The Witch of Babylon

The Witch of Babylon

Paperback - 2011
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Out of the searing heat and sand storms of Baghdad's infamous summer of 2003 comes a gripping tale rooted in ancient Mesopotamian 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 respected Mesopotamian scholar. Caught between Samuel'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: Is the notion of turning lead into gold possible after all?

Against his will, John returns to Iraq where a fabulous treasure trove awaits discovery and where the truth behind a famous story the world believes to be a myth is finally revealed.

Publisher: Toronto : Penguin Group (Canada), c2011
ISBN: 9780143175728
Branch Call Number: FIC MCI
Characteristics: 399 p. : ill., map ; 23 cm

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cmackend
Dec 13, 2011

I'm not sure if this is a book for "young adults" but I could only recommend it for beginning readers.

There is action and suspense aplenty, more art and history references than you can shake a stick at, but the pacing is unbelievable; the dialogue is stilted and cringe-worthy, the plot hangs so loosely upon a mcguffin that it approaches satire. I mean even more so than a Dan Brown novel with whom the author's marketing machine has chosen to make Macintosh complicit.

If I had nothing else to read I might have finished it because the premise is not un-interesting and there is a mystery of sorts. I would recommend this for teachers of low-vocab students who require high-interest, 'adult' stories they can use in their classrooms.

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