Tuesday, January 16, 2018

The Babel Conspiracy by Sylvia Bambola - First Personal Favorite for 2018!

WHY God?!!!

Another Riot. 
Trisha Callahan knew something had happened when she woke up to the smell of smoke drifting over her apartment complex. And between gobbling down a piece of buttered toast, and showering and dressing, she gleaned the details of last night’s siege from KFOM. Now, she stood brushing her long, black hair that fell in waves over her slender shoulders and wondered how this could happen. 
Impatiently, she tossed the brush onto the rattan tray holding an assortment of toiletries then fastened her blue blazer, leaving the top buttons open to reveal a stylish silk blouse. Riots had been popping out all over the country like pox, but she never thought it could happen here. Not in Everman—a city known for its low crime and friendly inhabitants. 
Where are you God? 
If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray . . . . 
Hadn’t her pastor predicted this? That America would fall unless believers prayed? She couldn’t get it out of her mind. It was the reason she rose an hour early every morning before work. So she could pray. 
Well, she had been praying for months now and where was God? Everyday another car bomb; another random killing by a terrorist. This was not the America she knew. The America she had grown up in. It broke her heart to see what was happening to the country she loved. 
She fingered the buffalo-horn cross by her throat. What more could she do? She grabbed her purse and keys. She had to stop thinking about it and get her mind on work. The boss’s secretary had called even before her alarm went off and told her to come in for an early meeting. And Michael Patterson was not a man to be kept waiting. 
Even so, she’d try getting more news in the car. She snatched the remote to click off the TV, but not before hearing the anchor rattle off the riot’s toll: three confirmed dead, more than twenty injured, eighteen arrests, ten cars torched, two entire buildings destroyed, with five others partially fire damaged. She took a deep breath as she fingered the cross one last time then bolted out the door.

The Babel Conspiracy

By Sylvia Bambola

The first chapter of this book sets the tone for many of us these days... We see the violence on the streets of America and raise our hands, asking, Why? Does this violence in some way have a part of God's plan? Which is very hard to believe given God's great Love... Or do we continue living in today's world, trusting and praying that we can find our way to His plan for each of us... This book is extremely intriguing. It hits us deep in the stomach with a punch that points our the seeming futility of today's political world. At the same time, readers enter into the lives of main characters as they face both their personal and professional desires, while trying to know God's plan. I both hated it and loved it... It's my first favorite for 2018...

Reader Alert: This is a rewrite of a novel previously published under the title A Vessel of Honor. The author tells us that there is enough changed that earlier readers should still enjoy this version.

I was intrigued by the title of this novel. At first I didn't understand and am still unsure that I am correct...

“Let us build us a city and a tower whose top may reach unto heaven; and let us make us a name.” Genesis 11:4

My thought, was whether the tower could perhaps represent another building--maybe even the White House... as some may use... Maybe the author will explain her thoughts for us...

Yes, this is definitely a political thriller, but one that both scares you with similar activities as is going on now and/or scares you for the "possibility" of it happening... Nevertheless, the overall story is quite fascinating and wonderfully written and told. The religious aspect is perfectly inserted at appropriate times and reflects the reason for the actions by the various characters. The author notes that she had wanted to have both of the female characters responds to God's calling, but the story itself could only allow for free will of even her characters. Not everybody chooses to accept God's love, through Jesus... This reveals to me a depth of experience in both writing as well as today's world by the author. I was impressed with this first reading of Sylvia Bambola's skill in telling her stories...

There are two concurrent themes running through the story. That of a company working to create a new aircraft, the first that would use nuclear fusion. The second is the criminal desire to either stop the project or steal the plans to be sold for profit... Having the two of the three main designers as women was pleasantly surprising. Indeed, the level of expertise about project design was outstandingly done, although I would admit to not knowing the meaning of technical words...but the way it is written does not require that, given the way it is presented to readers.

Especially impressive for me was Bambola's placing the main character, Trisha, the main creator and designer, into the position of, first, being attracted to her boss, and slowly falling in love with him as they worked on their new project. While, Mike, her boss, is married, he is in an "open marriage" arrangement, so does not shy away from his attraction to Trisha...

Trisha’s stiletto heels clicked against the concrete pavement of the underground garage. In the distance, the shriek of an ambulance broke the morning silence. 
Oh God, where are you? 
Millions of Christians were praying. Why have things gotten worse? 
If my people will . . . turn from their wicked ways . . . then will I forgive their sin, and heal their land. 
As she walked toward her car she thought of Michael Patterson and felt her stomach knot. Michael Patterson, her boss. Her married boss. Humbling oneself and praying was only part of it. It was that other part, that part of turning from our wicked ways that was so difficult. But what did she have to feel guilty about? She had crossed no line. 
Except in her heart, and didn’t God see the heart?

Bambola allows readers to both see Trisha's angst about the world, as well as her own relationship to God as she struggles with her own will versus striving to follow God's guidance. And if readers are currently concerned about the world, we may find that Trisha's faith will help us learn...

Of course, the criminal/political aspect of the book adds the intrigue, the danger and suspense for us. Basically, there are two presidential candidates now campaigning for the next election. One is clearly ahead--and must be dealt with... The brilliant twist in the book to allow the somewhat disheartening conclusion still created the tension, the emotional outrage that many are now experiencing in today's Capitol. 

Provocative yet highly fascinating in the scope and unusual detail revealed, I found this book a page-turner, wondering and hoping that the good guys win... Some do, but sometimes the convoluted world continues...and many continue praying... You'll know if you want to read this book...but I'll add my high recommendation and possibly even a must-read for many of you!
By the way, the book includes final reader questions for further study...


Sylvia Bambola is the award winning author of eight novels. Her novel, Rebekah’s Treasure, won the 2014 Readers Favorite Bronze Award for Christian Historical Fiction and the 2015 Book of the Year Award, Christian Small Press Association, for Historical Fiction. The Salt Covenants was the 2015 Readers Favorite Bronze Award winner for Christina Historical Fiction. She has two grown children, and teaches women’s Bible studies.

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