Title: The Babylon Contingency
Author: Clifford Longley
Publisher: Lion Fiction
Since beginning a couple of years ago in writing reviews and blogging, I have come across a wide variety of books, genres and authors. Naturally, some novels and nonfiction were exceptional while others were just “run of the mill”, but enjoyable. Very few have I become so exasperated with that I didn’t bother to finish reading past a certain point. One director of a blogging group once said that a review could be written after reading three chapters, which was a new thought to me as I prefer to read the whole book. Not all “objectionable” material becomes evident within such a short amount of time plus reviews are subjective, an opinion by the writer.
When a friend and I came across this novel, we read the synopsis which sounded promising and waited for an opportunity to read and review the book. Shortly afterwards we began reading what other readers were saying about the novel. Two people stated that this isn’t a Christian book due to too many offensive words or references to sexual preferences. I cannot speak to those issues though what I can say is now I understand why people said it had promise and fell so short.
The story is written by a journalist who is also a broadcaster with knowledge learned from his study and reporting on religious affairs. So the particular way of journalism or broadcasting shows up in a heavy way in the work of fiction bogging it down and making it hard to follow. In the first couple of chapters, I had to look up words which I didn’t know and never heard of along with reading cuss words.
The author was attempting to cram too much into the book with abbreviations for various agencies. Plus if one is not aware of basic British humor or references too many things, it gets hard to follow. On top of that, the author brings in various personal lives of his characters which quickly complicate understanding the basic plot of the novel. I believe if the author teamed up with someone used to writing fictional stories the tale would have a chance to capture the imagination of readers. The knot just grew bigger when various people with so many specialties were brought to assist in the case, making enjoying reading at a leisurely pace undoable. If someone doesn’t like reading British novels, all I can say is don’t pick this one to read. Even if someone does like British novels, many facets brought into the plot will drive them crazy.
My rating is 2 stars.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it on my blog. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255. “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”