The Sign

The Sign

3.1 100
by Raymond Khoury
     
 

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"This new thriller combines gripping contemporary suspense with a high-concept mystery rooted in history, philosophy, religion, and science. And like those novels, it is bound for bestseller lists nationwide." "In Antarctica, a scientific expedition drops anchor for a live news feed. As the CNN journalist begins her report, a massive, shimmering sphere of light… See more details below

Overview

"This new thriller combines gripping contemporary suspense with a high-concept mystery rooted in history, philosophy, religion, and science. And like those novels, it is bound for bestseller lists nationwide." "In Antarctica, a scientific expedition drops anchor for a live news feed. As the CNN journalist begins her report, a massive, shimmering sphere of light suddenly appears in the sky, enveloping the ship in luminous white light before disappearing as mysteriously as it arrived - the entire event witnessed by an incredulous world audience." "Meanwhile in a dusty bar in Egypt, a dozen men are lazily discussing the state of the world when the brilliant, glowing symbol on the television stops them cold. One man breaks out in a sweat, crosses himself repeatedly, and rushes out of the bar muttering the same phrase over and over again: It can't be." Across the Internet and around the globe, a stunning controversy threatens to consume the world: Has God finally decided to reveal himself? Or is something more sinister at hand?

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Editorial Reviews

Steve Berry
There's a fine line between science and religion. Too often that border becomes blurred, or confused, usually through either ignorance or fanaticism, which nearly always leads to conflict. The Sign expertly explores this ever-shifting line of myth and reality. But this book is not a religious thriller. Nobody is trying to destroy the Catholic Church; Christ is not being cloned; and there are no ancient theological secrets that could change the course of history. Instead, Raymond Khoury explores the concept a religion by posing the ever-present question What if? in a unique and appealing way. Protagonists Matt Sherwood, a former car thief (which is interesting in and of itself), and news reporter, Gracie Logan, are who Khoury calls upon to determine if God has finally decided to reveal himself, or is something more sinister afoot? I like that in a Khoury book the title actually means something. That was true in The Last Templar and The Sanctuary, and it is equally true here. The sign is important. This story captivates with plausibility and imagination. It's fiercely intelligent and equally curious. Khoury casts his fictional world in a dark pall -- a fitting atmosphere for his protagonists as they race both time and shadowy instincts toward a scintillating conclusion. The Sign is a rapid paced adventure that delivers equal quantities of story and lesson, neither one suffering in the process. Khoury's background as a screenwriter shows. He is especially adept at action scenes. His expertly chosen verbs cause the scenes to leap from the page. You can literally feel the blows as they're landed; wince as the bullets find their marks. He has an intense brand of storytelling all his own. The Sign is a prize to be savored.
Publishers Weekly

Set against a backdrop of ancient and modern religious conflict, this solid thriller from bestseller Khoury (The Last Templar) explores a number of current planetary preoccupations, from far-right political demagoguery to global warming. While in Antarctica covering the breakup of the continent's ice shelf, TV reporter Grace Logan and her crew are astounded to see a "bright, shimmering sphere of light" in the sky. They film this astronomical anomaly as it runs through a variety of tricks, then disappears. People around the globe wonder: is it a UFO? a sign from God? or some sort of techno trick fashioned by perpetrators unknown? After the blazing sign reappears over the Arctic, a possible link emerges to an old Catholic priest, who has heard on a desolate mountain in Egypt a portentous voice in his head ("Are you ready to lead your people to salvation?"). Unrelenting action and a suitably twisted ending compensate for the clichéd prose. (May)

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Library Journal

Lately, several thrillers (i.e., Tom Knox's The Genesis Secret) have taken potshots at religion, pitting sophistication and intellect against devotion and personal faith. In a departure from his time-shifting narratives about document-protecting secret societies (e.g., The Last Templar, The Sanctuary), Khoury's new novel challenges that dichotomy. During filming in Antarctica, a news crew witnesses a shimmering sphere, unexplainable by any scientific expert. Meanwhile, in Egypt, the broadcast of the event startles a group of Coptic priests, who recognize the symbol as identical to one rendered by a prominent priest visiting their monastery. Is the mysterious symbol a sign from God or a hoax to discredit the faithful? Speaking through Father Jerome, Khoury pitches an eloquent argument for the value of personal responsibility toward one another while maintaining careful stewardship of the earth. This is a thoughtful book with a powerful message and yet also a thrilling read with compelling, well-developed characters. Highly recommended. [See Prepub Alert, LJ1/09.]
—Laura A.B. Cifelli

Kirkus Reviews
Khoury's third high-concept thriller (Sanctuary, 2007, etc.) features much ado about an apparition in the Antarctic sky. Is it a sign from God-or maybe not so much?TV journalist Gracie Logan can't believe her telegenic eyes. There she is in Antarctica, doing a piece on global warming when suddenly . . . OK, what exactly is it up there? "It was beyond understanding, beyond definition." Well, whatever it actually is, it's awesome: big, bright and more than a little scary. "It's a sign," says one onlooker as she crosses herself, clearly a believer. "Of what?" someone else asks skeptically, thus launching a debate that will grow ever more heated in the days to come. Meanwhile, in another part of the planet (Boston, to be precise), hulking ex-convict Matt Sherwood, currently committed to the straight and narrow, meets with nerdy Vince Bellinger, who is the bearer of shocking tidings. Seeing the televised apparition has activated neurons in Vince's spectacular cognitive apparatus, convincing him that Danny Sherwood, Matt's beloved younger brother and Vince's fellow brainiac, did not in fact die two years ago in an accidental chopper crash into shark-infested waters while working on some extremely hush-hush science project. For reasons beyond the ken of ordinary folk, Vince has become certain that foul play was involved. Before he can do much to explain, however, he too meets death by taser and syringe, a fate Matt narrowly evades. Matt, in whom the blood of action heroes flows, now knows he has no choice but to dig for answers. Not easy. Secret agendas and dueling conspiracies form daunting obstacles, but he presses on to the end of the tunnel, where he'll find Gracie waiting along with theanswers, eternal and otherwise. Uninspired.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780143144212
Publisher:
Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
Publication date:
05/19/2009
Edition description:
Unabridged, 13 CDs
Pages:
11
Product dimensions:
5.72(w) x 5.36(h) x 1.54(d)
Age Range:
18 Years

What People are saying about this

Steve Berry
"There's a fine line between science and religion. Too often that border becomes blurred, or confused, usually through either ignorance or fanaticism, which nearly always leads to conflict. The Sign expertly explores this ever-shifting line of myth and reality. But this book is not a religious thriller. Nobody is trying to destroy the Catholic Church; Christ is not being cloned; and there are no ancient theological secrets that could change the course of history. Instead, Raymond Khoury explores the concept a religion by posing the ever-present question What if? in a unique and appealing way. Protagonists Matt Sherwood, a former-car thief (which is interesting in and of itself), and news reporter, Gracie Logan, are who Khoury calls upon to determine if God has finally decided to reveal himself, or is something more sinister afoot? I like that in a Khoury book the title actually means something. That was true in The Last Templar and The Sanctuary, and it is equally true here. The sign is important. This story captivates with plausibility and imagination. It's fiercely intelligent and equally curious. Khoury casts his fictional world in a dark pall-a fitting atmosphere for his protagonists as they race both time and shadowy instincts toward a scintillating conclusion. The Sign is a rapid paced adventure that delivers equal quantities of story and lesson, neither one suffering in the process. Khoury's background as a screenwriter shows. He is especially adept at action scenes. His expertly chosen verbs cause the scenes to leap from the page. You can literally feel the blows as they're landed; wince as the bullets find their marks. He has an intense brand ofstorytelling all his own. The Sign is a prize to be savored."

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