Tuesday, January 28, 2014

The Tenth Saint by D.J. Niko

Twitter Hashtag: #TenthSaintTour

Publication Date: January 25, 2012
Medallion Press
Paperback; 464p
ISBN-10: 1605422452
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.

Four Stars
I have to confess that I would have probably not picked up The Tenth Saint (The Sarah Weston Chronicles #1) by D.J. Niko because it’s not the type of story that I am usually drawn too.  But since I was given this opportunity to review it I’m very glad that I did! For me this story was a mix of Indian Jones meets Laura Croft.  I absolutely loved Sarah Weston.  To say that she is gutsy is an understatement! I was completely hooked when she had a scorpion crawling on her and she was calm and collected.  As Sarah is leading an excavation for months, in Ethiopia, she has not had any success in finding anything relevant to the dig.  One day a local directs her to a mysterious “cave”.   Sarah has a lot to prove, she is running out of time and not having any success.  

Daniel Madigan provided the perfect balance to the story although he threatens to be a staunch representative of UNESCO he provides Sarah with a much needed ally.  They both had a common goal, figuring out the symbols found on the “cave” and the identity of the person buried there.  Their mutual dedication to archaeology was a huge push for the story.  Both Daniel and Sarah cannot walk away without first finding out if the man buried in the “cave” is the lost Coptic Tenth Saint.  Honestly, I couldn’t either! I wanted to know who was buried there?!  Besides the amazing characters I thought the air of intrigue was fantastic, the idea of the finding the 10th saint provided a great air of mystery.  I don’t know much about Ethiopia but the author was able to provide just enough information to make the story interesting and still informative.  

Many parts of the story felt like “The Da Vinci Code” the idea of tracking down the mystery behind the letter, for example. But the plot was very unique and very different.  I definitely didn’t see Gabriel coming and he was a great inclusion to the story.  As the story unfolded there were many twists and turns and we traveled from Ethiopia to Paris.  I’m so glad to see that this is just on book in a series of chronicles, I would love to hear more about Sarah Weston’s adventures and where they will lead her to next.  I thought that both the story and the characters were not only very interesting but very smart.  I also like that this novel really pushes some of the stereotypes surrounding women and the field of archeology.  Perfect blend of adventure, mystery and intrigue! 

Monday, January 27
Review at Confessions of an Avid Reader
Tuesday, January 28
Review at Book Nerd
Wednesday, January 29
Review at JulzReads
Interview & Giveaway at Closed the Cover
Thursday, January 30
Excerpt at Kinx’s Book Nook
Friday, January 31
Review at Sir Read-a-Lot
Monday, February 3
Review at Royalty Free Fiction
Tuesday, February 4
Guest Post at Royalty Free Fiction

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)
Buy Links

Amazon UK
Amazon US
Barnes & Noble

About the Author
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