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The Dawn of Man Book Review

Phyllis Rhodes

The Dawn of Man is an interesting Sci-Fi novel by Elbert Lewis that combines modern day racial and social issues with those of a futuristic intergalactic threat.  The novel opens with Olsen, an FBI field agent, assigned to investigate a brutal rape/murder of a young, African American girl in the Deep South.  A White supremacy group is suspected in the murder and is eventually traced to a complicated assassination plot at the higher levels of the national government.  During the course of questioning, Olsen discovers that his Viet Nam mentor, Logan, is alive and has publicly declared revenge on those who committed such a heinous crime.  Logan, who appears to have not aged in 30 years, shares with Olsen an incredible tale of mans origins on Earth that goes against the established Christian creation beliefs.  Logan reveals that man was created from an alien experiment called the Genetic Optimized Development (GOD) project in which the genetic composition of the Neanderthal (caveman) was altered to create the Mutation Accelerated Nemesis (MAN).  MAN is made to become an ultimate fighting machine for The Reiign, a passive alien race.  He also warns Olsen of an imminent alien invasion of The Reiigns enemies, The Hadarans (a feline-like race reminiscent of King's Sleepwalker characters), which is met with much doubt and cynicism by Olsens superiors and Americas leaders until what Logan predicted begins to come true.

The story progresses to include familiar themes of the poly-ethnic man as a supreme being, an implication of a second American Civil War, and the global uniting of humankind to overcome a common enemy. Lewis's Logan character is a refreshing and likeable hero; he is focused, smart, African American, and has a strong sense of justice.  Lewis develops the remaining central characters fairly well while others are rather one-dimensional being introduced and dismissed rather quickly within the many subplots intertwined in the novel.  Even with Lewis's assistance, this reader found it somewhat confusing to keep up with the number of acronyms used in describing the military/government agencies, military terms, and the contrived devices and utilities of Logans alien technology.  Besides a few editorial glitches, the novel is very suspenseful and moves well, at some points proved to be a great page-turner.  This reader was a little disappointed in the ending (there were some loose ends), but understood it and is looking forward to the sequel.

Overall, Lewis does a good job at laying the foundation for a plausible, alternate universe that includes The Reiign, The Hadarans, a new order on Earth, and MANs role in all of it.  This book is recommended for true science fiction lovers.


Nubian Circle Rating:  3.5 Stars


Review submitted 12/29/2002