The Hidden Ones: Legacy of the Watchers (Legacy of the Watchers, Book One)

The Hidden Ones: Legacy of the Watchers (Legacy of the Watchers, Book One) - Nancy Madore Helene Trevelyan, a British citizen, traveled with her father, Robert Trevelyan - an archeologist, to the Middle East in 1948. Her father and three other archeologists were searching for a Sumerian Book of the Dead and thought it might have been found in Qumran. Helene was only seventeen years old in 1948 and what she witnessed will forever impact not only her life but her offspring for generations. Helene bore witness to the resurrection of a Nephilim or djinn, the infamous Lilith.

Helene was unknowingly forced into marriage with an Arab and lived as a second-wife to Aabid in Saudi Arabia until her death. Helene and Aabid's daughter, Gisele, is allowed to leave as the wife to Helene's childhood friend, Edward Adeire. Edward and Gisele eventually wind up as residents of the United States and parents to a daughter, Nadia. Fast forward a few decades and Nadia is kidnapped and taken to Saudi Arabia. Why? Because her kidnappers believe that she is the key to capturing Lilith and averting a worldwide disaster. Nadia insists she knows nothing about this impending disaster and that she never even met her grandmother. The only thing she does know are the stories told to her by her mother, as they were told by her grandmother. Little does she know that these stories hold the key to the myths and reality of the Nephilim and Lilith. But will she realize the truth in time to save the world from the machinations of the Nephilim?

First, let me say that although I enjoy watching the occasional science fiction television show or movie, I'm not real big on speculative science fiction reads. However, Ms. Madore has deftly woven ancient myths, folklore and religious views into an intriguing read. The stories of Lilith, Asmodeous and the other Nephilim from ancient times was quite interesting. I found it a little farfetched that Nadia would be able to recite their stories and incorporate dialogue verbatim, but that's a relatively minor issue. Ms. Madore goes to great lengths to even try and explain how the notion of these Nephilim became distorted over time and might be the root of the vampire myths. There's a lot of historical information woven into The Hidden Ones but it does become difficult to separate history from myth if one isn't familiar with either. At times it was hard to decide who the bad guys were in this story. The kidnappers are out to save the world from outside influence and are willing to do whatever it takes to do so. But isn't this the same rationale used by extremists around the world? As a Muslim, I had difficulty with some of the behaviors exhibited by the so-called Muslims in the story, specifically with Aabid and his family. (I found their behavior to be based more on cultural traditions that have been subsumed into regional religious practices rather than religious dictates.) Yet I must say that their behavior is probably not too far removed from cultural traditions at that time period. Nadia and Helene are presented as strong women that endure quite a bit at the hands of men, but both emerge victorious. The physical attraction between Nadia and one of the kidnappers is initially explained away as Stockholm Syndrome but is later built upon as a relationship. It took me awhile to get into this story, primarily because of the subject matter and secondarily because of numerous migraine headaches, but once I got halfway through I was hooked and had to know how it would end. Unfortunately, this is just the first in a series so I may never know how it really ends. This wasn't an easy or quick read for me due to the genre but it was an interesting and different read. If you enjoy speculative science fiction mixed with history and touches of romance and adventure, then The Hidden Ones may be just the read for you.

2.5 star-read