The Babylonian Codex
by C.S. Graham
Review by Linda Marie Schumacher
Harper Mass Market Paperback ISBN/ITEM#: 9780061689369
Date: 01 December 2010 List Price $7.99 Amazon US / Amazon UK
The Babylonian Codex, by C.S. Graham, surrounds the phenomenon known as remote viewing. Remote viewers can actually reach out with their minds and see an object thousands of miles away. Naval Officer October Guiness or "Tobie" is brought to Washington DC by the FBI Art Crimes Division to help find precious items pillaged from the museums and archeological sites of Iraq during the Iraq war. Tobie identifies a few objects, much to the delight of the FBI. She comes across a vision of an ancient papyrus and suddenly the remote viewing room is attacked and someone is shooting at them. Tobie manages to escape and enlists the help of her friend Jax Alexander, a CIA operative, who helps her figure out who is trying to kill her. The rest of the novel is a chase story, and a fun one. Tobie and Jax, travel all over the world chasing clues and dodging death along theway.
At the same time the US Vice president, a young and healthy man, suddenly dies at a world economic conference in Switzerland. A journalist named Noah Bosch had found an anonymous source via email who told him that it was about to happen. Noah runs another chase trying to uncover the answers.
The papyrus that Tobie saw was an ancient copy of an unknown passage of the Book of Revelation. Unknown to Tobie and to Noah, a group of ultra-rich, ultra-religious men in the United States were planning to use this passage from the papyrus as justification to take over the country and restore the US to the way "things should be". The death of the vice president was the first step.
The unwritten theme of the story is obvious. The ultra rich, ultra right-wing men model parts of the current United States political scene. I admit the book is a bit of a stretch to get from where the US is today to having a few take over the government using a stolen lost passage of the bible, but the parallel is interesting.
Commentary on the growing gap between rich and poor in the US is a theme that I have seen in many places in the media lately. The smaller theme is the rape of the winners after a war where the treasurers of a particular culture are pillaged after a war. I understand it is done and it is unfortunate, but I really don't know how to stop it.
I thought the remote viewing was hocus-pocus and that this should be a science fiction novel, but the author puts some references at the end of the book that explain remote viewing and other points in the book. Remote viewing is a real program run by the US government, but officially terminated in 1996. The recent movie Men who Stare at Goats features remote viewing as part of the plotline.
The Babylonian Codex is fun to read, has a great fast-moving plot, but it is not overly complicated. It's a great book for traveling because it captures your attention, but does not make you think too hard. I recommend it.