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Tomb of the First Priest

By

Loved it! 😍

Blending real-world history and mythology with fiction, this well-researched, suspense filled treasure hunting novel left me awestruck!

Action.  Adventure.  Treasure hunting.  All protagonist Jules desires is the bangle belonging to his mother, now deceased, returned into his possession.  Blending history, religion, culture, mythology and conspiracy theory, traversing an array of countries, Jules’s quest for the missing family heirloom ends up with an entanglement in a much bigger quest.  A quest to uncover the Tomb of the First Priest.  The location of which others would kill for!  During this quest, he uncovers that all is not as it seems and perhaps his mother held the bangle dear for a greater reason than simply sentimentality.  Possibly for reasons that merge into the mystical and even supernatural!  Could this really be true?  Perfect for fans of Dan Brown and Matthew Reilly, this suspense filled first instalment in the ‘Lost Origins’ series definitely leaves you hungry for more.

 

Davies has created a well-rounded and exceptionally fleshed out narrative in ‘Tomb of the First Priest’, which has been thoroughly researched and the plot thoughtfully planned out.  The author left me awestruck at how beautifully fiction was blended into our reality and our history, embellished with thought-provoking real-world theory and commentary, such as the issues relating to repatriation of artifacts claimed through unjust means.  I loved how the reader was transported across the globe and through time, exploring alongside the adventurers.  The experts felt as if they were, indeed, knowledgeable in their given field.  Conversations between characters felt natural and plausible, in no way forced by the plot.  The protagonist, Jules, had exceptional character growth throughout the novel and I enjoyed the addition of the character’s invisible disability.  (Although, I am not clear whether this is “own voices”.)  I also appreciated how the villains were fully fledged, with clear motives and reasoning.  Even though there was a clear theme of good versus evil, the characters were true to life, in the sense that they all had flaws and hindrances, alongside their strengths.  Although slow to get going, once I hit the midway point, it was impossible to put down.  The way Davies plays with anticipation and suspense, utilising chapter length and alternating perspectives to keep you on the edge of your seat, was quite exceptional.  Also, mastering the use of cliff-hangers at the end of chapters!

 

My primary critique would be that I wish there had been more plot twists and exhilarating obstacles in the first half.  I also feel that the novel lacked a (truly) strong, independent and fierce female character.  The two female characters were portrayed as a motherly figure and a damsel in distress, both largely reliant on the male characters.  Although they did progress and became involved within the final action sequence, I do not think the novel passed the Bechdel Test.  There were also a couple of phrases that were a little morally questionable.  I did not agree with the use of homophobic jibes and how racism was implemented as a plot device.  Perhaps, a tad insensitive?  That said, it is clear that the author does not support these ideas and intended to highlight these terrible, yet very real, realities for some people.  Finally, the way Davies played with anticipation was enough to keep the reader engaged, despite the novel being, in my opinion, highly predictable.  Thus, a forgivable attribute, on this occasion.

 

Combining everything that action-adventure fanatics love and more, I highly recommend this book.  I will definitely be picking up more from this author and look forward to seeing where Davies transports us next!

 

Trigger Warnings: Violence, Threat of Violence, Murder, Threat of Murder, Racism, Implied Racism, Homophobia, Implied Homophobia, Political Corruption, Controversial Themes & Religious Ideas


Reviewed by

Experienced Content Writer & freelance Editor, with a degree in Philosophy (specialising in Literature). When I'm not reading or reviewing books, I'm writing my first fantasy novel or am getting to grips with my new website and YouTube channel.

About the author

A. D. Davies is an author of crime and action-adventure novels thrillers. He is well-travelled, his favourite destinations being New Zealand and Vietnam. For now, however, globe-trotting is taking a back-seat to raising his two children and writing, although he hopes to one day combine all three. view profile

Published on June 19, 2020

140000 words

Genre: Action & Adventure

Reviewed by