The 36 Watchers: Book I: Fall
Dan Bar Hava
Publisher: Austin Macauley Publishers LLC
Release date: May 1, 2019
Reviewed by: Dr. Wesley Britton
Dan Bar Hava's first novel is a dense, richly imaginative first book in a projected series of at least three parts. It is an epic that is ruddered by the journey of Jenna Berg, starting with her professional life in New York, then through a series of alternate realities, looks into historical events that might have been different and world-changing, and then takes her into her surprising and unexpected changing identity.
Jenna's life story includes her uncle Josh, a man who turns out to be one of the ancient 36 watchers. He's grooming Jenna, and her latent powers, to replace him in the order. Along the way, Jenna and we readers learn quite a bit about global myths as recorded in holy scriptures, especially the Talmud. We see important milestones the watchers set in motion like the crucifixion of Jesus Christ. It had to happen to ensure the eventual fall of the Roman empire.
We learn the watchers crossed over millennia ago from a realm that included no matter. They were "energy creatures, swimming in the cosmic ocean. Flickering across time and space, not even that. Maybe non-time or non-space is a better description." Transformed into beings composed of matter, they became mankind's guardian angels to battle the evil that could overtake the world if not for their vigilance.
Bar Hava paints his portrait with considerable detail, bringing his characters to life as well as the descriptions of the changing perspectives Jenna encounters and crosses through as her evolution into becoming a reluctant watcher drives the story forward.
One weakness, for this reviewer, was the confusion I felt when the story shifts gears and not always in a clear, understandable transition. Readers hoping for a lighter kind of sci-fi will find themselves challenged and perhaps unsettled. For me, one future for the United States the Watchers want to ensure doesn't happen is a very frightening possibility that is a horror far different from more typical fictional dystopias.
Readers who like cerebral, intellectual stories will likely fall quickly in love with this novel. Me, I'm looking forward to the sequels.
On Fri. Dec. 13, reviewer Wes Britton participated in an author interview/ review video for Jasveena R Prabhagaran's International Book Promotions. You can meet author Dan Bar Hava and hear the reviews at:
This review first appeared at BookPleasures.com on Sat. Dec, 14, 2019: