Enoch Primordial — Christian Fiction Book Review
The novel Enoch Primordial, written by Hollywood screenwriter and director Brian Godawa (To End All Wars, The Visitation, Alleged, Lines That Divide: The Great Stem Cell Debate), retells the Biblical story of Enoch. It imagines the specific events in his life — using a well-researched general framework drawn from the Biblical record — that lead to the famous entry in the Word that says, “Enoch walked faithfully with God; then he was no more, because God took him away.” To grab the Kindle version of it, click here.
It is Book Two in an epic Christian fiction series called Chronicles of the Nephilim, an eight-book series of character-based novels that begins with Noah and ends with Jesus Christ — with a ninth book devoted to the appendices of research that Godawa gathered. As I survey the amount of research behind these novels, I can’t help but draw a comparison to J.R.R. Tolkien’s research efforts that informed his Middle-Earth.
In the fast-paced, riveting Enoch Primordial, we are introduced not only to Enoch and his kin (Adam, Eve, Methuselah, Lamech, etc.) but also to some of the most downright nasty villains I’ve read in awhile: the fallen angelic “sons of God” who rebel against Heaven, come to earth, and set themselves up to be worshiped by mankind. If that wicked rebellion wasn’t enough, they mate with humans to produce the vile offspring known in Biblical record as the Nephilim. The novel functions as an exciting prequel to the action-packed Noah Primeval, which novelizes the Flood account. Enoch Primordial had all the right elements of compelling conflict and good pacing that makes it hard to put down. I’ve been in a very busy season of life lately, yet I kept urgently trying to sneak away during little moments to pick up where I left off on my Kindle. Godawa’s imagination brings about some fantastic moments throughout the story and weaves it into a mesmerizing, highly-informed portrait of the ancient world.
The passage in the Bible that outlines these events, Genesis 6:4, says this in the New Living Translation:
“In those days, and for some time after, giant Nephilites lived on the earth, for whenever the sons of God had intercourse with women, they gave birth to children who became the heroes and famous warriors of ancient times.”
Numbers 13:33 describes the Nephilim as giants.
I think the American Christian imagination sometimes sanitizes, reduces, and demystifies the Biblical record — especially the parts we don’t really get.
Not this book. It dives head first.
Enoch Primordial deeply stirs the imagination, like a paddle plunging as deep into the water as it can before it pulls the boat forward. Before the prologue, Brian writes, “It could have happened something like this.” And that simple phrase sums it up. The book is proudly fiction and does not claim to be historical, but it chases shadowy forms from the past and shines a startling, believable light on them. The reader can’t help but wonder: “maybe it did happen something like this.” The book invites you to see what the ancient Biblical world might have been like, and that is what I value most about Enoch Primordial and Godawa’s Chronicles of the Nephilim series. It snatches our arid, monochromatic visions of the ancient world and, like the dry bones in Ezekiel, it breathes flesh and bone onto them. It returns a sense of imaginative wonder — the posture of a child staring at the stars in awe — to our reading of Genesis.
And we really need that in this day and age.
The novel has some intense violence, though not needlessly gory, and a few sex “scenes” between married couples — as well as depictions of the vile sex acts of the fallen sons of God — but they are in no way pornographic or excessively descriptive; the Bible itself is more graphic. They add power and value to the story because they convey sex as God intended it to be in the joyful wholeness of marriage covenant. When the story focuses on the evil acts of the wicked “Watchers” — the sons of God in rebellion — the sex “scenes,” while not excessive, help the reader understand how truly tragic and horrid this event in the Bible was in God’s eyes. The Bible excels at understatement, and sometimes readers don’t understand how truly abhorrent it was to God that the fallen angelic beings had chosen to mate with humankind. The novel fleshes out the implications of this violation of His order, and it helps the reader understand why God eventually brought the Flood.
In my opinion, Godawa’s interpretation of the Nephilim scenario — in both Book 1 Noah Primeval and in Book 2 Enoch Primordial — is the most plausible general explanation about the sons of God and the Nephilim that I’ve come across. It makes sense with the rest of the Bible; it’s as simple as that.
[Note: I received a copy of the book for free from the publisher for reviewing purposes, though this does not influence the content of the review. See our disclosure for our official policy.]
Be sure to pick up your copy of Enoch Primordial to enjoy some imaginative, entertaining, and spiritually stirring Christian fiction.