Da Vinci’s secret pales. Michelangelo concealed an explosive truth in his famous Creation of Man fresco in the Sistine Chapel at the Vatican. Everything we have been taught about Eve is wrong—she didn’t cause the fall of man. Eve carried a far more devastating secret for millennia—one that will change the world forever.
As the modern-day world suffers the cataclysmic effects of the “Plagues of Egypt,” Avery Fitzgerald, a statuesque Astrophysics major at Stanford, discovers that she is mysteriously bound to five strangers by an extremely rare condition that foremost medical experts cannot explain. Thrust into extraordinary circumstances, they race against time to stay alive as they are pursued by an age-old adversary and the world around them collapses into annihilation.
Under sacred oath, The Guardians—a far more archaic and enigmatic secret society than the Freemasons, Templars, and the Priory—protect Avery as she embarks on a daring quest that only legends of old have been on before. Avery must come to terms with the shocking realization that the blood of an ancient queen flows through her veins and that the fate of the world now rests on her shoulders.
|Product dimensions:||5.50(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.89(d)|
Read an Excerpt
August 5, 10:45 A.M. Central European Time
On a busy Tuesday morning, the road repair crew from the Ministry of Infrastructure and Transportation had blocked off Corso Vittorio Emmanuel and Viale De Trastavere for emergency repairs after the melted tarmac on sections of the road started to stick to the wheels of motorists' cars. It had been a normal summer until a week ago when suddenly, an intense heatwave descended over most of Europe. The temperatures rose to more than 118 degrees and stayed uncharacteristically high, day and night.
The president of Italy, as did most other heads of state in Europe, had to declare a state of emergency and deploy the National Republican Guard to protect citizens from the intense heat. Hospital systems in Rome were overwhelmed as many people suffered from heatstroke, and the morgues filled up with bodies of the elderly who had succumbed to the deadly heat.
As Eli Maric walked up Via Della Conciliazione from his small apartment a few blocks down the street, he noticed that many tourists, shop keepers, and locals were streaming out of the shops and restaurants. He initially paid it no mind, but it soon became difficult for him to navigate the sea of people at the brisk pace that he was used to. He peeked into one of the store fronts and noticed that it was unusually dark. All the interior lights were off. Further down the street, he glanced into his favorite cafe and overheard the owner screaming at the waitstaff to keep working despite the fact that they had no electricity. The owner was furious that he was going to have to throw out the fresh batch of gelato that he made that morning.
Eli pulled out his iPhone and went to La Repubblica's website. The lead story confirmed what he was seeing around him; all of Rome had indeed lost electricity.
He finally got to the Vatican Museum, in the northern corner of Vatican City, where he had a summer job in the Department of Restoration. None of the security scanners and metal detectors at the main entrance were working. That was surprising to Eli because he assumed that the Vatican — a self-sufficient, stand-alone city state, would have its own power supply and backup generators.
As he walked across the Courtyard of St. Damasco, in the Apostolic Palace, he noticed that security and the maintenance crew were talking hurriedly in one of the side offices with concerned looks on their faces. Eli called out to one of his friends, Hamza, in security, who happened to be from Bosnia and Herzegovina, which neighbored his native Croatia.
"Bonjourno Hamza," Eli shouted out across the entryway. "What's all the ruckus? Everyone seems to be running around scared. I know the lights are out, but it's the Vatican; we have backups, don't we?"
"Hi, Eli. Yes, any time we lose power, the backup generator facility automatically kicks in, and no one notices the changeover. This is different. We do not know what is going on."
Hamza's two-way radio squawked with the angry voice of his boss, barking orders at the security staff. He turned down the volume with an exasperated look in his eyes. "The backup is down as well. It must have been stretched too far over the last week because of the heat. I think it's gone kaput. We are all frantically trying to sort everything out."
Sensing that Hamza was eager to get back to managing the crisis around them, Eli bid his friend farewell and continued on his way to his small office in the basement of the Vatican Museum, where he had a brand-new project waiting for him. At the tender age of eighteen, Eli was absolutely thrilled to have a job in the heart of the Catholic Church, within shouting distance of the Pope and the Sistine Chapel.
In his new role as a Summer Apprentice in the Department of Restoration, Eli was tasked as an understudy to help restore old religious texts from around the world and get them ready for storage in the Vatican Secret Archives. Late last week, his boss, Padre Vincenze, summoned Eli to his office — a very unusual thing for him to do — and asked him to close the door behind him. A few moments later, the Secretary of State, Cardinal Tedeschi, walked into the room, along with the Theologian of The Pontifical Household.
Eli had only been at the Vatican for a few weeks and did not know everyone by name, but he sensed, from how they carried themselves, that the two men wielded a considerable amount of gravitas within the walls of the Vatican. Without much formality, Eli was directed to a crate that sat on a long table in the back of his boss' office. The crate looked like it had just been shipped in from an overseas location. It appeared to have both Hebrew and Arabic markings on it. All the customs forms were neatly stapled on the side of the crate next to a big red FRAGILE sign stamped diagonally across the side.
The crate was still sealed, and Eli's boss told him that he wanted him there for the unveiling. When Eli asked what was in the box, Cardinal Tedeschi smiled politely and told him to be patient. Eli complied.
Eli watched as the group of three men very meticulously opened the crate and pulled out a smaller box made of a strange, reddish brown wood. The box looked to be hundreds of years old. They opened it and unrolled a parchment that had peculiar writing on it. Eli craned his neck in an effort to read what was on it, but it was in a dialect he was not familiar with.
The Theologian of the Pontifical Household stepped forward, took out his reading glasses, and studied the parchment quietly for several long minutes. There was complete silence, and the other two gentlemen looked very intently at the theologian as he studied the parchment.
Finally, with a deliberate flick of his wrist, he took off his glasses and put them in his left breast pocket. He looked at the two men, and declared triumphantly, "This is it. We finally have it back in our possession." Cardinal Tedeschi let out an audible sigh of relief and Padre Vincenze clasped his hands tightly together and looked upwards in grateful prayer. The three men seemed to be more relieved than excited about the news, which Eli thought was odd.
Eli blurted out, "What is it?"
Padre Vincenze purposefully looked up at Eli and said, "A few thousand years ago, after the Exodus, God appeared to Moses on Mt. Sinai and gave him the Ten Commandments. Moses presented the commandments to the Israelites and later put the stone tablets in the Ark of the Covenant.
"What no one knows is that the stone tablets were first wrapped in a piece of cloth before they were placed in the Ark. That piece of cloth, as a result of the elements and the passage of time, got a perfect imprint of the actual stone tablets on which the Ten Commandments were written. Over the years, before the Ark disappeared, the Israelites removed that piece of cloth and hid it away.
"And today, although the world still does not know the whereabouts of the Ark of the Covenant and the stone tablets on which God's commandments were written, we now have possession of the sacred cloth that protected the Ten Commandments for millennia. What you are looking at is the original imprint of the Word of God, as it was etched by the very hand of Moses."
Eli could barely breathe as he listened to Padre Vincenze describe the history of the cloth. He took it all in as he thought about all the times he imagined himself going on exciting adventures around the world to discover ancient religious artifacts.
Padre Vincenze studied Eli carefully as he spoke. He was impressed that Eli recognized the sheer magnitude of the moment. It was evident to Padre Vincenze that Eli was a student of religion, who knew when he was in the presence of divine history. From the first day they met a couple of months earlier, Padre Vincenze was struck by Eli and how smart and inquisitive he was about religious topics they discussed. Eli was an intent listener and incredibly well-read. Decades earlier, Padre Vincenze had worked closely with the Pope, when the Pope was a young bishop in Portugal, and every time he interacted with Eli, he was astounded by how similar the two were — down to several unconscious mannerisms, like putting his right palm on his heart whenever he laughed out loud. Padre Vincenze found that during their frequent interactions over the last few weeks, he could not help but think to himself, this young man is going to be Pope one day.
Eli's new project was to restore the sacred cloth that once wrapped the tablets of the Ten Commandments and prepare it for display in St. Peter's Basilica.
In the lower level of the Vatican Museum, where the Department of Restoration's labs were housed, Eli signaled to the two lab technicians to turn on the ultra violet lights so he could examine the integrity of the cloth. Eli could almost feel the sturdy hand of Moses on his shoulder, guiding him as he inspected the sacred relic through the LED magnifier lamp.
The time in Rome was 1:15 p.m.
Airspace over Marianna Islands
August 7, 10:15 P.M. Chamorro Standard Time
Kaliya Bennett was on a flight back to Tokyo from Sydney. She was on her way home after spending a few weeks with her dad in northern Australia. Kaliya's parents got divorced when she was five years old. When her parents initially separated, her dad left Japan and returned to Australia. Her parents met in Japan, her mom's homeland, and quickly got married; but after a few years, her dad wanted to return to his old life as a tour guide, enjoying the vast openness of the Australian outback. Kaliya's mother, however, wanted to continue to teach in Tokyo.
Kaliya's mom always believed that her daughter had more of her dad in her than she cared to admit. Kaliya had her dad's intense, fiery, brown eyes and strawberry blonde hair, which she wore in a short mohawk. At fifteen, she got a nose ring and her first of many tattoos. Her mom was furious when she walked into the bathroom as Kaliya was getting out of the shower and discovered the tattoo running down the side of her right hip — a winged unicorn with a ball and chains around its feet. As her mom glared at the artwork on her teenager's hip in anger, she could not help but wonder what her daughter was trying to express. It was a moment of anguish that her mom would never forget. At fifteen, Kaliya became distant and stopped sharing much of what she was thinking about and struggling with. In her mom's eyes, the sweet little girl she had always loved and adored had disappeared, and instead a rebel had emerged.
Trouble seemed to find a way of following Kaliya everywhere she went. In her primary school years, she got expelled a few times because of her knack for getting into fights with other children and talking back to her teachers.
Many of the boys in her high school thought Kaliya was stunningly beautiful, but none could hold her intense gaze whenever she looked them in the eye. She had a quality in her fiery brown eyes that felt like she was looking right into your soul. For the average sixteen-year-old boy, it was too much to handle. So most of the high school boys admired her from a distance, and many of the girls hated that she was so strikingly beautiful, with a natural, mysterious allure that they all wished they had.
Kaliya dropped out of high school two years ago, determined to travel the world and experience the outdoors, and find her truth.
Kaliya's mom raised her as a single parent, not involving her father for many years. It was not until Kaliya got to high school that she had her first chance to spend time with her dad. Every year since, she traveled to Australia for two months. Kaliya and her dad would explore the outback together — something she had grown to love.
Kaliya's many trips down under had earned her enough frequent flier miles to qualify for an upgrade from economy to business class on this particular flight. It was going to be a ten-hour trip and Kaliya was looking forward to being pampered and getting a few hours of sleep on the fully reclining seats. The flight attendants absolutely loved her — both the men and the women. They rarely got the pleasure of interacting with passengers with so much spunk and personality in business class.
Six hours in, she was just done watching her second movie and took a quick glance out of her window before turning in to sleep. The route north from Sydney, over Eastern Australia, Papua New Guinea, Guam, and on to Japan was typically a smooth ride over the Pacific, and tonight was no exception. There were no clouds in the sky, and the stars were clearly visible through the window of the Qantas A380. Kaliya stared into the distance and envisioned her next getaway, which she hoped would be an Alaskan Cruise. She had always dreamed of hiking a glacier and visiting Denali National Park.
As she drifted to sleep, she could not help but notice that the business class flight attendants were hurriedly walking up and down the cabin, picking up loose items from everyone's individual nooks. She had flown thousands of miles and knew that when this happened, it probably meant that there was some bumpy air ahead.
The pilot came on the PA system.
"Hi folks. This is the Captain. Sorry to wake you. I have just turned on the seatbelt sign. We have been notified by air control that things might get a little choppy in a few minutes. They are telling us the turbulence will be moderate, so we have asked the flight attendants to pick everything up in the cabin and remain seated for their safety. Nothing to be alarmed about, and I don't anticipate that it will last more than a few min — "
There was a sudden and violent downward lurch that turned the plane dangerously sideways. Because the PA system was on, the passengers heard the pilots gasp in horror.
The A380, the world's largest passenger airliner, went into a steep dive and continued to shake violently. Anything that was not secured was thrust upward and slammed into the roof of the plane's cabin.
Kaliya woke up as her head smashed into the window of the plane. The pain was blinding. As she heard the loud screams around her, it took her a moment to regain her bearings. As soon as she realized what was happening and heard the panic in everyone's voice, she opened her window shade. Expecting to see a storm around the plane, she was surprised to see that the night was completely clear. Yet the lurching of the plane seemed to get worse as the minutes went by. The A380's four Rolls Royce engines roared as the pilots labored to maintain control of the aircraft which was now shaking furiously from left to right.
The pilots did their best to keep the passengers calm through the ordeal but the look of sheer terror in the eyes of the flight attendants did not give Kaliya any comfort. It was the worst turbulence Kaliya had ever experienced, and she had logged more flying miles by the time she turned eighteen than most people do in a lifetime.
After what felt like an eternity, the pilots regained control and the plane was forced to make an emergency landing in the Philippines to assess the damage on the aircraft. Many of the passengers were seriously injured from the violent turbulence. As they pulled up to their gate, the captain made an announcement asking that everyone wait in their seats while the ground emergency crew came on board to wheel out an elderly couple that appeared to be unconscious and bleeding heavily. As the rest of the passengers eventually walked off the plane in Manila, they were all shaken up but glad to be alive. The captain and first officer stood at the doorway of the plane and gave the exiting passengers a reassuring hug or handshake. The two pilots were ashen as they tried to conceal their relief to be safely on the ground after a grueling thirty minutes flying through the extreme weather anomaly.
Kaliya looked around for an airline official. She sensed that there was something abnormal about the severe turbulence they had just flown through and was keen to gather whatever information she could.
Savvy on how to extract information in certain parts of the world, she parted with a few dollars and got one of the local airline staff in the airport terminal to talk.
What they had just experienced was a sudden collapse of the jet stream — something that rarely happens, but when it does, wreaks havoc on weather patterns in the surrounding area.
What Kaliya did not know at the time, was that multiple jet streams were collapsing around the globe simultaneously. The collapses were causing severe unexpected turbulence along several high-traffic air routes. The phenomenon also spawned raging floods in some parts of the world, and extreme heat waves, apocalyptic cloud formations, and hurricane force winds in other areas.(Continues…)
Excerpted from "The Thirteenth Guardian"
Copyright © 2019 K.M. Lewis.
Excerpted by permission of K.M. Lewis.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
The Thirteenth Guardian is an okay read. I found the number of characters too overwhelming to keep track of. I also disliked the characterization overall. It's kind of ridiculous how perfect and capable every character is. It's sophomoric and cliche, and I struggled through this one. The story premise is interesting but presented in a way I found unappealing. Other readers with different interests and expectations will enjoy the book, but it's not for me. Thanks to NetGalley for an arc in exchange for an honest review.
Thank you NetGalley for an e-arc of this book for an honest review. I was curious about this book because it mentioned the Plagues of Egypt. Usually apocalyptic stories go the way of a comet headed straight for Earth or the most obvious, climate change. When the story revealed that the Plagues of Egypt didn’t only happen in Egypt but around the world at the same time, I thought that was a fascinating take on it. Though the plagues in this story is exciting, the whole story itself didn’t work for me. The book introduces us to these main characters who are scattered all over the world and each of them has a special trait. These special people need to survive the days of the plague. The story lost me because it kept adding more characters and locations. Throw in all this information from various religious texts, secret societies, plus the scientific aspects of these unusual events taking place, and geographical data, there was a lot going on. Maybe with more focus on giving the main characters depth, and less on adding side characters this would have worked better for me. That way I could have actually connected to a character. Although I did enjoy some of the geographical information given (especially when the events happen) I felt like the writing became mechanical in these areas. Overall, it wasn’t a book for me but I appreciated the ideas in this book and it has a lot of potential.
The Thirteenth Guardian is the debut novel for K M Lewis. It is a little bit different from other books I normally read. I thought it was a good read. The plot was intriguing with the premise of the world ending and using the Biblical plagues of Egypt. At times, I was confused as to what was going on, but once I caught on, I did not want to put it down. I liked the characters and wanted to find out what was going to happen to them next. I could not have predicted the following scenes. Some of those scenes took me on a thrilling ride. The story was action packed, suspenseful, mysterious, and adventurous. I am giving The Thirteenth Guardian three and a half stars. I believe many readers would enjoy this book, especially those like to read apocalyptic tales. I recommend it. I would love to see what the author comes up with in their next release. I received this book from the publisher. This review is 100% my own honest opinion.
I have to say that as an enjoyable story, I really liked The Thirteenth Guardian. At times I had trouble putting this book down, and I wanted to read "just one more chapter." The Biblical lore was interesting, the danger the world was in kept me reading, and the science (up until the very end) was believable. I lived in Italy for three years, and I enjoyed reading about events in Rome and the Vatican as someone who has visited there multiple times. As a story, I would give this book four stars. However, I couldn't in good conscience give it four stars when the writing itself didn't match the caliber of the story. It would be unfair to other books I give four stars to if I gave this book four stars as well. As an example, sometimes the dialog felt a little wooden. For example: "Oh, no. That is horrible news, Leo." "Yes it is." The characters would have felt more alive if some of them had used more contractions in their speech. Another issue I had with the writing was the head-hopping. The book was written in 3rd person point of view. Sometimes it would jump into the mind of an insignificant character. In one example, the book went from a main character's POV, to an insignificant character's POV for one paragraph (just to say how attractive she thought he was), and then back to the main character's POV. After reading that, I thought that maybe that character would be significant later, but no. The character died shortly afterwards. The one other issue that I had with this book was the end. It looked like the book was nicely wrapped-up, and the characters were going to go into their next chapter of their life, and then they start talking about doing this impossible task that would practically need a Deus ex Machina to get done. I'm not sure if there's a sequel planned for this book or not, but if not, then that part of the book was somewhat unnecessary. What the blurb really doesn't tell you is that this is a disaster book. Like Revelation on steroids. That might be something you're interested in knowing, because this book says that it's about a mystery (and it is) but the Earth dramatically transforms in this book as well. Overall, I did enjoy reading this book and thought the theories inside were pretty cool.
I have to admit right off the bat that this was an anxiety inducing, scary read for me personally. Apocalyptic, end of the world, death type things have a way of throwing me into an anxiety attack and make me incredibly fearful and that is exactly what this book did. The beginning was a little strange and I was concerned where it was going, but it immediately thrust me into this end of the world situation that I got sucked into and could not stop reading. I had to know what was happening, how people were going to survive, why certain people were meant to survive – it was a crazy suspenseful read. I really wanted to rate the book a full 5 stars, but the ending got a little too religious for me and I felt rather lost. And the ending was… well, abrupt. It just – ended. This is clearly meant to be a cliffhanger ending and it very much achieved that. I really do want to continue reading more to see where this journey is going now that I have started the journey. If Dystopian, end of the world suspense and thrill are your thing – this book is right up your alley. I would not recommend it for “young” readers (aka, my teenager and pre-teen who love to read) but would definitely recommend for adults. It was, overall, a great read.
Alas! I wish Seth Godin's 6/9 blog post on overwriting hadn't been quite so accurate. 'Thirteenth Guardian' exactly emphasizes Godin's point. The author tells the reader about the characters — their thoughts, their looks, their actions — but doesn’t let us really “know” them. No opportunity for inference or conjecture. I spent much of my time mentally editing the book, to the point I couldn’t truly enjoy it. The topic and plot had so much potential. Disappointing that neither could follow through and deliver. Fans of Dan Brown’s The Da Vinci Code may enjoy this read touted as Da Vinci Code 2.0. I received a copy of the book from the publisher. All opinions are my own.
Apocalyptic Lit that shines. What a way to start book one of a new trilogy. Lewis's intertwining of mythology and religion, along with conspiracies and secret societies keeps the action fast and interesting. Throughout much of the destruction of the world, I kept thinking, 'This will stop now! Surely...' But the entire plot is a wonderful design of not only origin stories but also the unexplained mysteries of many civilizations throughout history. As the first novel in a series, there were times when I wanted a little more from the characters, but given the apocalypse the earth is experiencing, taking time away from them was fascinating. The characters do seem to be a little too perfect, although there are some hints that there may be less desirable aspects of character developing which may come out in the subsequent books. Hopefully, we will be able to see a bit more of their emotional side along with it. The premise of this book is so interesting - if you are a fan of Dan Brown and/or apocalyptic fiction, definitely give this one a try.
This apocalyptic novel describes how the plagues of Egypt devastate the world and interprets them in a modern way. There are however six extraordinary people, with special DNA, who are the only hope for the continued existence of mankind. Myths, legends, religions and secret societies abound in this novel, which has one of the most original apocalyptic story lines I have encountered. The research is in depth and riveting, not the dry reciting of facts. My only issue is with the six main characters, I had not realised it was a YA novel and this is the only aspect in which it is apparent. They all appear really quite superficial in the beginning, you do get used to them but initially it is rather jarring. The perfection is contrived and there a lot of unnecessary commentary on their physical and material attributes. Some of the sentences that smacked me in the face where " The flights attendants absolutely loved her - both the men and the women. They rarely got the pleasure of interacting with passengers with so much spunk and personality in business class" A tad hyperbolic for my taste and rather doubtful. "As Remi stood in the parking garage looking for his keys, he remembered that he could open his Tesla Model 3 and drive off with a mere click of a button in the Tesla mobile app." We also hear about Remi's perfect condo and his perfect girlfriend and his "brash charisma powerful physical build. smarts, chiseled good looks of a Giorgio Armani model, wealthy family and great educational pedigree" While such perfection may exist somewhere it is rather rammed down one's throat here. Thankfully once the introductions of the six have taken place and the world starts to fall apart, the story takes over. If you can look past that the plot is an original one. Be aware that this is part of a trilogy however, though thankfully it does not leave you hanging over a cliff! Thank you #Netgalley and #IBPA for the advance copy of #TheThirteenthGuardian in exchange for my honest review