February 12, 2000

Babylon's Falling, by William G. Collins

Babylon's Falling: The Story of Belteshazzar, also known as Daniyyel
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

We all know that Daniel was a man of integrity, his devotion to God eventually leading him to a den of lions.  We also know that his three Hebrew friends stood up to the king and faced the fiery furnace for their refusal to worship an idol.  But what were these four young men like?  What did life as captives in Babylon really entail?  In Babylon’s Falling, we get a behind-the-scenes fictional look at events surrounding the Biblical stories we learned in Sunday School, beginning with the trip these four young men take as they’re led away from their homeland, Jerusalem, by their captors, the Babylonians.

I was pulled into this story quickly because from the beginning, Daniel and his three friends are shown sticking together in what could be tough situations.  However, because the span of this book covers about 80 years, sometimes the story felt rushed.  The major stories from Daniel’s life as told in the Bible are covered in enough detail to stay true to those historical accounts, but I felt like the author could have taken more liberty to develop those scenes a bit.  The plot developments that could have been tense (such as the lion’s den, the fiery furnace, the fall of Babylon) all wrapped up so nicely and quickly that there really wasn’t any tension.  I felt a bit like I was reading a story written for children, where the author purposefully kept the stress level low.  The whole book felt a little too clean for me, a little too “nice.”

On a positive side, I really liked the characters.  What we know of them from the Bible was that these Hebrew men were faithful to God and to each other, and that God blessed them even in captivity.  This theme of loyalty was well developed in the book.  I also learned a lot about the cultures and leaders of that time period.  I would recommend this book for a light read, one that will teach you about Daniel’s era and inspire you, but not one that will cause your blood pressure to rise.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.

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