In Delphi, the mountain city deemed by the Greek gods to be the center of the Earth, a cult of neo-pagans re-create with painstaking authenticity ancient rituals to glorify the god Apollo and deliver oracles to seekers from around the world.
When antiquities are stolen from a museum in nearby Thebes, British archaeologist Sarah Weston and her American partner, Daniel Madigan, are drawn into a plot that goes beyond harmless role-playing: someone’s using the Delphian oracle as a smoke screen for an information exchange, with devastating consequences for the Western world.
Pitted against each other by the cult’s mastermind, Sarah and Daniel race against time and their own personal demons to uncover clues left behind by the ancients. Their mission: to find the original navel stone marked with a lost Pythagorean formula detailing the natural events that led to the collapse of the Minoan Empire.
But will they find it in time to stop the ultimate terrorist act?
The Oracle is one of the most exciting and engaging books I've read this year!
Maybe it's my interest in archaeology, but other books that have elicited this type of a reaction from me also deal with the same subject. And even better news is that The Oracle is Book 3 of the "Sarah Weston Chronicles". You can bet the rest of the series, past and future (oh please, oh please!) will shortly on my TBR (to-be-read) list.
I liked how the book went back and forth between the 4th century and the present day. Since the story dealt with a 'collector' seeking relics relating to Delphi, it was especially nice to read about the front end of the omphalos' history.
The human nature tendency toward greed and self-interest shows in both ancient and modern times. No big surprise there.
The so-called 'Christian' conquerors of the region imposed their religion on the indigenous population, declaring any other beliefs as devil-worship and viciously attacking any who opposed them. Aristea and her associates just wanted to practice their rituals in solitude, regardless of the fact that no pilgrims came (due to the threats from the government). Nope. So sorry. Our way or the highway.
Modern-day Greece (in the book) is not much better, if at all. Various groups are willing to kill anyone who gets in their way. The object? All the 'bad guys' are after certain artefacts they believe will bring them great economic or political power, or allow them to extract revenge for (perceived) wrongs.
Thank goodness there are people like Sarah and Daniel, who are willing to intervene, even in the face of danger. Both these individuals are not paragons, and that makes them all the more real. Daniel has PTSD from a plane crash. Sarah makes important decisions before she has all the facts, leading to needless separation from Daniel, one of the few true friends she has.
You want a tale with a finely-muscled caped crusader hero and a hothouse flower heroine? Get a comic book. On the other hand, if you want a thrilling story with plenty of action and danger, get The Oracle by DJ Niko. Seriously. Soon.
MEET THE AUTHOR
Daphne Nikolopoulos in an award-winning journalist, author, editor, and lecturer. Under the pen name D.J. Niko, she has written two novels in an archaeological thriller series titled The Sarah Weston Chronicles. Her debut novel, The Tenth Saint (Medallion Press, 2012), won the Gold Medal (popular fiction) in the prestigious, juried Florida Book Awards. Her follow-up release, The Riddle of Solomon, continues the story of British archaeologist Sarah Weston as she seeks the relics—and mystical secrets—left behind by the biblical King Solomon in remote Israel.
Daphne is currently at work on The Oracle, book 3 in The Sarah Weston Chronicles, which releases in 2015. Also slated for publication in 2015 is her first historical novel, The Judgment, which is set in Israel and Egypt in the tenth century BCE.
In addition to writing fiction, Daphne is editor in chief of Palm Beach Illustrated magazine and editorial director of Palm Beach Media Group. Prior to that, she was a travel journalist who logged hundreds of thousands of miles traveling across the globe, with emphasis on little-known and off-the-beaten-path locales—many of which have inspired her novels.
Daphne frequently lectures about her research on the ancient world. She is an instructor at Florida Atlantic University’s Lifelong Learning Society, teaching on the subject of archaeology. She has also spoken to audiences at the Jewish Community Center of the Palm Beaches’ Academy for Continuous Education, and several libraries and private groups throughout Florida.
Born and raised in Athens, Greece, Daphne now resides in West Palm Beach with her husband and twin son and daughter. You can find her on the Web at djnikobooks.com and connect with her on Facebook (AuthorDJNiko) and on Twitter: @djnikobooks.
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(Disclosure: I received a copy of this book from the author and publishers via Historical Fiction Virtual Blog Tours in exchange for my honest and unbiased review.)