Garden of Madness
This book is billed as Christian and historical. It is neither. There is not a single Christian in it, and the historical anachronisms and flat-out blunders are so numerous that maintaining any kind of suspension of disbelief for more than a page is impossible.
Of course, the protagonist is a stereotypical 21st-century liberated young female who just happens to have her own home gym complete with mats, pulley cables, weights, and a bull effigy right out of a 1970s country-western bar so she could practice “bull-leaping” — a sport that disappeared a thousand years previously, and a thousand miles away, and about which the Babylonians would have known nothing.
Since I could not call this novel either Christian, Biblical, or historical, I ended up reading it as if it were a fantasy novel — and then I began to actually enjoy it. The plot was superb, with lots of palace intrigue and twists and turns. Some of the characters, such as Daniel, were very well drawn, and I thought that the portrayal of the daughter’s (protagonist) love for her ailing “father” (Nebuchadnezzar) was very touching and made me like her and cheer for her — cliché though she was.
However, even as a fantasy, there were too many internal contradictions that kept jolting me out of the zone. The configuration of the palace, and the gardens, periodically shape-shifted, depending upon the author’s whims. Bottom line, I would say that this novel is an excellent first (and very rough) draft, but it needs some serious editing and revisions before it is ready for publication. With a little love — and respect for the work at hand — it could morph from being a parody of itself to being a bestseller in the inspirational market.