I’ve recently read The Tenth Saint by D.J. Niko, the first in the Sarah Weston Chronicles series, and I decided to review it since I’m picking up soon the second book in the series, called The Riddle of Solomon, a book that was published in July this year. I’ve read The Tenth Saint this June, so it’s still fresh in my memory.
I picked up this book because I was (and still am) on an archaeological mystery/adventure and hidden secrets types of books kick, and at the same time was also reading the James Rollins Sigma Series, so this book fit right in.
The story is about Sarah Weston, an archaeologist in Cambridge who during a dig in Egypt discovers a sealed tomb that has some strange and unusual inscriptions. Once she discovers the tomb she realizes that there are people who wish she hadn’t made the discovery and do everything in their power to get her to leave and forget about that place in the mountains.
Thankfully she is not alone, she is joined by a cute anthropologists, Daniel Madigan, who seems to become her guardian angel, always protecting her from evil and standing by her side. I won’t give further of the plot away, you’ll have to read the book, but let me tell you that it is really a beautifully written novel.
One thing that I believe the author pulled off really well was writing from two perspectives: the past and the present. The storyline in the present is full of action, suspense and you really want to follow to see what comes next. The past is different in pace – but it ties with the present point of view very well, I must add. It is very lyrical, like when reading a poem that you don’t want to end.
And what I really enjoyed was how well the two threads were alternating between present and past at just the right time, so there was not even a dull moment in the book.
I usually don’t like much books with different points of view (in most cases these being narrated by different characters) as it is quite tough to pull it off in a way that they tie nicely within the story line and don’t feel disjointed, but here D.J. Niko did such a wonderful job, I was really pleased.
The past story line was revolving around Gabriel, a very mysterious and tall man who lived in the 4th Century. It was obvious that he didn’t really belong anywhere, and he could not settle with the nomads that he first got together with. He had the itch to go to the city where he knew he was destined to go. But why he had to go there and where did he come from – these are questions that will be revealed when reading the book. And there will be a few interesting surprises along the way, I can assure you.
Overall The Tenth Saint was quite a fast paced book and not even the lyrical chapters on the past could would make me feel like I’m bored with it. Also another thing that I found the author did beautifully was to combine several genres in one book. Again, this is something that usually goes over the head of many authors, who literally destroy the book, making a mess out of it. Not so D.J.Niko. She literally managed to include the following genres that I could so far identify: archaeological mystery, adventure (think Indiana Jones and James Rollins), a bit of time travel, crime mystery, historical fiction and thriller – in a book that caters to quite a few mystery genre lovers.
Don’t be put off by so many genres including in this book because the book reads really cohesively together and you won’t even realize that you’re gently sliding from one type to another.
It is a very well done first book by D.J. Niko and I’ll be reviewing the second one in the series as soon as I’ve finished reading it. I see a promising future for this author in writing fiction.
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Book #2 in the Sarah Weston Chronicles: