Review: Angels and Demons (Robert Langdon #1) by Dan Brown

Is Dan Brown’s writing terrible? Yes. Are his stories far fetched and unbelievable? Yes. Are the books poorly researched? Yes. Did that stop me from reading this book in a frenzy? Absolutely not!

I will fully admit, I loved The Da Vinci Code. I didn’t care how unbelievable or bad the writing, the story itself was so good that I was reading well into the night, every night. I simply had to know what happened next.

That was at least 10 years ago that I read that book, so I felt like I was long overdue for a Robert Langdon mystery. For some reason, the mood just struck me and I decided it was time to check out the first book in the Robert Langdon series, Angels and Demons.

When world-renowned Harvard symbologist Robert Langdon is summoned to a Swiss research facility to analyze a mysterious symbol—seared into the chest of a murdered physicist—he discovers evidence of the unimaginable: the resurgence of an ancient secret brotherhood known as the Illuminati … the most powerful underground organization ever to walk the earth. The Illuminati has now surfaced to carry out the final phase of its legendary vendetta against its most hated enemy—the Catholic Church.

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Review: On a Desert Shore (John Chase/Penelope Wolfe Regency Mysteries #4) by S. K. Rizzolo

Protecting an heiress should be an easy job for experienced Bow Street Runner John Chase.

But the heiress in question isn’t just any heiress. She is the illegitimate daughter of wealthy merchant Hugo Garrod and his Jamaican slave.

Unlike many illegitimate children of wealthy English merchants, Marina is educated and positioned to marry well in English high society but yet she excludes herself and has essentially failed to integrate as successfully as her father had hoped.

Hugo Garrod seems to think that he has discovered why Marina is acting so strange and isolating herself from English society. Someone has been playing tricks on the young Marina. And those tricks recall her island heritage of Obeah.

Fearful for his daughter, Garrod hires John Chase to determine whether Marina is indeed a victim—or is herself a delusional and malicious trickster.

If it isn’t Marina herself then who would do such a thing to Marina? Could it be her rejected suitor and cousin Ned Honeycutt? His demure sister? Their devoted aunt who acts as the Garrod housekeeper? A clergyman friend?

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Review: The Judgment by D.J. Niko

I’ve really enjoyed Niko’s Sarah Weston series over the years and was eager to learn she was writing a new novel…..though not a Sarah Weston novel, this book caught my eye for a number of reasons.

First of all, I love the cover art, and second Niko does ancient, Middle Eastern history so very well that I couldn’t wait to see what this novel was about.

The year is 965 BCE. Upon the death of his father, Solomon has been appointed king of the united monarchy of Israel and Judah and charged with building the Temple of the Lord in Jerusalem.

He travels to Egypt to negotiate with Pharaoh Psusennes II for gold for the temple and to improve relations between the two nations. There he falls in love with the pharaoh’s beautiful daughter, Nicaule, and the two kings agree to an arranged marriage. Against her will, for she loves another, Nicaule follows her new husband to Israel.

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Guest Post: The Judgement by D.J. Niko

965 BCE

Upon the death of his father, Solomon has been appointed king of the united monarchy of Israel and Judah and charged with building the Temple of the Lord in Jerusalem. He travels to Egypt to negotiate with Pharaoh Psusennes II for gold for the temple and to improve relations between the two nations. There he falls in love with the pharaoh’s beautiful daughter, Nicaule, and the two kings agree to an arranged marriage. Against her will, for she loves another, Nicaule follows her new husband to Israel.

Forty years later, Solomon’s empire is on the verge of collapse. Power has made him arrogant, permissive, and blind to the scheming of his wife and one of his lieutenants to topple the united monarchy. As the king’s faith falters and his people’s morals collapse, enemies gather at the gates of Israel. A visit from a mysterious queen restores Solomon’s perspective in time to save his soul—but it is too late to preserve his kingdom.

Someone who once was loyal to King Solomon has come back to claim the crown of Israel—and tear Solomon’s empire asunder.

Biography

D.J. Niko is the pseudonym for Daphne Nikolopoulos, an award-winning journalist, author, editor, and lecturer who has spent her entire adult life traveling the world.

As a former travel writer and zealous adventurer, she has visited remote spots on six continents, many of which have inspired her archaeological thriller series, The Sarah Weston Chronicles. She was born and raised in Athens, Greece, and now resides in Florida with her family.

Find out more about D.J. Niko on her website.

Praise for D.J. Niko

“Like a sandstorm roaring out of the Judean Desert, The Riddle of Solomon rips readers out of the familiar world, dropping them breathless in a place where ancient kings still keep their secrets. 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 of Artifacts and Wounded Earth

“Take a dash of Dan Brown, a sprinkle of Raiders of the Lost Ark, and a whole lot of originality, and you’ve got the recipe for D.J. Niko’s latest novel, the second in the spellbinding Sarah Weston saga. For readers who like their adventures steeped in research, authenticity, and nonstop intrigue, The Riddle of Solomon is highly recommended!” – Ronald Malfi, author of Floating Staircase and Cradle Lake

“Action, adventure, romance and historical mystery—who could ask for more? The Oracle is a great read.” —James O. Born, award-winning author of Scent of Murder

“Although each book in the Weston series can be read as a stand-alone, there is clearly a story arc involving the series’ two lead characters, one that enriches each book and makes the series more than just a collection of independent thrillers.” David Pitt, Booklist

“This wonderful action-adventure story has all the elements of Indiana JonesTomb Raider and a little James Bond thrown in for good measure. This is exactly the kind of story I love, and I found it very hard to put down. The story moves between the fall of Delphi and a modern-day archeology thriller. Well researched, well written, with strong and believable characters.” — LibraryThing

Purchase Links

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Goodreads

The Judgment tour graphic (1)

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Review: The Rose and the Dagger (The Wrath and the Dawn #2) by Renee Ahdieh

This book has been on my Amazon pre-order for months…..as soon as I finished reading the first book, I had this one on pre order and it was one of my spring ‘most anticipated’ novels!

In a land on the brink of war, Shahrzad has been torn from the love of her husband Khalid, the Caliph of Khorasan.

She once believed him a monster, but his secrets revealed a man tormented by guilt and a powerful curse—one that might keep them apart forever.

Reunited with her family, who have taken refuge with enemies of Khalid, and Tariq, her childhood sweetheart, she should be happy. But Tariq now commands forces set on destroying Khalid’s empire. Shahrzad is almost a prisoner caught between loyalties to people she loves. But she refuses to be a pawn and devises a plan.

While her father, Jahandar, continues to play with magical forces he doesn’t yet understand, Shahrzad tries to uncover powers that may lie dormant within her. With the help of a tattered old carpet and a tempestuous but sage young man, Shahrzad will attempt to break the curse and reunite with her one true love.

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