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Lion of Babylon (A Marc Royce Thriller Book #1)

Average Rating 4
( 36 )
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(17)

4 Star

(9)

3 Star

(7)

2 Star

(1)

1 Star

(2)

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

6 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

Spell-binding; left me breathless

Gripping. Stunning. Intriguing.
A real "page-turner." Suspenseful.
Creative. Descriptive. Imaginative.
I could go on. Bunn has done a masterful job of transporting the reader to another place, and to what might almost seem, another time. Though set in modern day Ira...
Gripping. Stunning. Intriguing.
A real "page-turner." Suspenseful.
Creative. Descriptive. Imaginative.
I could go on. Bunn has done a masterful job of transporting the reader to another place, and to what might almost seem, another time. Though set in modern day Iraq, during the time when the Iraqis are seeking to establish a post-Saddam government, Davis Bunn describes the setting so well, you'd think you'd been taken back in time to another world. Sights, sounds, even smells float up off the page. Spice, mint, a melange of other odors kept stirring my senses throughout this book.
The plot was first-rate for this genre. I've read a great deal of Vince Flynn, Tom Clancy, Robert Ludlum and enjoy the espianoge genre. I truly enjoyed my first experience at reading Davis Bunn. He does a superb job of keeping the reader into the suspense and tension of the plot. I felt it moved at a great pace (contra other reviews I've read, but it makes me think they've never read in this genre before). There were moments I was breathless and then relieved; drawn in and on edge, as well as moved deeply. There is a scene in a "secret" church gathering with Americans, Iraqis, Sunni and Shia alike gathered for worship, making it only about Jesus that is so touching, I almost felt like I was Sameh el-Jacobi, being moved so deeply by the Spirit that tears flowed down my face.
Bunn's main character, Marc Royce, fits into the "spy thriller" mold: he's reluctant, yet able to take complete charge of a situation; feeling manipulated by handlers, yet still gets the job done for the sake of country (and, in this case, a foreign country that he becomes very fond of very quickly); aloof and yet very human.

If you've never read in this area before, I'd recommend this book. It contains the feel of some of the biggest best-sellers on the "secular" market without all the foul language, innuendo (or worse, blatant descriptiveness) and cynicism. If you're an "old familiar" with this type of book, grab it and read it and wait for a great ride. Once you start, you won't put it down.

I highly recommend the Lion of Babylon.

A complimentary copy of this book was received for review purposes only.

posted by A_Cluttered_Mind on August 31, 2011

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Most Helpful Critical Review

2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

Give it a try

Good plot and I like the main character. If you enjoy military stories then this is a good story to try. I gave it three stars because multiple pages were missing and I missed parts of conversations between characters. I also gave it three stars because it didn't hold m...
Good plot and I like the main character. If you enjoy military stories then this is a good story to try. I gave it three stars because multiple pages were missing and I missed parts of conversations between characters. I also gave it three stars because it didn't hold my interest. I put the book down for a few fays at a time before deciding to finish it. But I do think you should try it for yourself...maybe the missing pages threw me off.

posted by 7990616 on August 19, 2012

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  • Posted August 31, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Spell-binding; left me breathless

    Gripping. Stunning. Intriguing.
    A real "page-turner." Suspenseful.
    Creative. Descriptive. Imaginative.
    I could go on. Bunn has done a masterful job of transporting the reader to another place, and to what might almost seem, another time. Though set in modern day Iraq, during the time when the Iraqis are seeking to establish a post-Saddam government, Davis Bunn describes the setting so well, you'd think you'd been taken back in time to another world. Sights, sounds, even smells float up off the page. Spice, mint, a melange of other odors kept stirring my senses throughout this book.
    The plot was first-rate for this genre. I've read a great deal of Vince Flynn, Tom Clancy, Robert Ludlum and enjoy the espianoge genre. I truly enjoyed my first experience at reading Davis Bunn. He does a superb job of keeping the reader into the suspense and tension of the plot. I felt it moved at a great pace (contra other reviews I've read, but it makes me think they've never read in this genre before). There were moments I was breathless and then relieved; drawn in and on edge, as well as moved deeply. There is a scene in a "secret" church gathering with Americans, Iraqis, Sunni and Shia alike gathered for worship, making it only about Jesus that is so touching, I almost felt like I was Sameh el-Jacobi, being moved so deeply by the Spirit that tears flowed down my face.
    Bunn's main character, Marc Royce, fits into the "spy thriller" mold: he's reluctant, yet able to take complete charge of a situation; feeling manipulated by handlers, yet still gets the job done for the sake of country (and, in this case, a foreign country that he becomes very fond of very quickly); aloof and yet very human.

    If you've never read in this area before, I'd recommend this book. It contains the feel of some of the biggest best-sellers on the "secular" market without all the foul language, innuendo (or worse, blatant descriptiveness) and cynicism. If you're an "old familiar" with this type of book, grab it and read it and wait for a great ride. Once you start, you won't put it down.

    I highly recommend the Lion of Babylon.

    A complimentary copy of this book was received for review purposes only.

    6 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted November 19, 2012

    Excellent Story! Introduces a 'Real Hero' who is also a Christian!

    Marc Royce is summoned by his former boss (the one who fired him several months previous) because he - the 'former boss' - knows that Marc is very likely the ONLY one who can rescue a CIA 'Asset' gone missing. Soon after arrival, he learns that the one missing man is in reality four missing people (and one of them is an Iraqi citizen. To add to the mystery and suspense, he also learns that there are 'powers that be' on BOTH SIDES OF THE ISSUE that would rather ignore the situation and allow the four missing people to remain 'missing'...

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 19, 2012

    Give it a try

    Good plot and I like the main character. If you enjoy military stories then this is a good story to try. I gave it three stars because multiple pages were missing and I missed parts of conversations between characters. I also gave it three stars because it didn't hold my interest. I put the book down for a few fays at a time before deciding to finish it. But I do think you should try it for yourself...maybe the missing pages threw me off.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted July 2, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Can one man change a country's opinion of Americans?

    Marc Royce is a former employee of State Intel, which is the smallest of the nation's intelligence forces responsible for security in every overseas non military base from embassies, consulates, ambassadorial residences to treaty houses. He was fired because he had the the unforgivable. He put his wife first to care for her after having a stroke for 9 months, the state only offered him 6 weeks. Since then, he has carried around her death like a burden he can't see to put down.

    Now that Alex Baird has gone missing in the heart of Baghdad for almost 3 days, Marc is being called back in by those who fired him, to locate and bring back Alex and two other women who went missing with him. An American agent to go missing in Baghdad was very bad news, and Alex was the only friend not to abandon Marc when they let him go.

    In the latest suspense thriller, Lion of Babylon by Davis Bunn, we are taken into the heat of Baghdad while things are still very hostile for Americans. In the midst of removing Saddam Hussein from power, the country is still struggling to find it's new form of government while religious groups via to maintain power and control over the country. Now it's up to Marc to not only find Alex but to show Baghdad's leaders that not all American's wish them harm.

    I received this book compliments of Christian Fiction Blog Alliance for my honest review and once again, loved it. I read it from cover to cover in one sitting and was completely held captive to his writing style. Feeling like I was a partner along with Marc, we attempted to unlock whatever clues were necessary to find Alex Baird alive and find out just why people wanted to keep his abduction a secret, even those within our own government. I give this book a 5 out of 5 stars and can't wait to read more by David Bunn.

    2 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 31, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Highly Recommended!

    Great novel....can't wait to read his other books!

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 7, 2012

    I can't even begin to describe this book.

    The characters in this book especially the main character marc royce took my breath away. this story just blew my mind away, this imy new favorite book. I am in love with this book ,and i especially like the part where he visits the one church, it just amazing how people can put aside their differences and be one in Christ. AMAZING!

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 2, 2012

    Amazing!!

    The characters were strong and unique. I can't wait for Marc's next adventure. It will surely be suspense at it's best. I am a long time Bunn fan and this was no disappointment.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 23, 2011

    Good book...wanted it to be better

    The story follows Marc Royce, a former intelligence officer from the United States, called to Iraq to find a friend who has recently gone missing. He works across national, political and religious lines to bridge gaps and try to find his friend before it's too late. The story is set in Iraq amidst the rebuilding of the country and the struggle for power in the new government. Marc meets new allies and finds new enemies in his quest.

    I thought this was an interesting book with a good story and some good action chapters toward the end of the book. I think it was a little light in character development as it felt like the author gave a brief overview of the main characters, but didn't get real deep. One other thing that I thought was interesting was after Marc had some success, the religious leader was quick to say that all Americans were good. I'm not sure this is a realistic scenario, but I think the author was trying to convey a theme of looking past differences and seeking common ground. I enjoyed the story line of the book, but would have liked to go deeper into the characters that were portrayed.

    I received this book as part of Bethany House Publishing review program. My review is my own and has not been influenced in any way.

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 4, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Highly Recommended - you must check it out!!

    Marc Royce loved his job. Working for the State Department up till his abrupt dismissal, because of meaningless issues. Nearly three years later, he is called upon to help solve the problem of three people who have gone missing in Baghdad. One person going missing is a problem. Two people going missing is also a problem. Three people going missing is a gigantic problem. Are they linked? Three people from completely different lifestyles, a nurse, an aid worker, and a wealthy Iraqi boy, yet their disappearances are too similar to be a coincidence. While working on the problem, Marc finds trails of people meeting who were sworn enemies.He discovers a surprising truth that could change the Middle East. Forever. This book was well written out, grabbing one from the first chapter. Usually, books can be given until the end of the first paragraph to draw in a reader. This book did just that. With an Intriguing beginning, and intensely suspenseful end, this book is hard to put down. One will agree that this book had just the right number of pages, and an interesting plot that sets it apart from others. Though fairly sad at parts, Overall, this book was a fantastic read for anyone who enjoys a fast-paced story, on the edge of trouble. One would recommend this book to ages 13+, because younger children would not understand it as well.

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 24, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Lion of Babylon

    This is a fast-paced action / adventure novel. It is so speedy, in fact, that sometimes the reader will be confused as to what is going on and who all the characters are. This propels the pages as readers piece together the puzzles of the plot, which I won't entirely ruin. The protagonist is--surprise, surprise--a secret agent of sorts. He is in the Middle East and discovers that many Christian Iraqis have gone missing. With violence, mystery, and everything in between, readers and characters alike have to put solve the puzzle of this religious / cultural / controversial who-done-it. Adding to the anxiety is the fact that the protagonist is a widower with possible women he could start his life over with. There are some mentions of church and prayer, but that is about as far as it goes in some respects. While this was very well written, it wasn't my cup of tea since I usually do not read this genre. However, those into this type of story will probably relish the read.

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 12, 2014

    Slow

    This book was just ok. It starts very slow. Picks up too late.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 20, 2014

    Davis Bunn is awesome

    Once again Davis Bunn has a series that you cannot put down. I love the fact that there are other options other then war that can unite us together with prayer, and understanding. At this time with news everyday of more war and blood shed, it is sad that the world leaders don't take a page out of Bunn's books. If they did there just might be a chance of peace in this world. If you read this one, just keep going on to the next two books. Thank you Mr. Bunn for sharing you talent and the love of God with us!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 21, 2014

    not my cup of tea

    too much extra history - not enough plot.

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  • Posted December 30, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    A good book that kept me interested throughout the entire story.

    A good book that kept me interested throughout the entire story. The further into the book you go the more it holds your attention. Having said that, I still feel as if the story could have been better. My conclusion is that this book is good, escapist reading. Great for the person having a couple days off or in need of reading when on vacation.

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  • Posted December 13, 2013

    good read

    good read, very interesting

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 14, 2013

    Not very good

    This was very hard to get into despite the bought plot spoilers that raved over it. It dragged for pages, the muslim names were unpronouncable, and the action just wasnt there.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 10, 2013

    Great read!!!

    This was a wonderful book filled with adventure, intrigue, and inspiration! First time I've read a book by this author, David Burn, but it won't be my last! It was eye opening to read of what the Iraqi people go through every day to just stay alive. I'll look forward to reading the next adventure of Marc Royce.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 9, 2013

    What I thought was a CIA spy thriller was anything but thrilling

    What I thought was a CIA spy thriller was anything but thrilling. The main characters weren’t put into any sort of danger until well over half way through the book. There is only one maybe two scenes that I would consider interesting and I wouldn’t consider either of them suspenseful as they lack details and story lines which draw a reader in. The antagonist isn’t really defined until the very end so there no one stirring the pot, no one to root against. In the end everything comes up roses as the author is more interested in pushing faith than telling an interesting story. If you want a feel good story underpinned by religion this is your book. If you’re looking for entertainment you probably want to look elsewhere.

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 24, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Intense and thrilling

    Lion of Babylon by Davis Bunn is filled with intensity from the first page to the last. Each page carries a sincerity and a depth of meaning that draws you further into the world of these characters.

    I was fortunate enough to receive an advance reading copy of this book. Marc Royce is a former U.S. Intelligence Operative who was pulled away from his job to care for his dying wife. Without her or his old job his life has been at a standstill. Marc is called upon by the boss who fired him to go into Iraq and locate an old friend of Marc's who has gone missing along with two other Americans and an Iraqi. People that governments in both countries are not sure that they want found. In Iraq, he meets Sameh el-Jacobi, the most honest man in Iraq. The men form a friendship through mutual assistance and respect. They must work together to find the missing persons with the direction of the country and the Middle East hanging in the balance.

    Davis Bunn creates a convincing portrait of a present-day Iraq. His descriptions are vivid enough that you feel the sun beating down on you and taste the dust in your throat. It is a picture of an Iraq searching for its own way forward and a people trying to live their lives with danger and uncertainty around every corner, and the reminders of their tragic past everywhere they look.

    The main characters are fleshed out with fully-examined motivations. They are in many ways impossibly good people, but they still manage to be believable and you come to care about them and what happens to them. The descriptions of the characters are vivid and poetic: "Up close the man revealed an odd aura, like bullets not yet fired." An author with a less deft touch could make these descriptions seem corny, but there is a sincerity that comes through the writing that avoids that here.

    The plot moves along at a steady pace and the action segments are well-written and exciting. The plot and its characters rely heavily on Christian faith. This may work at odds with the middle-eastern setting, but the characters and the writing are so well done that the book stands as an outstanding thriller. Highly recommended.

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 9, 2014

    No text was provided for this review.

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