of the account: Horrible evil is occurring in the world and mankind will be wiped out because of it. The actual story — an adult one — has been co-opted by preschoolers. Perhaps the film will spark debate on how shallow our take on Noah has become.
Hopefully, the filmmakers chose not to put modern agendas into an iconic account from the ancient world. There’s enough historical contextual sources to draw from, as Godawa does in his own novel on Noah. In a film of this budget, studios try not to be too offensive to anyone. It is a business after all. Then again, many big budget films failed in 2013.
Time will tell if Noah emerges under a rainbow or washes out.
Update [3/2/14, 3/17/14]: After continuing controversy over a film not released, Jerry A. Johnson, president of the National Religious Broadcasters (NRB), discusses Five Positive Facts and Five Negative Facts about the film. Johnson and the NRB were behind the recent press release from Paramount Pictures which states, “the feature film is a dramatization of the major scriptural themes and not a line-by-line retelling of the Bible story.”
Apparently the NRB thinks the Christian world is not intelligent enough to figure that out on their own. On the other hand, the “Sunday School-fantasy version” of Noah I discussed above that many envision in their minds is not “a line-by-line retelling of the Bible story” either.
Brian Godawa has been writing a fascinating fantasy series that takes place in the ancient Near East. It began with Noah Primeval which was rooted in the question, “What was going on in the world that was so horrible that mankind needed destroyed?” The series continued with Enoch Primordial (actually a prequel), which centered around the enigmatic Enoch. A man barely mentioned in the biblical accounts, but because he never died, and the other books attributed to him recount many a strange event, he has long been a person of high speculation.
Godawa now steps out from filling in between the lines of the biblical accounts with Gilgamesh Immortal. Taking off from events in the Noah episode, the tale of Gilgamesh provides a link to storie Godawa has next that is centered around Babel. One can’t study Near Wast cultures in a vacuum, so bringing in the most famous character from that region’s legends that isn’t chronicled in the biblical accounts was a perfect idea. Gilgamesh, a king and warrior of Mesopotamia, rules his empire with an iron fist. He has everything. Then he encounters a Wild Man that is his equal in many ways, and better in others. He begins to realize there has to be something more.
He wants immortality.
There begins his quest to conquer the weak and silent gods of old. These fallen angels had largely been destroyed and contained during the Great Flood, but he seeks out their remnant. It’s a journey full of adventure and death, while one of the most sinister of these “gods” is about to re-emerge and try to take Gilgamesh’s kingdom.
This book, along with the others, have Godawa’s trademark fast-paced storytelling. Their combination of fantasy and history is a largely original take on the people and places they are centered around. He also draws on the elusive references to Nephilim, Watchers and “sons of god” in the bible and other writings. For centuries, people have debated exactly what these beings were. Essentially Godawa is saying, “Maybe these references aren’t so mysterious. Maybe all of the ancient legends of battling gods aren’t just myth. Perhaps there are kernels of truth in them. Maybe there is a reason that the ancient cultures believed in them so much.”
It’s an intriguing premise. Perhaps it sounds irrational in our supposedly advanced world. But it’s perfectly reasonable to ask why did the ancient world pay so much credence to such things? Was it all just because of active imaginations? Or have we left behind part of our history we chose to forget?
Godawa’s series not only entertains, it asks such questions. And it gives us one possible imagining of the answers. It could have happened like this.
There are but a handful of vague references to Enoch in the Bible. One of those is one of the most enigmatic passages in the Bible, for it states Enoch was taken by God and did not die. That, combined with the non-canonical book I Enoch and its writings on the Watchers (another little-explained item in the Bible), has made Enoch long the center of speculation. Who was he? What did he do? Brian Godawa attempts to answer these mysteries in the second volume of his epic-ancient-history-based series, Enoch Primordial.
In his first book, Noah Primeval, the premise was, what had the world degenerated to that required its destruction? In that world the Nephilim controled the world, filling it with their evil corruptions. In Enoch we see how those beings rose to power and the first rebellions against them.
This book is actually a prequel to the first. I suspect the author released his story on Noah first because he is better known. In esoteric circles, Enoch is at the center of speculation on the nature of the Nephilim, The Watchers and Sons of God. In the appendix to the first book, Godawa delves into the biblical and historical backgrounds of these enigmas and also draws from the myths of contemporary cultures to the ancient Hebrews. The question is posed, what if those myths, and the Nephilim of the Bible, were references to the fallen beings of heaven?
That premise underlies Enoch and Godawa creates an action-laced adventure full of fantastic beings and battles that draws on the whispers of history. The early pre-Abraham chapters of Genesis have the feel of great antiquity – almost an outline of the distant past, short of detail. While Godawa’s book is fiction – and perhaps the best example of a new sub-genre of fantasy sometimes referred to speculative fiction – he has managed to piece together a story that is not only gripping, but with more hints of truth than all the oddball, esoteric “nonfiction” writers out there.
In the appendix he gives more background detail to his story. I generally don’t like when authors start explaining things, but here it adds to the story, making one wonder where fiction ends and fact begins. His stories are set during the Late Bronze Age or thereabouts. I would argue that these stories are much older and far removed from us. Nevertheless, whatever or preconceived notions are about a novel that draws from biblical accounts, if you are a fan of fantasy or historical adventure, this series should be on your must read list.