The Serpent Slayers: A Southwestern Supernatural Thriller

Adam Niswander, Author
Adam Niswander, Author Integra Press $21.95 (0p) ISBN 978-0-9626148-2-8
Reviewed on: 02/28/1994
Release date: 03/01/1994
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The second in an ambitious 13-book series of stand-alone-yet-connected novels by Niswander, this is an uneven but entertaining fantasy/horror tale. Set in present-day Arizona, and including almost all of the Native American shamans who joined together in The Charm to defeat a wind demon, this story also tells of the unleashing of an ancient menace, in this case a 25,000-year-old serpent referred to only as ``She.'' Deep under Casa Malpais, an actual ceremonial complex built by the Mogollon people (A.D. 200-1400), the serpent queen takes control of the archeologists and diggers above her lair, and sends out thousands of poisonous snakes into Phoenix and Springerville to bring humans into submission . A Native American god, Yig, the Scaled One and Father-of-All Serpents, decides to help the shamans bring his ``daughter'' under control. The Gathering (along with herpetologist Dr. Jeremy Myers) finally puts ``She'' back into a near-permanent hibernation. As in The Charm , the author's portrayal of romantic/physical relations between men and women is often absurd or banal, and his excessive deference to his shamanic characters translates into some very stiff dialogue. In the end, however, perhaps any work that shows such deep respect for another culture can be enjoyed for that reason alone. (Mar.)
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