Sunday, May 12, 2013

Review: The Key

The Key
The Key by Simon Toyne

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Book Info: Genre: Historic-religion thriller/alternate history
Reading Level: Adult
Recommended for: Fans of historic/religion-based thrillers, conspiracy theories, etc
Trigger Warnings: murder, violence (including domestic violence: a man strikes his pregnant wife), conspiracies featuring the Catholic church

My Thoughts: It has been almost two years since I read the first book in this trilogy, Sanctus (review linked here where formatting allowed); I really wish I could have re-read it before starting this one, but I can't find it. I do remember I really enjoyed it, was entertained and excited, and have been looking forward to reading this one. The delay came about because I wanted to re-read the first one and couldn't find it... which is pretty typical. It's part of the reason I've been buying e-book versions of books I already have and enjoyed so I can find them more easily.

I was a little amused by Sgt. Ski, whose real name was “Godlewski” but he thought it was unpronounceable so changed it in practice to make things easier. My hometown was full of Polish people. Let me give you a few real crazy names: Syvinski, Witkowski, Peplinksi, Goroski, Sokoloski, Jablonski, Kukoski... does this give you an idea? These are the ones I remember off the top of my head, but the vast majority of my hometown was Polish, so there were a lot of -ski names. Not to mention some of the great Norwegian names I've run across, like Mjolsness or Sjoquist. So Godlewski? Par for the course.

This book suffered from “middle-of-the-trilogy-itis”. The first book set up the characters and the action and this book is mostly them being variously thwarted at things they need to do. I probably would have enjoyed it more if I had re-read the first book before I started this one, but as it was, I had forgotten too many things and wasn't as invested in the characters as I had been initially. I really do recommend for maximum enjoyment that you plan to read all three books of the trilogy together. (The third book, The Tower, is scheduled for publication in June 2013)

In the end, fans of historic/religion-based thrillers or conspiracy theories should enjoy this series, but I recommend you try to read the whole thing as close together a possible for maximum enjoyment. This one ends on a bit of a cliffhanger—while the main story is finished, a new one starts—so while I had originally thought I might skip the final book, now I want to know what happens. We'll see.

Disclosure: I received a copy of this book from the Amazon Vine program in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

Synopsis: Hunted. Hounded. Haunted.

She is the most important person in the world. She is The Key

Journalist Liv Adamsen has escaped from the highly secretive Citadel at the heart of the ancient city of Ruin and now lies in isolation, staring at hospital walls as blank as her memory. Despite her inability to recall her past, something strange is stirring within her. She feels possessed by a sensation she can't name and plagued by whispers only she can hear: "KuShiKaam," the key.

To others the meaning is clear. For a mercenary operating in the Syrian Desert, a man known only as "the Ghost," Liv may hold the key to one of history's most powerful secrets. For the brotherhood of monks in the Citadel—now cursed by a terrible plague—her return to Turkey may be the only way to ensure their survival. And for a powerful faction in Vatican City, her very existence threatens the success of a desperate plan to save the church from ruin.

At the center of events that defy explanation and hunted by someone she believes might be trying to kill her, Liv turns to the only person she can trust—a foundation worker named Gabriel Mann. Together they must elude capture and journey to the place where all life began. From New York to Rome to the deserts of the Middle East, worlds collide in a race to uncover a revelation dating from the creation of man in this electrifying follow-up to the international bestseller Sanctus.

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