In the spring of 1876, when two Colorado deputies return to the tree they’d tied their horses to before chasing a fugitive into a forest, the horses are gone, without a trace. As they walk back to town, leading their bound prisoner, they discuss the possible reasons for their predicament. Xavier Garza, the half-Zuni deputy, believes he knows the answer: Atahsaia—a Zuni word meaning cannibal demon. His partner, Thomas Wilkins, scoffs at such superstition, until the mounting evidence changes his perspective on monsters—and on trust.
The Guru’s Review:
I bought this trilogy as it combined two topics that interest me immensely, the legend of Bigfoot, of American lore, and the Nephilim mentioned in Genesis 6: 4. Further intrigue due to Dolan connecting them together. I must stress that those who do not believe in the Bible may find this connection preposterous and misguided, rubbish even, as evidenced in a few of the reviews ofthe individual books in this trilogy.
However, Christians who believe in the bible and accept that the Nephilim are the product of fallen angels producing offspring with human woman as Genesis 6: 4 states
The Nephilim were on the earth in those days, as well as later, when the sons of God slept with the daughters of other humans and had children by them. These children were famous long ago.(God’s Word Translation)
will find Dolan’s proposal very entertaining and very plausible. Some translations, such as the Amplified, substitute Nephilim for giants,
There were giants on the earth in those days—and also afterward—when the sons of God lived with the daughters of men, and they bore children to them. These were the mighty men who were of old, men of renown.
This substitution is supported in the appendix titled Bigfoot and the Bible, at the back of the novel, where Dolan has documented his research,
The Hebrew word the modern translators translated as “mighty men” is gibborim……The word can mean mighty men, but it also can mean giants
There is evidence of skeletons excavated all over the world, including the American continent, that are well over 10 feet tall. From this, Dolan has depicted the legend of Bigfoot to be the Nephilim or as the the Zuni Indians call them, Atahsaia—a Zuni word meaning cannibal demon.
It is from this background that Dolan successfully creates the plot of this trilogy. Rather than tell this story through the eyes of the main protagonist, Xavier Garza, Dolan does this through a secondary main character, Thomas Wilkins, having him narrate this story in the first person narrative. This is very successful as it provides the reader with a unique platform to be involved in this plot. Having Thomas’s character as an unbeliever enables the reader to view this trilogy through his perspective. I have not read any Christian authors who have used this method and I found this very refreshing. At many times during the story, we find Thomas questioning/challenging Xavier about God and his faith in relation to the Nephilim and the answers Xavier provides challenges Thomas’ own beliefs about God. It is a unique way of seeing Xavier, a committed and surrendered Christian, witness to Thomas and the rest of the Nephilim hunters in this way through his practice of prayer,, obedience to God’s direction and not being afraid of the Nephilim as his confidence and security come from God’s protection and eradicating this scourge on humanity God’s way.
While reading this trilogy I kept thinking that the way Dolan has interspersed examples of the above, it would definitely minister to any reader who is seeking God or has questions about Him. As well as this, it also consolidates the spiritual side of the plot. For me though, it also shows the depth of relationship Dolan has with God and shows no shame in portraying this through the character of Xavier; and so he should not as the bible encourages us to not be ashamed of the Gospel of Christ.
What moves the plot in this trilogy is the continued attacks by the Nephilim and the motivation of Xavier through his mission from God to eradicate them and see God’s justice prevail. This provides the action, mystery and intrigue in this trilogy. Together with the elements mentioned above, Dolan has balanced this plot well and it all fits in together very nicely. My only criticism is that the trilogy ends very abruptly, with some loose ends still hanging, but Dolan leaves the reader with a question to solve this,
Will Bart persuade Xavier, Thomas, and Walter to join him for more Atahsaia hunts? Its your call. If I get enough requests on my Clay Dolan blog, then, yes, they will resume the hunt.
I must also make comment that for the unbeliever or Christian that does not accept what Dolan has proposed here, or the Christian that does, the Appendices are essential reading. Not only for the knowledge and background that this trilogy is based on but also to see how extensive Dolan’s research is that adds credibility to his series.