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Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Review: The Key

Title: The Key
Author: Simon Toyne
Series: Ruin Trilogy (#2)
 William Morrow & Company
Publication Date: 
 June 19, 2012
Reviewer: Ethan

Summary: Hounded. Haunted. Hunted. She is the most important person in the world. She is The Key. In the ancient Turkish city of Ruin, American journalist Liv Adamsen lies in an isolation ward staring at walls as blank as her memory. She knows she entered the monumental Citadel at the heart of Ruin but can remember only darkness. Something strange is stirring within her, whispering that she is 'the key'. But the key to what? For the Ghost, a mercenary operating in the Syrian Desert, Liv may unlock one of mankind's most potent secrets. For the brotherhood in the Citadel -- now cursed by a terrible plague -- her return may secure the mountain and ensure their survival. And for a powerful faction in Rome, she threatens the very future of the Catholic Church. Hunted across continents and caught in the centre of events that defy explanation, Liv turns to the only person she trusts -- a charity worker named Gabriel Mann. Together their paths lead to a shocking discovery -- one that will tear them apart and change the world forever!

Review: In his debut novel, Sanctus, author Simon Toyne thrilled audiences with his high concept, religious conspiracy thriller. The dazzling story continues in The Key, the next novel in his planned trilogy. The novel opens days after the events of the previous book. After her brother's strange death captured the attention of the world, Liv Adamsen finds herself in a hospital bed, unable to fully remember the events that brought her there. She can vaguely remember entering the secretive religious Citadel located in Ruin, but has no clue how she ended up in the hospital. Even worse, she is hearing whispers that claim she is 'the key'.

Unbeknownst to Liv, a web of conspiracy is coming to fruition within the confines of the Catholic Church. The mysterious inhabitants of the Citadel, known as the Sancti, were meant to protect an ancient sacrament. When the sacrament was released, all leaders of the group were killed, leaving the compound without a clear direction and threatening the future of the entire church. Even more, a plague has set in, killing the Sancti one by one. Leaders of the Vatican believe that Liv holds the key to the sacrament, and will stop at nothing to return her to the Citadel. As a cat and mouse chase ensues, Liv realizes the enormity of the situation. With the aid of Gabriel Mann, a charity worker who's family has long sought to reveal the sacrament, Liv must discover the true meaning of 'the key' before her life and the fate of the entire world comes crashing down.

Despite the complexity of the plot, Toyne expertly manages all aspects of the story through his streamlined prose. The novel picks up right where Sanctus left off, allowing the urgency of the story to permeate the entire novel and the characters to continue to develop believable relationships and reactions to their situations. Toyne never lets the enormity of his concept drown out the subtle motivations of his characters. He seamlessly weaves actions, history, romance, and suspense into a nonstop thriller that pulses forward to a shocking and extremely satisfying conclusion. The Key successfully continues the precedent set by Sanctus, and leaves the reader anxiously awaiting the conclusion to this gripping trilogy.

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