The Babylon Idol by Scott Mariani | A Spoiler Free Book Review
Hello, fellow Bibliophile!
I’m back, and I’m doing another retrospective book review. Yes, classic me. At some point, I need to start taking notes as I read books. Because that’s the sensible thing to do. This new level of organisation would also mean that I don’t have to go back a re-read a book so I can write a review. However, my inner bibliophile doesn’t see an actual problem with this.
Why This Book?
I can’t remember how I came across Scott Mariani as an author, but I’ve had The Babylon Idol on my wishlist on Amazon for quite a while. However, I might have discovered the Ben Hope Series while searching Amazon for fiction novels similar to mine. I’m guessing the Amazon algorithm kept showing me books from the ben hope series until I finally caved and purchased The Babylon Idol. As a self-confessed history nerd, so in light of this, the title was probably the most significant pull into reading this novel.
The synopsis below was sourced from the google play bookstore by the book review plugin that I use on my website.
When a sniper leaves Ben Hope’s friend fighting for his life, the former SAS major declares war on the men responsible. But what begins as a straightforward revenge mission gets complicated when a mysterious letter reveals Ben to be the real target.
And his isn’t the only name on a crazed killer’s list.
Professor Anna Manzini has no idea she’s in grave danger from a man she’d thought dead. She’s on the cusp of a major discovery: the location of the lost Babylon idol, a golden statue of immeasurable value.
But when word of Anna’s work reaches her enemies, it sets off a cat-and-mouse chase that will lead Ben and Anna halfway across Europe and into the heart of war-torn Syria.
To reach the precious idol first, Ben must keep one step ahead of a powerful maniac. If he fails, it won’t just be Ben and Anna’s lives in danger, but the world.
My Reading Experience
I read The Babylon Idol using the Kindle Whispersync for Voice feature which requires you to purchase both the Kindle and the audiobook. What can I say? My inner child loves to listen to stories. I listened and read the novel over a series of ten individual reading sessions from 13 August 2017 to 27 October 2017.
I went through several reading slumps the first after I initially started to read and the second at the end of September when I only had the final six percent of the book to read. These reading slumps had nothing to do with the quality of the story but more about me falling out of my reading habit, and being distracted by life. And by ‘life,’ I mean that post-wedding period and a couple of trips to Paris and Poitiers.
It was the tiny dash of history and archaeology mixed with fiction that had me hooked on the series from the start. After reading, The Coelho Medallion I re-realised my love of archaeology, and perhaps this drove me towards this book. What I loved most about this book was its references to the Babylonian Empire and the Golden Idol of King Nebuchadnezzar. And, the quest to locate its whereabouts and tracing it through history.
The second thing I loved about the Babylon Idol was what I now know to be a return to the roots of the series. In the story, the antagonist from The Alchemist’s Secret is back to seek revenge with a death list, while setting his eye on locating the golden idol. This leaves Hope to sprint across Europe to save a series of acquaintances who are next on the list. The reference to the events that took place in the first book along with the book titles is enough to reel you into reading the series if you haven’t done so already.
There was only one thing that my inner sceptic found a little irritating, but it clearly hasn’t stopped me from binge reading the series so far. Ben Hope is a rouge-ish bad-boy with a Jason Bourne meets James Bond, who always seems to have women fall all over him. Yes, you read that correctly. Ben has heel clad women falling all over him, who naturally need rescuing.
But, in Scott Mariani’s defence this book is written from the perspective of Ben Hope, so perhaps this is how he perceives the women he comes across in the story. I feel a little hypocritical by pointing this out but my protagonist James Lalonde does get more than his fair share of attention from the ladies, but they aren’t all damsels in distress. A few of the women in my series are very capable of rescuing themselves and kicking ass, which they do.
But, my dislike of the damsel in distress does come from having three younger brothers and having a need to prove that as a woman I can do things myself. My amazing brothers helped raise a fearlessly independent woman.
In terms of thrills this novel does its job quite well and to the point in which the pages turn themselves. After reading this book, I was immediately intrigued by the events in the first book which later led to this story. And thus, I found myself binge reading the next few books in the series. So, be warned this page-turner with action, violence, twists, and a dash of romance will leave you wanting more.
Happy reading, book lovers!
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