Acts of the Shaddai, The Final Testament, is the third installment of a larger tale of the Shaddai’s quest to assemble the lost twelve enchanted instruments while battling the Grigori in the shadows of modern America and in other dimensions. While I believe a book in a series should be a standalone story, when I read a series, I always like to start with book one. If you have not read the first two books, The Sword of Goliath and The Wizard of Nod, I strongly recommend you set this book aside and start from the beginning.
The Sword of Goliath introduces us to the Shaddai and the Grigori who are the descendants of Angels that mixed with humans.
The offspring of the Watcher angels in the days of old were Nephilim and were an abomination to God. Accordingly, the covenant God made with Adam for redemption did not extend to them.
Notwithstanding the initial rejection of the Nephilim and after many generations thinned the bloodline, two very different angelic tribes emerged. The angelic tribe who embraced God were known as the Shaddai and tribe who rejected God were known as the Grigori.
In the first book, we learn the bloodline is unique and not all descendants of the angels are awake to the fact they carry the DNA of an angelic being with superhuman powers. We know within the Shaddai there are twelve very special individuals called Paladin. These individuals are preordained to use the twelve enchanted instruments, each according to their specific talent. Likewise, their counterparts in the Grigori tribe are known as the twelve Mesa Dragons. The battle for the enchanted instruments has been waging for ages. Both sides believe if all twelve instruments are brought together, they create a talisman of invincible power.
The Sword of Goliath opens by describing what life is like in San Quentin State Prison. Jake Stanton has spent three years in prison fighting his conviction. He had just lost his last appeal when Stephen Strauss, a Shaddai Paladin became his cellmate.
Stephen awakens Jake to the realization that he too carries the DNA of an angelic being. Following what Jake calls the Halleluiah forehead push, he notices a bright white glow over Stephen’s head. When he sees his reflection in the mirror, he discovers the same glow. Stephen explains the halo is only visible at night and the Grigori can be identified by the green glowing halo.
Stephen goes on to explain the powers that come with being a Shaddai, including the ability to communicate telepathically, reading others minds and being able to plant thoughts without being detected. This is a craft known as reaping minds and sowing thoughts. Stephen is careful to only tell Jake what he needs to know as it is better for Jake to awake at his own speed.
When Jake and Stephen go to sleep in their cell at San Quentin, they awake at the Crossing. The Crossing is best described as a kind of dream world. It is made up of small cities and villages including Bodega Village, and the Grasslands where the prophet Samuel lives.
The Crossing also separates the holy city of Sion from the wicked city of Nod. Nod is where the fallen Grigori and evil people who have passed on live while awaiting the end of days.
At a ranch at the Crossing near Bodega Village, Jake reunites with his beautiful wife Teresa who seems to know more about the quest of the Shaddai then he does.
In this strange and wonderful place, Stephen meets up with Jake to train him in the ways of the Shaddai. Jake learns time is different at the Crossing. Jake and Stephen eat, train, sleep and spend time with loved ones while only moments have passed on the other side in their San Quentin prison cell.
Jake and Stephen become as close as brothers and together plan an elaborate escape. Stephen tells Jake the location of the Sword of Goliath is hidden deep in his subconscious mind. He explains, Jake is one of twelve very special Shaddai known as Paladin. Stephen also tells Jake, as he continues to awake to who he is, the location of the sword will be made known to him.
Zoltar, an evil fallen angel and Borackus, a Grigori who serves Zoltar, lead a group of five Grigori sworn to stop Jake at any cost and obtain the enchanted sword. They are the same killers who attacked and brutally murdered Jake’s wife only three years earlier.
At the Crossing, Jake meets his deceased grandfather who takes Jake to a beautiful lake and offers him an opportunity to cry off his quest and return to his former life with Teresa. Jake considers the offer but also recognizes he has become a changed person. Jake decides to continue his quest. Almost immediately, Jake is attacked by Zoltar. Jake’s faith is strong, and he temporarily defeats Zoltar in their first battle.
Back on the other side, at the prison, Jake has begun to age at an accelerated rate. A byproduct of the awakening process. Time is running out and Stephen must get Jake to the tree of life in the Garden of Eden to arrest the ageing process before it’s too late.
On the day before they plan to escape, Jake and Stephen decide to spend their last night in their cell to avoid Borackus and his minions. A fire drill causes Stephen and Jake to exit the building. While on the San Quentin upper yard, they are attacked by Borackus and his Grigori. Correctional Officers break up the battle and the Grigori are sent to a segregated housing unit while Jake and Stephen are returned to their cell. That night, Jake and Stephen escape and are met by Leia and Daniel. Leia is Stephen’s beloved and Daniel is a Shaddai tasked with assisting Stephen and Jake in their quest.
Daniel and Stephen take Jake to a very special hotel in San Francisco’s Chinatown. The Hotel has an invisible door through a brick wall marked with a U shape and a line in the middle and three dots above. The three take an elevator down to a lobby deep beneath the hotel. Three of the five doors in the lobby lead to seeming ordinary sleeping quarters and two doors open on the Shaddai testing grounds.
Jake appears to be in his late 90’s when Daniel brings to his room a special leather purse containing a slice of glowing fruit sent by Samuel the profit. The fruit is from the tree of life and Jake consumes it just in time to keep from aging out. Instantly, Jake is young again. A strong healthy man of about twenty-five looks back at him in the large closet door mirrors.
Next Jake is presented with a test. He is shown two doors. When he places his hand on the first door he witnesses sounds and smells of a park where all seems well. When he places his hand on the second door, Jake witnesses a much different spirit. Darkness and fear seem to rule in this second place. Jake enters the second doorway and confronts the evil influences demonstrating faith and trust. Jake passes his test and is granted entrance into the Garden of Eden.
While in the Garden, Jake partakes from the tree of life and is again tested by the Tree of Knowledge of good and evil. After passing this second test, Jake is met by Michael who presents Jake with a dagger. Jake learns later it is the Dagger of Moriah one of the twelve enchanted instruments with the power to kill immortals.
Back at San Quentin, Borackus and the other five Grigori capture C-Block and take Correctional Officers hostages. During the incident Borackus and the Grigori are killed by the Correctional assault team. When the bodies of the Grigori were taken to the Marin County Medical Examiner, five of the six bodies mysteriously disappear.
Sam Jericho, a detective with the Marin County Sheriff’s office is assigned to investigate the missing bodies as well as the death of the County Medical Examiner. Jericho discovers strange religious markings on the one body remaining in the morgue and requests Dr. Ruth Springer from Stanford University to assist him. It is not long before Sam has fallen for Ruth and the two quickly learn; perhaps the middle of a homicide investigation is not the best place to start up a romance.
Jake and Stephen, with the help of Daniel and Leia, set out on a ship named Delilah’s Secret to find the land of Endor and recover the Sword of Goliath. Hot on their trail is Zoltar and his legion of fallen angels and Grigori.
At the Crossing, Jake and Stephen continue to seek the wisdom of Samuel in the Grasslands. It is on such a visit that Samuel first shows Jake the viewing pool where visions of the future, present and past appear in the clear water. Jake is amazed to see a small child in one such vision. When he asks Samuel about the little girl he is told, “She is your bloodline and your destiny.”
Jake remains puzzled about this until Teresa finally reveals to him he is a father. She explains how she was three months pregnant when she passed away on earth. Jake is astonished.
On yet another visit to the Crossing, Jake is again confronted by Zoltar who takes his daughter Abigail captive. Zoltar agrees to set Abigail free and exchanges her for the map provided by Samuel that leads to the Sword of Goliath. During the encounter Jake kills Borackus with the dagger of Moriah which results in his earthly body dying on the other side. Zoltar escapes with the map.
Jake demonstrates strong faith in the Good Shepherd and only fears being left again by his beloved Teresa who will be ascending to heaven beyond Sion with Abigail his daughter. Jake is not able to follow his family as he can only reach the Crossing while he lives on earth. Samuel provides Jake with five smooth wishing stones that allow him to call Teresa and Abigail back to the Crossing for a time. When the stones are gone the door will close forever.
Sam Jericho joins a special task force to investigate the strange happenings surrounding the fantastic escape from San Quentin. Sam is confused by the bodies of the missing corpses from the morgue that are surfacing in San Francisco only hours dead. Sam and Ruth become more convinced they are encountering the supernatural when they find the body of Borackus in a locked motel room. Sam also finds a small backpack with clues indicating Jake Stanton is innocent of his wife’s murder. More specific it seems Borackus was instructed to kill Jake and his wife by someone in the Sonoma County District Attorney’s office.
Sam and Ruth visit Teresa’s twin sister Sherri in an attempt to learn where Jake might be heading. Sherri, who supported Jake all through the trial, is slow to trust Inspector Jericho. Sherri is convinced her brother-in-law was framed for killing her twin by corrupt law enforcement.
Following a dream, Stephen, Jake and Daniel once again visit the Prophet Samuel seeking guidance. Samuel gives Jake and Stephen a crystal key to the map stolen by Zoltar that should direct the user to the exact location of the sword. This is a Shaddai secret Stephen begins to share with Leia. On Opal Island in a place Jake and Stephen felt was safe, they are shocked when they find out; a deceiver has traveled with them this whole time. Stephen is thunderstruck to learn his beloved Leia has betrayed them all and provided the crystal key to Zoltar.
What Leia did not know, was the map key did not lead to the enchanted sword but to the land of Icarus where immortals become mortals simply by breathing the air.
Zoltar and his legion are reduced to mortals as Jake and Stephen continue on to the land of Endor to fight the witch who kept the sword these many years.
In an epic battle, Stephen and Jake win the day by killing the Witch of Endor and capturing the Sword of Goliath. On their way back to the ship they are challenged by Zoltar and end his breath forever.
At the end of the book, Stephen and Jake are traveling back to San Francisco where Jake plans to turn himself in to Inspector Jericho. When they drift off to sleep, Jake uses one of five special wishing stones provided by Samuel to call his family back to the Crossing for what he hopes will be an extended visit.
The Wizard of Nod begins with Stephen and Jake once again in a jail cell. Jake has been having a recurring nightmare of a young girl drowning after being attacked by a bull shark.
Inspector Jericho and Ruth Springer befriend Stephen and Jake and continue to assist in their legal defense. Despite their assistance, the Grigori seem to control the courts and the justice system.
On their visits to the Crossing, Jake and Stephen learn a young wizard has gained the throne in Nod and is assembling a great Grigori army led by the 200 original Watcher Angels including Azazel and Samyaza.
The wizard of Nod, also known as Mordred of the forest is obsessed with ruling the earth. He has a powerful sword that serves his every desire. The sword is one of the twelve enchanted instruments known as the Sword of Kings or Excalibur.
Ruth is in her third trimester with Sam’s child and is forced to return home from her expedition in Ethiopia where she is on the verge of discovering the final resting place of the Ark of the Covenant.
Ruth’s team of grad students from Stanford University locate the Ark in the very place Ruth said it would be. Alas, her students disobey her instructions not to touch the ark and to let only the two Jewish religious leaders move the holy relic. They open the ark and handle the contents with no regard for her instructions. The result is catastrophic.
Also, with the ark, was a man encased in a transparent casket preserved perfectly. When Mordred learns of the discovery, he seeks out the spirit of his father who lives at the Crossing in the badlands like a hermit. He warns the old man to stay out of the fight and not to seek his staff hidden with the ark.
Melchizedek, whose body is bound on earth has not been in his right mind since it happened. His spirit has been in drift and he has lived a simple existence sustaining himself on bugs in the most remote area of the badlands. His only companion is a creature known as Arthur the Whizzler. Arthur is a small raccoon looking animal with feathered wings and the ability to talk. Even at the Crossing, this animal was thought to be mythical like the unicorn of earth.
The visit triggers something in the old wizard’s bones and he sets out to find the prophet Samuel in the grasslands.
Samuel alerts Jake and Stephen, they must again escape their jail cell and retrieve the staff of Moses before it falls into the hands of the Grigori.
The quest begins with Jake, Stephen, and Daniel traveling to the Smithsonian institute where the Ark of the Covenant has been sent. Likewise, the casket containing the body of Melchizedek was sent to Dr. Springer’s lab at Stanford University. The newest member of the team is Sherri Burke, (Formally Sherri Alexander from Book I) Teresa’s twin sister who strikes up a romance with Stephen.
From the west coast to the east coast, Jake and Stephen are pursued by the Grigori as well as Sam Jericho’s task force. Along the way, and in an epic battle, Stephen and Jake are joined by David, Stephen’s guardian who helps the Shaddai out of a tight spot.
Ruth Springer receives a visit from Randel Terrell the assistant district attorney assigned to prosecute Stephen and Jake. Ruth is surprised Terrell did not come by to see Sam but to question her about her new book on the twelve enchanted instruments. Terrell uses Grigori magic on Ruth to end her life. Ruth is found unresponsive and left in a coma on life support. Sam returns from his pursuit of Jake and Stephen to be with his beloved in the hospital. What Sam does not know, and why Ruth has been so obsessed with angel studies is that she too carries the DNA of an angelic being.
Daniel is sent back to wake Ruth and take her to the Garden of Eden before she ages out. Once awakened, Ruth meets her deceased grandmother, Sarah at the Crossing. Daniel explains to Ruth she is Shaddai and must partake from the tree of life before she dies of the accelerated aging. Ruth is taken to a secret hotel under Chinatown in San Francisco. She passes the test of her faith when she meets her younger sister and makes the ultimate sacrifice for her. Ruth learns her sister Rachel is the young girl in Jake's nightmare who is attacked by a shark and drowns.
Jake and Sherri split from David and Stephen so Jake can get to the beach in Maryland and save the young girl haunting his dreams. What Jake does not know, is the young girl he saves is his own daughter Abigail in the body of Ruth’s Sister Rachel. Jake sees the dark brown eyes turn to ice blue and has a moment of recognition before Rachel is taken to the hospital.
On yet another visit to the Crossing the united Shaddai travel to Samuel’s home in the grasslands. This is where they meet Melchizedek and his whizzler Arthur. When the Shaddai consult the viewing pool they see a young man who can play the trumpet better than all others. Jake inquires who the boy is. Samuel tells them to see him but do not alter their course to know him. Also, the viewing pool reveals the lost colony of Roanoke Island and Virginia Dare who has been wounded by Mordred.
David and Stephen make it to the ark and capture the staff of Moses before the army of Grigori can get it. In their escape, Azazel and his army turn themselves into ravens and give chase. When they catch up to the Shaddai, David has the bright idea of using the staff to put a curse on the Grigori. The plan seems to work, and David leads Stephen to the south bound train to meet Jake and Sherri in New Orleans.
Stephen and David have their share of trouble as David tries to use the staff as a weapon. Because neither has a clue on how to use the staff’s powers, they end up stopping time. They seem to be the only two people on earth who can move, the rest of the population look as if they were in a paused movie. That is all but young Abigail who wakes up in a hospital in Maryland.
Abigail is resourceful and makes her way to New Orleans on her own. Along the way she meets up with Stephen and David. Again, David uses the staff which un-pauses time but turns all water into blood. Abigail, Stephen and David seek the help of a man named Abraham who is also known as Irish to drive them to New Orleans in his motorhome.
When Stephen and Jake reunite, Irish agrees to drive the group to San Francisco to try and free Melchizedek's body. The Grigori continue to follow the Shaddai and meet up with them in Death Valley where the motorhome overheats. David uses the staff to strike a rock to produce water. He gets more water than expected. The rock gushes water until it floods Death Valley and most of southern California. The water only stops when again David uses the staff. This time a plague of darkness covers the earth. Not just darkness, but in the darkness, lurks all the evil we fear most.
Now Mordred himself has decided to get involved. He travels with Azazel to Dr. Springer’s home where he takes Sam Jericho hostage and orders him to take them to the body of Melchizedek.
Sam takes the villains to Stanford University followed by Stephen, Jake and Abigail with the staff of Moses. In the final battle, Jake severs the sword hand of Mordred before the Wizard escapes. Stephen is killed by Azazel as he takes the monster with him in death. Abigail saves Melchizedek who takes her with him to Avalon. David and Sherri arrive and take the body of Stephen into the night leaving Jake alone with Sam. In the end, Jake is once again in a jail cell. This time he is completely alone without the ability to enter the Crossing when he sleeps. This is where we find him as we start the third and final installment of The Bloodline Chronicles. Acts of the Shaddai, “The Final Testament”