‘Lion of Babylon’ vs. ‘Rare Earth’: Readers Debate Their Favorite

Today I have a selection of reader reviews of Rare Earth to share with you. I’m so grateful for the reviews that have been pouring in; I received so many last week that I’m going to share excerpts from them here on my blog. But you’ll find it well worth your while to click through to each blog and read the full reviews. The links are embedded in the title of each blog.

We kick things off with a review from Mark Buzard, who is also hosting a giveaway contest for Rare Earth through August 5. Pop over to Mark’s blog to enter.

Mark Buzard, Thoughts of a Sojourner

Davis Bunn’s Lion of Babylon was an awesome book, the best one he ever wrote in my opinion, so I was happy to see there was going to be a sequel.

Bunn brought back his very likable character, Marc Royce to again be the main character of the story, and he is better than ever. The plot, storyline, and setting are totally different from the first book, but this one is almost as good as the first. There is a lot of action and suspense, and I learned a lot about the area and about rare earth, which was a new term to me.

Linda Clare’s Writers’ Tips

I’m not a thriller reader, but Bunn’s sharp characters and fast-paced action drew me into Rare Earth. He paints the proud Kenyan refugees with grace and is sure to open the eyes of those who mistakenly believe Africa is only a place of heartbreaking famine, lowland gorillas or big game hunters.

Bunn’s writing does justice to the breathtaking landscape of the Rift Valley, and Mark Royce is a compelling character. As a writer whose own main characters have included a librarian, I’m glad to see occupations such as accounting in the lead role. If you loved The Lion of Babylon, you’ll love Rare Earth. My sense is that you won’t be able to put it down.

Michael Winskie, The Author’s Page

As a former Army Medic and a preacher, I have long stood for the idea that Christians are not just patsies. We are not made to simply roll over and be killed like lambs to the slaughter. Rather, we are commanded to fight (sometimes physically, if need be) the evil in this world and make a difference in the lives of others.

Rare Earth is about a man, Marc Royce, who does just that. A strong Christian man, he is also an intelligence agent trying to correct injustice and make a difference in people lives- many of which he’s never met. Yet, he does it because it’s the right thing to do.

Along the way, he must weed through the mine field of political intrigue, dangerous enemies, financial offers made to side track him, strange tribal customs, and even an erupting volcano. This story has it all: Mystery, danger, intrigue, politics, corruption, romance, action, and the main character has to make it through all this while still standing up for biblical living. Marc Royce has to pray and seek God’s advice on who to trust and not to trust, something we can all learn to do.

The action is breath taking. The romance is subtle and sweet without giving in to the tendency of many books and being graphic (Thank you, Mr Bunn!) The politics are realistic. The danger is heart pounding. You can’t help but find yourself rooting for Marc Royce to be successful. After all, the future of the Kenyan (and some Israeli) people is at stake and Marc has to figure out what’s going on in order to stop it and bring true freedom to them all. Not to mention trying to stay alive himself…

…I didn’t enjoy it quite as much as I did Lion of Babylon — probably because I was in Iraq in the 90s. I did very much enjoy Rare Earth. I heartily recommend it for any Christian who wants to read some good fiction and stay away from all the junk the world tells us to read.

This book is in rarefied air. My only question now to Mr Bunn is: will there be a third installment to the series? Please?

Nicole Sager

When I finished Davis Bunn’s first Marc Royce book, Lion of Babylon, I was super thrilled to learn that he would be writing a sequel. Now, after finally getting an opportunity to read Rare Earth I can honestly say that the book totally met and far exceeded my expectations and excitement!

I was especially thankful that such an amazing and action-packed story was written and published as such a clean read. Thank you! I look forward to reading Davis Bunn’s next book.

Diana Wallis Taylor

In Davis Bunn’s novel there is no lack of action as our hero kick boxes, ingratiates himself to the native chieftains, enlists the aid of a tall African  pastor, delves into the mystery of a kidnapping and falls for a beautiful Israeli who considers him the enemy.

Once again Davis Bunn has not only created a gripping and exciting thriller set in dark Africa, but we are educated in the science of rare earths and their use in the high tech world.  I always learn something from his novels.  With his creative mind, Davis Bunn comes up with a bold plan for his hero to propose that will save the villages and bring justice to a troubled land. Along with the action, the thread of faith weaves its way through the pages and draws the heart of the reader.

Joyce Henderson, Write That

Davis has done it again with Rare Earth, brought real life-characters to life, given them enough mystery to keep the pages turning, emotions that everyone can identify with, and a quick-moving plot that propels them from a volcanic region of Kenya, to refugee slums, to an Israeli kibbutz.

Joyce Elferdink, A Novel Site

Five Things I Love About Davis Bunn’s Latest Book, “Rare Earth”

  1. Bunn’s impression of Kenya, its culture, challenges, and natural features
    Here are a few examples from the book:

    • the African limp handshake of warriors trained to show no aggression;
    • the African rhythm, where the passage of time is measured in the sweep of stars, the rising of crops, the carving of cliffs by wind and rain;
    • the elders’ circle where tribal leaders meet to discuss local issues
  2. Davis’ protagonist, Marc Royce, who characterizes a man with the standards, strengths, and physical features of a man almost any woman could love
    Here are a few examples:

    • Traits: strength (“swinging around, his entire body a whip”) and sensitivity (he feels for the villagers loss of their homes “with all his heart”)
    • Leadership ability: called Shujaa by the elders – a warrior who rises within the tribe to save it in times of crisis
  3. International intrigue mixed with social justice issues

    • Chinese are trying to control the world supplies of rare-earth minerals using a cheap, primitive extraction technology
    • An Israeli kibbutz has found an environmentally-friendly and cost-effective solution
  4. Portrayal of hope that people of different backgrounds and belief systems can learn to serve each other in ways that allow everyone to benefit

    •  Clans who were sworn enemies meet together in peace
    •  Representatives from the U.N., the U.S., the Kenyan government, and elders of three dozen displaced villages work out a solution to the book’s primary conflict
  5. The book’s ending – justice prevails: the bad guys get caught and the good people get the rewards they deserve

    • Lodestone is under investigation, their worldwide assets frozen
    • A Kenyan corporation is formed, holding all licenses for extraction and refinement of rare earths with one-third of all profits to go to villages
    • And the missing man, Serge… you’ll have to read the book to find out if he’s found alive (and to find out if Marc gets the girl)

Kathryn Eriksen

What happens when you mix greed, rare minerals and the love of Jesus?  A compelling story that mixes today’s politics with an unusual solution to many of the world’s most vexing problems.

Marc Royce, the hero from Lion of Babylon is back in another gripping story set in Kenya.  Davis Bunn’s new novel, Rare Earth, successfully blends intrigue, mystery, politics and love into a novel well worth your time.

Marc is again working on a clandestine mission to discover who is behind recent problems with relief aid to the Rift Valley in Kenya.  As he digs deeper into the mystery, he discovers an even greater challenge to his life and his faith.  But through a series of unanticipated events, Marc discovers other groups who have accepted Jesus as their Savior.

And in this common bond, a plan is formed to save the Kenyan people.  And the world.

Rare Earth is a must read if you want to catch a glimpse of what the world might look like if we act from a united faith.  Love and compassion guide decisions, instead of greed, selfishness and sheer domination.  The course of history can be changed in a single instant, when the “rare earth” of our relationship with God is explored, identified and used to guide our actions.

If you like action adventure, you will enjoy this book.  But if you also enjoy reading a novel that will make you look differently at the world,  Rare Earth should be on your nightstand.  And if you seek answers to how your faith may guide you to take action to help others, Rare Earth should be open in front of you at this very minute.

Cindy Loven, Cindy’s Book Reviews

Wow! Combine action, mystery, state secrets, an accountant who fights like a ninja, and a bit of romance and what do you get?  You get an awesome story by Davis Bunn, titled Rare Earth

This book is intense!! Just to clarify, the action adventure factor is HOT!, the storyline is intriguing!, the characters are totally believable and convincing, and top it all off with a hint of romance, and you have a 5 star story!  I loved the book and anxiously look forward to more from Davis Bunn.

4 Responses to “‘Lion of Babylon’ vs. ‘Rare Earth’: Readers Debate Their Favorite”

  1. Melinda Millsap, Your Words With Wings says:

    I loved “Lion of Babylon” by Davis Bunn and eagerly awaited Marc Royce’s next adventure. I was not disappointed with “Rare Earth.” Davis Bunn is a great storyteller who blends history, moral lessons, romance and adventure into his novels.

  2. Charity L. says:

    I think I liked Rare Earth better:) They both were great books but Rare Earth just caught my attention from the first paragraph. Love your books though!

  3. misskallie2000 says:

    Loved Rare Earth and can’t wait to read Lion of Babylon.

  4. Darlene Keith says:

    Lion of Babylon by far!! I loved Rare Earth too but I guess it is because of the conflict USA has been involved with in that region for so long. Marc Royce is so believable. I liked that fact that he jumped into situations that at times surprised even him and yet he proved to be “beyond” equipped to handle it. Rare Earth was not disappointing tho. Poor Marc deserves a chance at lasting love tho I think! 🙂 I look forward to reading Hidden in Dreams that I just won on Ms Phifer’s review last week.
    Keep them coming. I’ll read anything you write and have read several others prior to these 2.

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