Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Leviathan by R.M. Huffman

In July of 2014, I read and reviewed R.M. Huffman's novel Antediluvian.  At the time, this is what I said of it:

"It's a fascinating story about the world-that-was described so sparingly in the Book of Genesis, where morning mists covered the Earth in lieu of rain, Watcher angels gave into lust to lay with human women, and dragon-like sauropods were used as beasts of burden."

I'm pleased to announce that Dr. Huffman has re-released this extraordinary fantasy novel with publisher Lampion Press under the title Leviathan: Book One of the Antediluvian Legacy.  In addition to illustrations of some of the characters, places, and beasts in the novel, this new edition includes:
  1. A genealogy of both Biblical and Huffman's characters.
  2. A bestiary that tells you the difference between a creodont and an indrik.
  3. A preview of Fallen: Book Two of the Antediluvian Legacy.
What makes Leviathan stand out, in part, is how lived-in Huffman made the setting, the theology.  When one farmer says to another, "Toil, plants of the field, sweat of our faces...we'll be well aware of the ground's curse for certain," it makes sense: they're the Biblical Adam's heirs, just a few generations from the Fall, and they know it. They live it every day.

This is reinforced by the fallen Watcher angel Azazyel saying, much later, "We watched as Adam was made, and then we watched him ruin everything.  And now, Samyaza is paying the price for Adam's loosing of death into the world."  Despite the fantasy theme, we know these characters from Bible study.

Huffman's description of dinosaurs and other prehistoric animals used as beasts of burden maintain the Biblical-historical theme, as does the Edenites being vegetarians (a tradition ended after the Flood when God says in Genesis 9:2-3, "The fear and dread of you will fall on all the beasts of the earth, and on all the birds in the sky, on every creature that moves along the ground, and on all the fish in the sea; they are given into your hands. Everything that lives and moves about will be food for you. Just as I gave you the green plants, I now give you everything.")

Some of my favorite parts of Leviathan were the references to other places, adding to the richness of the world. Kenan, a former adventurer, says to Noah, "I slew the high priests of the Om-Ctherra snake cult, along with its monstrous 'deity.' I fought a warlord-sorcerer, possessed by one of Satan's princes, with the Nomads of Nod."  Kenan becomes Howard's Conan, or even Moorcock's Corum Jhaelen Irsei.

If you want adventure in a fully-realized fantasy world that's both familiar and mysterious, you've got to get Leviathan. And then tell Dr. Huffman to finish up Fallen already!

2 comments:

ociana said...

I am reading this now and love it. I don't want it to end. Thank you for the review.

David Dubrow said...

Sure thing!