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4.7 out of 5 stars
The Tower
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on 15 May 2013
I must admit I didn't expect to love it even more than Sanctus. The puzzles keep unravelling in unexpected ways and the connections made along the way activate more than just the imagination...
The fast pace in which everything moves develops a maturity along the way combining history, occultism, science, and different value systems all very interesting to observe and fathom.
Even though the metaphor never closes, it leaves one with a calmness and understanding that keeps the neurology working long after the script has ended.
I've read The Tower on a beautiful trip with lots of amazing places to see at any time. However... I was always hurrying to get back to Ruin be it morning, afternoon or night. Reading The Tower was one of the best bits of the trip and the perfect ingredient for the journey!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
TOP 500 REVIEWERon 26 April 2013
And so the Sancti trilogy ends... It goes without saying, although I'll say it, that you would be bonkers to read the final part of a trilogy without having read the other two (Sanctus (Sancti Trilogy 1) and The Key). If you haven't, then please advance no further - spoilers for the first novels are inevitable. Please enjoy the treat you have in store by reading them first, by which point nothing will prevent you from savouring The Tower.

With the publication of The Tower there is the excitement that I may well always feel at the prospect of a new read by Simon Toyne but now it is offset by the sadness at closing the pages on one of the finest thriller series that I have read. Instead of a potentially endless sequence of excellent thrillers, Toyne has given us a tightly structured set of three. Each is different from the others, bringing in new characters, bringing about the demise of other familiar ones, but the story of the most ancient city of Ruin, the Citadel at its heart, and the Sancti monks within it, continue to define the structure and spirit of the novels, from beginning to end. Now, we're at that end and it's time to prise open the Citadel and reveal its secrets while at the same time opening up the story to its global significance and beyond.

The Tower exists in two spaces - two stories, eight months apart at first and with the time closing in. In one, we pick up the threads of Gabriel and Liv while in the other we are taken to the United States and the efforts of two FBI agents to solve a puzzle that threatens mankind's entire involvement in the exploration of the stars. I enjoyed these new characters very much.

You would want a thriller to be exciting and indeed this is, but all three novels are more than that. There's an intelligence and philosophy to them as they examine the nature of religious belief and confidence inside the human soul, as well as the capacity to love and nurture. The characters themselves - especially Gabriel and Liv - are not ordinary. The supernatural or the heavenly mixes well with the pressured atmosphere of the novels, especially when we venture deep into the enormous but claustrophobic Citadel. As the trilogy ends two questions are paramount - what will be next for Simon Toyne and how long will I have to wait? I'm very grateful for my review copy.
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24 of 26 people found the following review helpful
on 24 April 2013
I found this book just as captivating as the first! One of my favourite series of books.
I spent the majority of my day off unable to complete any other tasks as the desire to keep reading was just too strong.
Beautifully concluded and all the individual stories ran along side each other smoothly.
In some sense the story was inspiring and uplifting. Makes you want to feel that there is hope out there for us all, whether you believe in ANYTHING or not. The parallel between faith and science was well written and thought out.
I have thoroughly enjoyed ALL these books and although the story has come to a super conclusion, I shall miss not counting down to the next one.
Made me shed a tear at the end and that is a rare occurrence for me as a result of reading a book!
LOVED IT.....TOTALLY!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 7 May 2013
This final instalment of the Sancti trilogy was quite amazing and much better than I had anticipated. I would say that it was as gripping as the first novel and had such an intriguing plot - not resorting to just using the same old characters, additional ones were added to increase the drama. There were almost three stories in one: Liv, the heroine, in the middle of the desert and trying to understand what she must do; the blight taking hold in Ruin and its subsequent effect on the Citadel, and then FBI Agent Shepherd and the case he has been assigned to in the hope of discovering who has been sabotaging the Hubble and James Webb. All these three main stories intertwine and converge it a superb ending. I could not put the book down.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 8 May 2013
Since receiving Sanctus (Simon Toyne's first novel) as a gift, I have been gripped by the mystery surrounding Liv, Gabriel and the starmap. The Key and, finally, The Tower were eagerly awaited and didn't disappoint!
The Sancti trilogy takes you on an adventure of intrigue with the Citadel at the core and the relationships between characters intertwine throughout with many unpredictable consequences.
All readers are catered for; a creative mix of thriller, horror, romance....with Mr Toyne knowing how to toy with the emotions which can change from dread to joy, excitement to fear within a few paragraphs.
I eagerly await another novel by Simon Toyne.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
From start to finish - I couldn't put this book down. Well worth the wait after reading both Sanctus and The Key. Look forward to many more books written by Simon Toyne. Congratulations on a superb trilogy!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 9 May 2013
A gripping, wonderful ending to a great story. Imaginative, innovative and original, this trilogy should be in everyone's book collection.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 15 May 2013
Simon Toyne's writing is unfair,
His latest triumph The Tower leaves the reader begging for more. He grabs the reader by the throat and makes putting his work down to get on with your normal life an impossible task. You will burn the midnight oil just having to read the next page, then the next and so on until you are totally at his mercy and he then cruelly brings the experience to an epic conclusion.
Read this authors works and you will not be disappointed Mr Toyne has been likened to Dan Brown, I like Dan Brown. Simon Toyne has him by the short and curlies.
Robert Langdon should investigate Simon Toyne and decipher why the guy is so damned good.
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on 14 December 2013
THE TOWER - SIMON TOYNE

The final part of the trilogy which started with Sanctus. A book that had me googling Ruin and citadels. The Key - still had Liv and Gabriel on the run from the Sanctus and now The Tower.

We find ourselves in America, with rookie FBI agent Joe Shepherd desperately trying to find out why Hubble and other hugely expensive satellite programmes have suddenly either gone off-course or been destroyed. The more he tries to find his former professors, the more he feels as though someone is always that one step ahead of him.

Gabriel has left Liv in the desert with the starmapp while he returns to the citadel because he has caught the Lamentation disease. With the help of the policeman Arkadian, he persuades the remaining monks to turn the citadel into an isolation centre for others who have caught this disease.

Liv finds herself in the desert and is joined by a people looking for "home".

I HAD to read this final book in the series. I started the book and wondered if I'd somehow missed the plot when I came across Joe Shepherd, so had to go back and re-read THE KEY. It helped me get back into the "mood" of this series. I'm giving it five stars because I think that the whole concept of a place like the Citadel, the monks and people trying to stop anyone from finding the truth, was simply brilliant and I honestly don't think Simon Toyne could have finished the trilogy any other way. But, I still think that the first book, Sanctus, was the most believable.
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on 28 February 2014
Good in parts. It rambles, it veers off at tangients, it shambles towards its conclusion. Well-written but curiously unaffecting: characters that had drive in the first two books don't seem to get out of neutral here. Consider how long the character of Shepherd is developed for versus the death of one of the central characters (I won't do a spoiler); the superficial nature of the mentions of the Novus Sanctus so that, when he's unveiled, you find yourself wondering why so much time was given to FBI agents and dodgy preachers and not to him; the rather laboured passages in the desert ... An opportunity missed - and the time-shift had me totally confused but maybe I just wasn't paying attention. And I wasn't paying attention because none of it seemed to matter as much as it did in the first 2 books. It doesn't need to be as long as it is and the novelty of Ruin - so refreshing before - becomes a bit tired and I found myself agreeing with all those reviewers who wondered why a city in southern Turkey should be called that, should have a Christian shrine, should feel like a western city, should be inhabited by people who speak mid-Atlantic English etc.
Definitely worth reading if you enjoyed the first 2 and certainly as a means of wrapping the trilogy up. He still writes well and action scenes are still excellent, but overall not as good as its predecessors. 4 stars seems a lot for an unengaging book but there is enough here - and in the first 2 books - to merit that.
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