Nila’s Babies
by Jac Simensen
Cosmic Egg Books

"Why, in the name of God, didn’t you get us away from your mother’s vile superstitions? How could you let her disfigure your child?"

Contemporary Florida is the setting for this novel that slyly morphs from a budding romance into a mysterious occult chronicle. Gordon is a widowed father of twins who becomes increasingly fascinated with Nila, the woman he’s hired to serve as his girls’ nanny. As the adults’ relationship grows, so too does a vile malignancy committed to claiming the very souls of the precious toddlers. While this is indeed a modern story of suspense, it is simultaneously a trek through an alternate theory of religion and creation that challenges more traditional Christian and Jewish beliefs with those of African Ashanti legend. As these dual storylines unwind, mere humans are forced to come face to face with immortals bent on shanghaiing innocents as vessels for their never-ending journey. Can love endure when surrounded by such malevolent sources? Can children maintain their innocence when set upon by such evil powers?

Author Simensen does an admirable job of layering his yarn with credibility even as he pushes beyond the bounds of reality. This is accomplished both with character development and plot interaction. One believes the actions, behavior, and motivations of his principal characters, be they bound by their shared humanity or, in the case of the supernatural entities, by their pre-imposed limitations. With this novel, Simensen brings a fresh and inventive approach to macabre storytelling. By mixing a relatively straightforward prose style and plausible plot with profoundly transmundane characters and events, he delivers a narrative that is both engaging and entertaining. Readers who agree will be pleased to learn that, apparently, this is only the first in a series of such tales to be dubbed The Book Of Lilith.

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