Because my church’s VBS this summer focuses on the book of Daniel, I have been reading chapters 1-6 once a week, trying to flesh out a fuller understanding of the book. One of the first impressions I received was that Daniel and his friends were real people, not just cardboard heroes. This book further fleshed out those ideas by exploring the life of Daniel in fictional form.
Biblical fiction is a tricky genre to write, containing not only the research difficulties of historical fiction but also the difficulties of adding details without departing from the Scriptural account. Babylon’s Falling manages a good balance within these constraints. Because it attempted to cover most of Daniel’s life, beginning with his exile, some parts were written more like overviews, but the significant events were given details and context. The ending might prove problematic to some, as it suggests Daniel returned to Jerusalem when Cyrus ended the exile, but I see it as merely one possible option.
The character development was well-done, and the setting helped to ground the story in Babylon. The story itself had a well-balanced plot, managing to maintain an element of suspense even in such elements as the fiery furnace and Daniel in the lions’ den.