An explosive apocalyptic conspiracy thriller from a major new British talent that will set the world alight...REVELATION OR DEVASTATION? The certainties of the modern world are about to be blown apart by a three thousand year-old conspiracy nurtured by blood and lies ...A man throws himself to his death from the oldest inhabited place on the face of the earth, a mountainous citadel in the historic Turkish city of Ruin. This is no ordinary suicide but a symbolic act. And thanks to the media, it is witnessed by the entire world.
But few understand it. For charity worker Kathryn Mann and a handful of others in the know, it is what they have been waiting for. The cowled and secretive fanatics that live in the Citadel suspect it could mean the end of everything they have built - and they will kill, torture and break every law to stop that. For Liv Adamsen, New York crime reporter, it begins the next stage of a journey into the heart of her own identity.
And at that journey's end lies a discovery that will change EVERYTHING...Sanctus is an apocalyptic conspiracy thriller like no other - it re-sets the bar for excitement and fascination, and marks the debut of a major talent in Simon Toyne.
©2011 Simon Toyne (P)2011 HarperCollins Publishers Limited
Sanctus is the first part of a trilogy by Simon Toyne and is, to put it bluntly, absolutely unputdownable. Obviously I can't say too much about the plot or it will spoil the storyline for others but, suffice to say it has sufficient twists and turns to satisfy even the most demanding reader/listener. Finally I must say that the reading is excellent... Jonathan Keeble gives an outstanding performance as ever. I have already purchased Relic which is the second part and am waiting with bated breath for the third instalment to arrive on Audible. A five star listening experience.
I really enjoyed the start of this book - yes a bit Dan Browne - but hopefully sufficiently different. However it could have been cut by half to give a much tighter plot and get rid of the cliches. Because it was over long with so many scenes dragged out to fill more pages, by the end I find I no longer cared what happened to any of them. The good guys seemed to get less intelligent stuff to do than some of the bad guys. By the end I was almost rooting for the head baddie out of sheer frustration. Maybe I'll go back to Scandanavian stuff.
That was not what I consider a good listen as far as audio books are concerned. The story is told too long winding and at times quite boring. The way situations or scenes are described within the story don`t hold up to the scrutiny of an observant mind. The worst thing really was how many words one can come up with to use to describe one situation. Cut out all the palaver and the bla bla bla and you probably end up with an interesting short story! Well Mr Toyne better luck next time.
This was a really enjoyable book. The story was fast paced and the characters were interesting and had very interesting stories, especially the main female character. I really want to rave more about the story but I’m afraid of giving anything away so all I can say is it’s a thriller with a fantastical element to it! I couldn't turn this off as I had to know what happened next. 5 stars also for the narrator who does a marvelous job of bringing all the characters to life. This is the first part of a trilogy and I am already counting the days until the next part is released.
This gripping story is based on the existence of a secret cult living for endless years in a mountain in Turkey which has become a popular tourist destination. The mystery begins with the apparent suicide of one of the chosen few monks who make up the Sancti, the innermost secret order who hold a dark secret. The unravelling of the secret, the accidental involvement of innocent people remotely connected across the world and the mix of corrupt and straight investigators, made this an unstoppable read.The ending is astonishing and challenging. There is enough possibility in the story to keep it credible to the end.
I simply ate this book up. I was sorely tempted to listen too it all in one sitting, but then again, I didn't want it to end either. Some sceptics may find this 'far fetched' but most of you will see it for what it is, Amazing fiction. Jonathan Keeble's narration and characterisation of all the players is first rate. A 'highly' recommended book. You will not be disappointed!
"So Much Better than the DaVinci Code!"
A lot of the reviews are comparing this to the DaVinci Code. But Toyne, although not exactly literary, is a far better craftsman than Brown. The dialogue is better, the motivations are more convincing and the plot held me all the way through.
It would be fairer to compare this to a more 'thrillerish' cross between Foucault's Pendulum and The Name of the Rose with a little apocalyptic hinting thrown in for good measure.
Some of the reader's accents are a little annoying, but it didn't stop me from enjoying this fast-paced thriller.
"Fast-paced mystery of a protected ancient secret"
While the story was captivating, fast-paced and totally perfect for listening, I've become a huge Jonathan Keeble fan. The narrator really does make all the difference. Not too fast, not too slow, good voice and accent, superb voices for characters and he changes pace and energy in his voice when the sections of the book demand.
It definitely did. Each chapter flips to a different scene, picking up various characters and lines of the story. The chapters are sufficiently short that you don't forget what has come before and this also adds to the increase in pace of the story. They all come together later in the book and they keep you wondering, 'What is going to happen to them?" until the next time the thread is picked up again.
I also felt that we were given good background information on many of the characters - they are strong and fleshy and credible.
I really didn't expect the sacrament to be what it turned out to be. Very unexpected. Great twist.
I enjoyed the descriptions of the citadel - the rooms, corridors, the library and the lighting... The opening scene really did it for me and had me completely lured into the book within minutes.
Probably when the old guy died to protect his daughter and grandson. And the revelation of the sacrament.
I'm searching Audible now for more books narrated by Jonathan Keeble and more book by Simon Toyne. I enjoyed this one that much!
"WE NEED A NEW GENRE !"
First of all I must compliment the narrator, whose excellent work helped me to keep plodding on through the thick and thin of this audio book.
I do think it somewhat unfair of me to criticise what so many others (I read reviews on several other websites) have praised , but this book did not live up to my expectations.
Hung on a very small hook of a mysterious ancient secret are lots of humdrum shootings, high-tech jargon,irrelevant padding(Bonnie and Myron),kidnappings and general mayhem.
Perhaps I am just sated with this sort of mumbo-jumbo ,and I read/listen to books of this genre only once in a blue moon,hoping for something new ,but after The Da Vinci Code it seems very difficult to produce anything other than variations on a theme.
After correctly identifying who/what The Sacrament is/was when about half-way through, (the author gives plenty of clues) I just wanted to get it over with.
Having said all that, IF this was the first book of the genre which I had read/heard then I may have enjoyed it differently, and I must admit that the final few chapters,(when the good guys and bad guys finally come face to face) were suspenseful.
Also on the plus side were the short chapters and good writing.I think that the author can use his talents well if he can come up with a new genre.
The $64,000 question is- will I download the next book(s) of the trilogy ? At the moment, I think not.
"Couldn't be better!"
What a read! Hard to believe this is a debut novel - it is a sophisticated work from a very clever intellect!
Well worth the effort.
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