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4.7 out of 5 stars
4.7 out of 5 stars
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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!
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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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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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on 13 April 2013
I only found the previous two books fairly recently, so I didn't have to wait too long for it to arrive on my kindle. I really wanted to make it last but I just had to keep turning the pages. Now there isn't another one to look forward to, and I can only hope the author doesn't decide these were the only books he had in him
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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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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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on 6 May 2013
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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on 14 April 2013
I had the first book given as a birthday present & loved the story so much I have purchased the second & third books in the trilogy. Really enjoyed the story & considering purchasing the kindle version of the first book so I have all three permanently.
Don't want to spoil it for anyone, but would highly recommend!
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on 15 April 2013
Got the book the moment it came out, April 11, after having consumed the first 2 ones in a week.
Even if some things are predictable, Toyne continues to surprise me.
Just hope, that we shall hear more from Toyne soon and that peace shall come forward too.
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 22 April 2013
And here endeth the lesson in how to write a really good religious conspiracy thriller, as The Tower brings to a close this excellent trilogy. Beginning with Sanctus and The Key, this final instalment instantly propels you back into the world so succinctly and powerfully portrayed in the first two books. I instantly took to these books, despite my original and somewhat cynical poo-pooing of this genre, thanks to the scars left by reading other less effective authors of this kind of fare. I can safely say that I had no such qualms as having read Sanctus in pretty much one sitting, and then champing at the bit for The Key, I awaited this closing book with a sense of anticipation and it did not disappoint...

Trying to avoid spoilers for those who have not yet had the pleasure of reading the full trilogy, The Tower draws on the perilous and unresolved events at the end of the previous books, with the present time juxtaposed with a catch-up on events eight months previously until the two timelines converge. As our erstwhile hero Gabriel grapples with a torturous journey back to the sinister auspices of The Citadel at Ruin (the predominant setting of the first two books), our heroine Liv is left to deal with the increasingly bizarre events in a desert wilderness as an ancient prophecy begins to gather muster, heralding the possible End of Days. In the present timeline there are some devilish deeds going on within the confines of NASA with the sabotage of two major space exploration programmes at the hands of what appears to be religious fantics, but is there more to it than meets the eye and are there greater powers at work? It falls to a rookie FBI agent and his surly superior to unravel the mystery leading to a denoeument linking all the characters and interlocking plot threads together.

Other reviewers have commented on the slower build-up of this book and I can see their point, but I actually enjoyed this sense of the plot gathering a momentum, and felt my own tension for the characters ratcheting up at the same speed, also noticing my reading speed increased substantially as the book reached its conclusion, so found this all rather clever. I must confess that I found the NASA plot utterly fascinating and enjoyed the fruits of Toyne's research into this particular field of science and technology, enjoying the exploration of the age old argument of science vs religion as the plot unfolded. With this new plotline set predominantly in America, and the skilful interweaving of the pre-existing locations and story from the first two books, fear not if you have come to this series anew with this book, as the back story is coherently referred to throughout so you won't miss anything. On the strength of this one alone the impetus will be there to seek out the other two books post haste!

I think one of the major strengths of this series has been the excellent standard of characterisation, and although The Tower gives Toyne the chance to further flesh out some familiar figures, the introduction of some new faces further illustrates his adept hand at this. I particularly took to newly qualified FBI Agent Joe Shepherd and his boss Special Agent Benjamin Franklin and the nature of their professional relationship with the seeds of distrust between them sown by some unspoken secrets of Shepherd's past. There was a real depth and believability to their working and personal interactions and bolstered by the existing strength of the recurring characters, I was completely drawn into these people's lives and tribulations as the plot played out. There is usually an inherent failing within this genre of matching the strength of characterisation to the needs of the conspiracy thriller pace and plotting, but Toyne experiences no such problems in balancing the needs of both with an assured grip throughout.

In conclusion then, I would highly recommend The Tower, be it as a conclusion to you having read Sanctus and The Key or equally if this is your first foray into Toyne's writing. An exceptional thriller that left me with a slight wistful air that the series was now finished. Can't wait to see what's next!
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