This review is my first featuring a book by an independent author. Proof by Ted D. Berner develops a plot centered on a college student’s research into the Nephilim, whom Moses mentioned in Genesis 6. Without giving away too much of the plot, the research results in a global adventure and many plot twists.
It cannot be easy to write a book about a research project that maintains a reader’s interest until the end. Somehow Berner does just that. The main character, Ty, is compelling and likable enough; though, most of the other characters remain rather shallow. Ty appears to suffer from ADHD. (More on that later.) The level of suspense is high enough to maintain interest and keep the plot moving. However, don’t expect the each chapter to end with something that makes you not want to wait to find out what happens in the next. The suspense is good, but not great.
One annoying plot device was how easily distracted Ty could be. He would be processing events and clues in his mind, and then, almost inexplicably begin to think about something else. For a first novel, the book is unbelievably long, over 300 printed pages. Much of the book involves the characters having conversations about what is happening in the plot—never a good sign.
Since the novel is based on a Bible passage, it makes sense to examine the theological understandings underpinning the plot. Ty fixates upon Genesis 6:4. The interpretation that the author implies is hidden by the church is that the Nephilim were half-breed children of fallen angels and human women. In reality, that interpretation is not uncommon. (It is not one with which I agree.) Ty discovers texts in apocryphal literature and pseudographic literature that makes reference to the Nephilim. The disturbing point is that Ty questions if the cannon of Scripture is correct. Further, he implies that the canon of Scripture is incomplete and that the reason for not including the Book of Enoch and others was to cover up the existence of the Nephilim.
Of course, I have a problem with any thought that the Scripture is not complete or in error in any way. Dan Brown made conspiracy theories about the cannon of Scripture popular. Belief in such theories reveals a lack of understanding as to how the Jewish and Christian Scriptures came into being.
The book was good enough for me to make it through 300 plus pages to the end. However, the end became an introduction to a sequel and left much unanswered from the novel. I don’t think I want to make my way through another 300 pages to see what the answers are.
(I received a complimentary copy from the author for review purposes. I was under no obligation to write a positive review.)