Out of the searing heat and sandstorms of the infamous summer of 2003 in Baghdad comes The Witch of Babylon, a gripping story rooted in ancient Assyrian lore and its little-known but profound significance for the world.
John Madison is a Turkish-American art dealer raised by his much older brother, Samuel, a mover and shaker in New York's art world. Caught between his brother's obsession with saving a priceless relic looted from Iraq's National Museum and a deadly game of revenge staged by his childhood friend, John must solve a puzzle to find the link between a modern-day witch and an ancient one.
Aided by Tomas, an archaeologist, and Ari, an Iraqi photojournalist—two men with their own secrets to hide—John races against time to decipher a biblical prophecy that leads to the dark history behind the science of alchemy. Kidnapped by villainous fortune hunters, John is returned to Iraq, where a fabulous treasure trove awaits discovery—if he can stay alive long enough to find it.
Hours before the final attack few believed the city would fall.
Honestly, I did not think I was going to get The Witch of Babylon read and reviewed in time, but somehow I managed. *wipes brow*
There are a couple of things I would like to talk about that makes The Witch of Babylon such an interesting read, well, at least for me. I enjoy a good book that is able to use historical information, some from the author's mind and some that may or may not be completely fictional, and wave them into one addictive story. Which is just what this book did.
I really liked that the author did not go with a setting or historical period or the same mythologies that are commonly used in books, like, the Romans and Egyptians. It was definitely interesting to read this book since I am not too familiar with the Assyrian/Mesopotamian history and whatnot. While the main character, John, doesn't actually spend that much time Iraq, I loved the descriptions and how well the author brought the feel of danger and beauty to life in the book.
So, while reading The Witch of Babylon I found myself liking and not liking the antagonist. I liked them because they did a really great job of applying the pressure to John and giving the book a darker feel then what I was expecting. They were definitely a diverse group, but the story on one of them could almost have passed as the story for a super-villain in a comic book. It was definitely interesting to see how exactly they were connected to the engraving and how they would play into the general story in the book. What I did not expect is that they were not the chess master in the game.
John Madison, not the most likable character. For the first half of the book I was kinda 'meh' about him because his attitude was not exactly endearing. While he may have been grieving and in denial over the loss of his brother and his role in his death, I had a hard time liking him because he just seemed to have no spark. While he annoyed me for a while, I enjoyed reading about him once he started to get back into the game that is life and dealt with the trouble that seemed to be following him.
What I liked about The Witch of Babylon would have to be the writing. I liked that the author was able to blend all the different aspects of the novel into one breathtaking ride with an endgame that I totally did not expect...not in the least. It was definitely a great ending to the book.
So, The Witch of Babylon was good, although I had a little trouble accepting certain aspects of the story as I read it. While it is a good book, I did not really care for the connection that was supposed to be between the engraving and one of the books in the Bible. The story of the engraving and the angle that it gave to the search that it brought about was interesting, but like I said not something I could get behind.
Final Verdict: The Witch of Babylon if you're looking for a book with danger and treasure tied up in an ancient engraving then this is the book for you. This is one that will leave you on the edge of your seat.
The Witch of Babylon earns 4 out of 5 pineapples.