Literature / Domain

The Domain trilogy is a Science Fantasy book series penned by American author Steve Alten.

Archaeologist Julius Gabriel devoted his life to studying the Mayan calendar, a 2500-year-old enigma that predicts the end of humanity. But when Julius dies before solving the prophecy, only one person can save the human race from annihilation: Julius’s son Mick, a patient in a mental hospital.

Meanwhile, on the fall equinox, a serpent's shadow appears on the northern balustrade of the Kukulcan Pyramid, just as it has done for a thousand years. But this time, a rare galactic alignment occurs, and a space transmission reaches Earth.

It is the beginning of the end and a trilogy full of serious Mind Screw, time travels and awesomeness.

There are currently three entries in the series, plus one more which is promised but not yet announced.

  • Domain (2001)
  • Resurrection (2004)
  • Phobos, also titled Phobos: Mayan Fear (2011

This series contains examples of:

  • Action Mom: Dominique becomes one in the sequel.
  • Badass Family: The Gabriel family, or more widely the entire Hunahpu lineage, which was created to be such.
  • Big Bad Duumvirate: Lilith and Devlin trade the Big Bad and The Dragon roles in Resurrection.
  • Bigger Bad: Seven Macaw, who is revealed in the third book to have been all the time the mastermind behind Lilith and Devlin.
  • Blood Magic: Chicahua and the ancient Mayans practice it.
  • Break Them by Talking: At the end, Chilam Balam defeats Seven Macaw by talking him out of his head.
  • Cain and Abel: Jake and Manny, lampshaded in-universe. Who is who is difficult to tell, although the "official" version given is that Jake is Abel and Manny is Cain.
  • Cool Shades: Hunahpu characters use them to hide their azure eyes.
  • Dead All Along: Lilith, Devlin and the transhumans in Xibalba, which really doesn't exist.
  • Deadly Training Area: Jake's training facility.
  • Did You Just Punch Out Cthulhu?: When Jake kills Devlin's guardian demon.
  • Determinator: Samuel Agler aka Immanuel Gabriel in Phobos.
  • Does Not Like Shoes: Almost everybody in the main cast. Dominique, Manny, Lilith, Laura, Lauren and others are shown to enjoy being barefoot.
  • Doing In the Wizard: Partially. Lilith's seduction powers are later explained to be based in pheromones (and good ol' hotness, duh), but the rest of Hunahpu abilities remain as actual Psychic Powers.
  • Full-Frontal Assault: Both Devlin and Lilith in Xibalba. The latter one is introduced to the Nephilim fully naked to show his new genetic features, and apparently stills streaking during the final battle, and the former firstly wears robes and gowns, but she discards them in order to fight in the nude.
  • Everybody Has Lots of Sex
  • Eye Colour Change: Manny and later Laura gain the Hunahpu azure eyes without being born with them.
  • Fanservice: Well, it's a Steve Alten work.
  • Fate Worse Than Death: Michael Gabriel is said to have to endure this after Domain.
  • Floating Continent: The New Eden.
  • Freudian Excuse: More or less everybody in the books has one.
  • God: Zig-zagged. His existence is both affirmated and negated in different instances (oddly enough, by the same character).
  • Handy Feet: Transhuman Devlin restrains Dominique with his clawed toenails in Xibalba, in a way similar to a vulture's claws.
  • Heel–Face Turn: Lilith in Phobos.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Jake and later Manny/Chilam Balam, both in Xibalba.
  • I Just Want to Be Normal: Manny.
  • Mayan Doomsday: The basic premise of the series.
  • Mind Screw: The entire time travel thing.
  • Ms. Fanservice: Lilith, of course.
  • No Social Skills: Samuel Agler/Manny is rather awkward at times as a consequence of his upbringing, which is called on him. Oddly enough, the even less socialized Jake is shown to have more social skills than him.
  • Orphean Rescue: The Mayan Twins's mission is rescuing Michael Gabriel.
  • Phlebotinum Killed the Dinosaurs: The asteroid that wiped out the dinosaurs was in fact a spaceship containing a Tezcatlipoca sent by Lilith and Deviln in order to create a dimensional door which lets them return to the earth.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: Respectively, Manny and Jake.
  • Reincarnation: A key theme.
  • Retcon: A lot of retcons happen between the books. Some of them are clearly meant to adapt the story to a bigger universe, but others have no discernible reason, and almost seem out of Series Continuity Error.
    • In the second book, Devlin is described as olive skinned, with dark curly hair and common eyes (though, interestingly, their color is never mentioned, so we don't really know if he shares the trademark Hunahpu azure or has any other variant). However, in the third one, he is described as having straight white hair and bizarre, red-scleraed black eyes.
    • Kurtz's character changes totally from the second to the third book: in Resurrection, he is a highly capable, Genre Savvy bodyguard, while in Phobos is a Idiot Ball-loaded, comically lubric loon. Some of this is handwaved as having been injected with an aphrodisiac substance off-screen, but his new personality lasts the entire book.
  • Stable Time Loop
  • Stalker with a Test Tube: After turning evil, Lilith is instructed to get Jacob's seed in order to produce a pure Hunahpu offspring. She is succesful, and she gives birth to Devlin.
  • Stay in the Kitchen: What the Guardian thinks about Dominique, though she averts it at the end.
  • Transhuman Aliens: The grey aliens held captive in Area 51 turn to be transhumans from the future, specifically the ancient Mayans leaded by Chilam Balam through the wormhole created in the past by the present CERN.
  • Urine Trouble: Devlin makes a point after his turn into an "achangel" in the future, when he (completely naked and showing off his new wings) urinates over his worshippers out of transhuman scorn.
  • The Vamp: Lilith is the queen of this trope, thanks in no small part to be a Hunahpu female, which grants her adequate powers.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: In Phobos, Benjamin Merchant disappears after Lilith turns to the good side, and his existence is never acknowledged again.
  • Winged Humanoid: Devlin gains wings in the future thanks to genetic manipulation.
  • Wounded Gazelle Gambit: Lilith use this method to catch Jacob off guard in Xibalba.