Tag Archives: action adventure books

The Riddle of Solomon, by D. J. Niko, Offers Action/Adventure Across the Globe in Archaeological Thriller

The Riddle of SolomonIn The Riddle of Solomon, the second book in the Sarah Weston series by D.J. Niko, we are thrust into an enthralling adventure of high action, heart-pounding suspense, and historical and international intrigue!

From the moment I opened this book, I was immersed in the story.  It was an adventure like Raiders of the Lost Ark, except with a gritty, honest, dedicated, and intelligent female protagonist, Sarah Weston. So maybe its action and hunt for clues reminded me more of Tomb Raider (only with Sarah as an archaeologist on a mission to find the clues and stop a man only out for personal gain). I suppose it felt a little like The Mummy, or Dan Brown’s Da Vinci Code (but much better written). All that said, it wasn’t a copy of any of these by any means, but a totally original story. Niko’s particular plot, surrounding biblical archaeology and racing through Israel, India, and Saudi Arabia, will have your mind racing as you work to discover an ancient message left by King Solomon.

Niko’s writing is top-notch – the pace perfect, the plot well-thought out, and the characters engaging. I love her use of symbols and riddles, which caused me to try to decipher, with much intensity, right along with Sarah and Daniel.  I felt I was propelled at high-octane with them in their pursuit. I love ancient history and have always wanted to be an archaeologist. And because I couldn’t be an archaeologist, I wanted to travel and solve the clues of history, then tell their story. I’m so happy that Niko accomplished this by blending her love of ancient history and archaeology and with her award winning writing skills to pen such a fun book. It definitely has made me want to go on an international excursion myself!

If you like adventure books in which you can help solve a mystery through subtle clues, this book is for you! Niko will thrill you throughout the novel and completely surprise you in the end. Just when you think you might have it figured out, you’ll be slapping your palm to your forehead.

The Tenth Saint and The Riddle of Solomon have Niko’s series off to a wonderful start. I’d love to read more adventures of the intelligent and spunky Sarah Weston. This book is highly rated by me and is recommended for fans of historical thrillers.  If you like action and adventure, this is a top summer read that will possess you for hours!


The Riddle of SolomonPublication Date: July 1, 2013
Medallion Press
Paperback; 472p

Cambridge archaeologist Sarah Weston and anthropologist Daniel Madigan team up for another expedition and adventure in this second book in the Sarah Weston Chronicles. While working on the Qaryat al-Fau archaeological site in Saudi Arabia, the pair uncovers a mysterious ancient scroll composed as a riddle. As they attempt to date and decipher the scroll, a flurry of ills befalls their expedition and the scroll is stolen. A trail of clues leads to India, Jerusalem, and the Judean wilderness, where the two discover the scroll was written by the enigmatic King Solomon as a map to an ancient manuscript.

Meanwhile a privileged young Briton, Trent Sacks, has invested years and a fortune looking for his manuscript. Believing he is the last descendant of the House of David in the line of Solomon, Sacks will do whatever it takes to amass the ancient relics which will prove he is the Jewish Messiah. Leaving a string of murders in his wake, Sacks vows to crush Sarah and Daniel for challenging his quest. Journeying through the worlds of the occult, corporate greed, geopolitical conflict, Judaic mysticism, and biblical archaeology, Sarah and Daniel race to uncover the powerful ancient message that could have an explosive impact on modern Israel.

Praise for The Riddle of Solomon

“D. J. Niko’s storytelling carries the grit of desert dust and the seductive scent of incense on every page as Sarah Weston races with a madman to save the treasures that King Solomon left behind.” —Mary Anna Evans, award-winning author, Artifacts and Wounded Earth

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.

For more information, please visit D.J. Niko’s website. You can also follow on Twitter and Goodreads.

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Tim Busbey Guest Book Reviews The Blood Gospel by James Rollins and Rebecca Cantrell

bloodgospelThe Blood Gospel

By James Rollins and Rebecca Cantrell

Harper Collins

In Stores Now

Guest Post by Tim Busbey–from http://www.timbusbey.wordpress.com

I’ve been a fan of best-selling author James Rollins for several years now. His Sigma Force series of military thrillers laced with historical mysteries has kept me coming back for more with each new tale. Now, Rollins has teamed up for the first time with best-selling author Rebecca Cantrell. For those of you unfamiliar with Cantrell, she is the award-winning writer of the Hannah Vogel mystery/thriller series.

But that’s not the only change with the new series (The Order of the Sanguines). Instead of another high-tech thriller in the same vein as his Sigma Force books, Rollins and Cantrell have created a thrilling supernatural horror story packed with plenty of high-octane adventure.

When a deadly earthquake strikes the fortress at Masada, Israel, uncovering a mysterious tomb, an unlikely trio is called in to investigate — Sergeant Jordan Stone, a military forensic expert; Father Rhun Korza, a Vatican priest; and Dr. Erin Granger, a brilliant, young archaeologist. Together with Jordan’s team of soldiers, the trio are shocked to find the mummified body of a young girl buried deep within the tomb.

Deep underground inside the ancient tomb, the group is attacked by powerful, supernatural forces. Only Jordan, Rhun and Erin survive the deadly attack as they discover they may be part of an ancient prophecy involving an historic Christian relic – The Blood Gospel. The Blood Gospel is rumored to be a Gospel written by Christ himself using His blood.

Jordan and Erin discover that Rhun is a member of the Order of the Sanguine, a secret sect of priests who are actually vampires who drink holy water instead of blood. The enemies of the Sanguine are the Strigoi, a vicious group of vampires also in search of the Blood Gospel.

Criss-crossing the globe from Israel to Vatican City to St. Petersburg, Russia, Rollins and Cantrell take the characters on a non-step adrenaline-laced ride as they battle the forces of evil and struggle to trust each other.

The Blood Gospel uses a number of Biblical stories, characters and ideas but it is no way religious fiction. If you are easily offended by fiction that challenges accepted beliefs about the Bible and Christianity, you might want to avoid this book. However, if you can enjoy a work of fiction that takes a look at history and the Bible and put a new spin on it, you definitely want to give The Blood Gospel a read.

I can’t say much more about the plot without giving away some big secrets and surprises. Especially the one in the last chapter. But I can say The Blood Gospel was a really fun read that kept me turning the pages. I loved all the twists and turns and anxiously awaited each new development.

Rollins and Cantrell have crafted a wonderful introduction for an exciting new series, full of rich characters with complex motivations. Book 2 can’t come soon enough.

On a scale of 1 to 5, I give The Blood Gospel a 4.5.

See more of Tim’s reviews at www.timbusbey.wordpress.com.

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