Underground library? Ancient religious texts? Archaeological action and suspense? Yes! Oh, what I can say about D.J. Niko other than to first exclaim what a fabulous and thrilling writer she is!! She has fast become one of my favorite action thriller authors!
I actually read The Riddle of Solomon, the second book in Niko’s Sarah Weston Chronicles, and now have gone back to read book one, The Tenth Saint. I loved them both; however, am ecstatic to have read The Tenth Saint at last! It really filled in the detail of Sarah’s background, image, personality, and character traits. I would highly recommend purchasing both, as once you read The Tenth Saint, you’ll want to read The Riddle of Solomon (you can read my review of that by clicking —> HERE and an interview I had with D.J.—-> HERE).
I really liked Niko’s character development. I can complete clear images of her multi-dimensional characters in my head while turning the pages quickly as her plot heats up right from the very first few pages. Niko takes us on a visual thrill ride and you feel as if you are at a literary amusement park. She builds momentum swiftly and smoothly, so that you are propelled along further and farther than what you might have had the time for! But it is so worth it and I loved the escape.
I know some people might connect Niko’s Sarah Weston Chronicles with Indiana Jones, which would be fitting if he were a younger female, so I’ll say Sarah is a bit like Angelina Jolie in Tomb Raider. Only she is dressed with baggy khaki pants and t-shirts (though yes, her body is buff underneath–it would have to be what with her intense physical predicaments). Sarah Weston is a spunky, intelligent, determined archeologist who isn’t afraid of getting into danger in the name of finding a clue, solving a historical puzzle, or ahem–saving the world! I admire that, as if I was single and a tad bit more in shape, I’d be likely to want to find some adventure as such of my own. I love how independent Sarah was in this book, as I admire and cheer on strong female leads.
To get to travel with Sarah’s character to exotic locales was the perfect getaway for me. I am a huge fan of Niko’s locale details, no doubt honed by her own love of travel and travel writing. She knows how to sell me places, even if I already wanted to go there. Her imagery is amazing. Her knowledge of the desert life and culture in this first book, which takes place in Ethiopia, is compelling. Her details of the Bedouin culture and the ancient religion of the Coptic Christians was so interesting and it worked well for her to juxtapose between the ancient times (where we meet an intriguing monk for whom the title of the book refers) and our modern times where Sarah is uncovering his tomb and putting together the details of the past.
Niko is a great writer, much better even than Dan Brown, though the premise of uncovering clues of the past makes it hold some connection to that book. The Tenth Saint is action-packed, intense, exhilarating, and a complete escape from reality that is perfect for anytime of year. It has mystery, suspense, and twists and turns surrounded by great imagery and prose. It’s perfect for adults, but would also be a wonderful read for a young adult who likes action/adventure. This book should have been on major lists everywhere, her writing is much, much better than most writers who saturate this genre. I am sure you’ll be ready for book two, The Riddle of Solomon, as soon as you complete The Tenth Saint. I know I am ready for book three!! I want to see where Sarah’s adventurous spirit leads us!
Publication Date: January 25, 2012
Medallion Press Paperback;
Gold Medal Winner, Popular Fiction, 2013 Florida Book Awards.
Cambridge archaeologist Sarah Weston makes an unusual discovery in the ancient Ethiopian mountain kingdom of Aksum: a sealed tomb with inscriptions in an obscure dialect. Seeking to ascertain the translation and the identity of the entombed man, she and her colleague, American anthropologist Daniel Madigan, stumble upon a lethal conflict.
Tracking down clues in Addis Ababa and the monasteries of Lalibela, Sarah and Daniel uncover a codex in a subterranean library revealing a set of prophecies about Earth’s final hours written by a man hailed by Coptic mystics as Ethiopia’s tenth saint. Violently opposed by the corrupt director of antiquities at the Ethiopian Ministry of Culture and Tourism, they’re left for dead in the heart of the Simien Mountains. Surviving to journey to Paris, Sarah is given another piece of the ancient puzzle: a fourteenth-century letter describing catastrophic events leading to the planet’s demise.
Connecting the two discoveries, Sarah faces a deadly intercontinental conspiracy to keep the secret of the tenth saint buried. Risking her reputation and her life, Sarah embarks on a quest to stall the technological advances that will surely destroy the world.
Praise for The Tenth Saint~
“The characters are lively, and the story is fast-paced and exciting, especially for inveterate fans of the genre.” – David Pitt, Booklist (January 1, 2012)
“Like ‘The Da Vinci Code,’ ‘The Tenth Saint’ takes you to a place you have never been, creating an adventure you will not soon forget.” – Laurence Leamer, New York Times-bestselling author of ‘Kennedy Women’
“Interesting, intricate and intriguing, ‘The Tenth Saint’ is an archaeological puzzle the reader can’t wait to solve.” – James O. Born, author of ‘Burn Zone’
“Her descriptive powers are remarkable. Whether constructing the distant past or today, whether reproducing the foreign or the familiar, Ms. Niko brings vivid, convincing sensory detail to her settings.” – Phil Jason, Naples Florida Weekly (April 2012)
“Fast-paced and filled with danger and action in interesting and less well-known locales, The Tenth Saint will keep readers on the edge of their seats until the end.”- www.FreshFiction.com
“An impressive and well-researched thrill-ride … Dark tombs, buried secrets, and apocalyptic prophecies, this book has it all!” – Ronald Malfi, author of ‘The Ascent’ and ‘Floating Staircase’
“The Tenth Saint is a clever and well-written story which piqued my interest and curiosity. I enjoyed the wicked twist at the end, which I thought brought everything together cleanly. I look forward to more of Ms. Niko’s writing!” – Star Fyre, Bibliophilic Book Blog
“The author, D. J. Niko, thoroughly researched the history and geography of Ethiopia, providing sufficient authenticity to the story line and plot to satisfy even the most skeptical Returned Peace Corps Volunteer.” – The Etritrea and Ethiopia Herald (for Peace Corps volunteers)
Author D.J. Niko, Biography~
D.J. Niko is the nom de plume of Daphne Nikolopoulos, an award-winning author and journalist. Her first novel, titled The Tenth Saint, was released in March 2012 to rave reviews by both readers and the trade. In March 2013, it was awarded the Gold Medal for popular fiction in the prestigious, juried Florida Book Awards. An archaeological thriller embroidered with historical motifs, The Tenth Saint takes readers on an adventure across the globe: Ethiopia, the Syro-Arabian Desert and Abyssinian Empire circa fourth century, London, Paris, Brussels, and Texas. The Tenth Saint is the first book in The Sarah Weston Chronicles series. The second, titled The Riddle of Solomon, releases July 1, 2013.
Daphne is now at work on a historical novel set in tenth century B.C.E. Israel. The epic story details the collapse of the United Monarchy and the glory and fall of the empire built by King Solomon. It will be released in early 2015.
As a former travel journalist, Daphne has traveled across the globe on assignment, or for personal discovery. She has been to some places most of us don’t realize are on the map, and she has brought them to life through her writing for various magazines, newspapers and websites on an international scale. Her travel background and rich experiences now bring authentic detail, color, and realism to her fiction.
She also is the editor in chief of Palm Beach Illustrated magazine, a 62-year-old luxury-lifestyle glossy. She also is the editorial director of Palm Beach Media Group, and in that capacity oversees 11 magazines and 3 websites.
She is the mother of twin toddlers and, in her spare time, volunteers for causes she believes in—literacy, education, child advocacy, and the advancement of traditional and tribal arts from around the world. Born in Athens, Greece, she now lives with her family in West Palm Beach, Florida.
Link to Tour Schedule: http://hfvirtualbooktours.com/thetenthsaintour/
Twitter Hashtag: #TenthSaintTour