“In the Beginning” by BCE with Dr. Leviticus Wayne

(Or some such nonsense, Leviticus being the book in the Bible – sometimes attributed to Moses – which lays out the rules and rituals for worship and sacrifice in the Temple.)

It seems I’m always finding new sub-genres; once I have seen enough books that try to do the same thing in the same way, I figure I’ve found another one.

For example: a novel that explains the gods of the ancients as space aliens, a prehistoric race of super-humans, or a previous high-tech society, etcetera, etcetera. Ever since Erich von Däniken wrote the Non-Fiction Chariots of the Gods? there has been a slue of classically educated fiction writers showing off their knowledge by writing the same theme in fiction. To the point that there seems to be a contest going on; let’s see how many ancient myths you can account for in one novel.

And in such a contest, In the Beginning would do well. The author has really crammed them in: Egyptians, Greeks, Judeo-Christians, a tip of the hat to the Norse and an early, never-developed-and-quickly-forgotten mention of fire-breathing dragons. Unfortunately the story suffers, because the author has stretched the usually accepted parameters of the novel in order to stick in as many myths as possible. This includes a serious warping (or disregard) of a practical timeline. It also requires a rather large amount of explanation, telling rather than showing how these events happened. The ending is rather weak, trickling off into obscurity, because, one suspects, the story was never really going anywhere serious to start with.

However, there is a good deal of entertaining writing in this novel. Lucifer portrayed as an ADHD genius is one of my favourites. The picture of the alien space organization as a company of Marines, complete with (in)appropriate language is another.

Recommended for classically trained Fantasy fans and other mythologists.

4 out of 5 stars (4 / 5)



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