The Tenth Saint

The Tenth Saint - D.J. Niko 3-3.5 starsI wasn't keen on the back-and-forth between Sarah's story and Gabriel's story. It felt like I just got into Sarah's story - understood what was going on amongst all the archaelogist and sociologist jargon and geographic references, and BOOM - suddenly, I'm in Gabriel's story. The first switch was the most jarring, since there was no transition and no explanation; it's entirely up to the reader to the reader to figure out the connection between the two stories.The author certainly has a message: don't try to play God with Nature. The more we mess up our world and try to "fix it" with engineered things (whether machines or manipulating natural things), the more we screw it up. The dilemma of whether or not Sarah and Daniel prevented a disaster or added to it is mostly up to the reader to decide at the end.I realize the back-and-forth stories is a recognized literary device, and it certainly has it's place. But overall, that device agitates and irritates me; and in this case, especially so. I applaud the author's convictions and her message, and she spins an exciting, adventurous tale. But... there's so much that the author assumes the reader either understands or picks up along the way. And, unfortunately, some of those assumptions make the book dry. While the author goes into great detail explaining geological discoveries (like the cave of the tomb), most of it simply passed over my head. And much of the Ethiopian country, countrymen, and especially the monks just did, too. Not sure why - perhaps I just wasn't interested enough to follow along?And when things started to come together, I found myself having to back-track to re-read those very parts that I didn't quite piece together the first time. And I wasn't always successful, even on the 2nd read.But it's a good first book, and I hope that the author continues to write and publish.