The Sign

The Sign

3.2 101
by Raymond Khoury
     
 

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From the New York Times bestselling author of The Last Templar

New York Times bestselling author Raymond Khoury returns with a provocative thriller set at the intersection of science, religion, and history in which a sign in the heavens may unleash hell on earth...

Overview

From the New York Times bestselling author of The Last Templar

New York Times bestselling author Raymond Khoury returns with a provocative thriller set at the intersection of science, religion, and history in which a sign in the heavens may unleash hell on earth...

Editorial Reviews

In 2006, Raymond Khoury snatched our attention with The Last Templar; then he followed that secret society thriller with The Sanctuary. Now he returns with The Sign, an earthshaking nail-biter that from its very first page plunges us into a realm where even an apocalypse would seem gentle business. A suspenseful thriller rooted in science, history, and occult subjects.
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.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781436174787
Publisher:
Recorded Books, LLC
Publication date:
05/08/2009

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."

Meet the Author

Raymond Khoury is the bestselling author of The Last Templar and The Sanctuary. An acclaimed screenwriter and producer for both television and film, he lives in London with his family.

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The Sign 3.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 101 reviews.
anMK More than 1 year ago
Khoury's first two books were inspiring enough to purchase "The Sign," unfortunately, I realized my mistake a third of the way through this author's latest creation. The redundancy and persistence of Khoury to overemphasize his personal feelings on religion and the current political climate completely overshadows any semblance of story-telling. I'm really not sure I want to tempt fate again if he decides to pursue another novel.
IFly2Eat More than 1 year ago
"I get it, I get it." That is what you will be screaming about half way through this. Khoury doesn't hide his opinions too well in this lackluster book. Characters are not that believable and there are pages of their monologues about religion. Don't bother reading this and honestly it will probably be my last Khoury book.
Fighterjock More than 1 year ago
I have liked his other books, but while this one had an interesting plot line, Khoury was way too over the top in his drinking of the global warming koolaid and his persistent bashing of the USA. I agree with him that far too many people have died for really stupid religious reasons, but this book just took his left-leanings too far. As someone who does not even live in the US, if he wants to write any more about screwed up governments he needs to write about his own...or perhaps Greece. I'm removing him from my reading list.
laurak122 More than 1 year ago
I've read Raymond Khoury's work in the past and enjoyed it; however this novel not only didn't live up to his past work, it was downright irritating to read. If you happen to be a super-far-left Marxist type Socialist you might enjoy this predictable story. I was not only angered that Mr. Khoury uses the "ANYTHING (even if it's amoral or unethical) is OK as long as it meets leftist political agendas" to justify character behaviors. Truly, the character's solution at the end of the book is not the path of truth and honor, but LITERALLY "We're going to lie because it meets leftist standards and we don't want the right gaining political power." It's blatent. Mr. Khoury also has an addendum to his novel that is a many-page discourse on how awful President Bush was (get over it - he's out of office), a tired, old, has-been argument. The worst part of all this bashing of the political right in the US is that Mr. Khoury lives in the UK. Bush was never HIS president and this is not his country, and as a proud American I was greatly offended to read Khoury's nasty commentary. Just to be clear, I am NOT a Republican, never have been, and never will be. I simply have no patience or respect for lame, worn-out garbage that refuses to acknowledge there are good and honest people on all political fronts (not just left and right). Mr. Khoury, I will NEVER purchase another book of yours - I refuse to put a penny in your pocket.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The cover of this book states that it is "A Novel". It is not. Far from it. And I for one feel cheated. The so called plot of this book is nothing but a cover to cover, thinly disguised platform for Koury's hatred of all things Christian, Conservative, or American. Non stop personal attacks of specific, real people. And the worst part is that he is getting away with it. If the tables were turned, the backlash would be front page news! Having read his first two books, my husband and I were both looking forward to this book. I happened to be the one to read it first, and wished that I hadn't. It has left a very bad mark on my mind and my soul. My husband shall not be reading it. We plan on giving away his first two books to charity, throwing this one out, and never ever buying another Khoury book. To us, he has committed literary suicide. For an enjoyable read try Steve Berry, Dan Brown, Clive Cussler, Nelson DeMille, Preston/Child, James Rollins, all entertaining without undo preaching.
yanniyankel More than 1 year ago
His books are normally worth a light summer read, but this one leaves much to be desired. Getting his politics as the major part of the story line does not do the story any credit nor does the story give any credit to his strident political views.
YumaPat More than 1 year ago
A fairly good read-only Khoury should be getting paid by DNC, or at least re elect Obama committee-"climate"opinions aside, it's not the worst book out there it could have been better with less kowtowing to present administration.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The author inserts his hatred for any political philosopy that is not his own. His venom makes Kieth Oberman sound like a reasoned pundit. This, coupled with a below average plot, makes this a book to avoid.
southwindWS More than 1 year ago
This will be the last time I even pick up one of this writer's books. He goes out of his way to insult a very large part of the American people. Most of his writing deals with global warming and the christian people. The story line is hard to follow with the hero Matt, running around killing people, stealing cars, kidnapping, etc, and no police in site. A very poorly written story from a writer who appears to be living in England and knows everthing about this country. Stay home and write about your socialist home country.
Retired_Book_Lover More than 1 year ago
I wish I had read the reviews here before wasting my money on this rubbish. I struggled through about a third of the book and finally gave up. There was nothing about any of the characters that was appealing; there was no plot to catch my interest, and the writing was tedious. I read as far as I did because I couldn't imagine a book reported to be good (as this one was) could be so bad. This book is, as has been said here, nothing but a political yammerfest written so badly that it is neither a good thriller, nor a good political discussion. It will be the last time I waste money on this author :(
mnprincess_jd1 More than 1 year ago
The first novel by this author was compelling and suspensful this is not the case with this novel. The plot of the book is not immeadeatly clear and when it does become clear it is evident that the author is using the book to express his views on global warming and religon and trying and failing at disguising it at a thriller. The book is insulting to anyone who doesn't share the opions expressed in the book.
grumpydan More than 1 year ago
It begins with the appearance of 'the sign' a mysterious glowing apparition in the Antarctica. I thought form that I would enjoy a great thriller, but this is not the case with this book. The plot is thin; the characters are not developed and the book is more or less and avenue in expressing the author's political and religious views. I expected more and got less. I do not recommend "The Sign" for anyone looking for a good thriller or mystery to read.
JeremyJLandry More than 1 year ago
The Sign is a great story - plot devices from political intrigue (without being boring or long-winded) to religious and action themes abound. Several of the author's evident opinions, such as his blatant dislike of George W. Bush and non-liberal policies jarred me out of the story, but if you overlook them, the story was fast-paced and a thought-provoking read. Also, some Christians may have a problem with the story, but my beliefs were perfectly embodied by Father Jerome. Ideas to mull over and make you question why some things are the way they are were littered throughout. As you can tell from my headline, I thought Crusader Gold was excellently written, but The Sanctuary for me was, in a word, boring. The Sign was most definitely a quality read, and for me, Raymond Khoury's best book to date.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I did not enjoy this book as much as I had hoped. I suppose my expectations were too great since reading "The Last Templar".
Darth-Vader More than 1 year ago
Raymond Khoury definitely capitalizes on the popularity of Dan Brown. However his storytelling falls flat an I agree he has a political agenda. If you can't wait for The Lost Symbol seek out Steve Berry or James Rollins you won't be disappointed.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
gc98 More than 1 year ago
The Sign. I enjoyed reading this story. :)
Connie1950 More than 1 year ago
I am always amazed when an author intertwines their own political views within their works.  Why would anyone with half a brain insult the other half of America?  I truly believe Mr. Khoury was so  enamored when Obama won the presidency that he jumped on the Messiah bandwagon and totally forgot to get off.
rodman2735 More than 1 year ago
Great characters. Great story line. Overall, very well done. Consider me a Khoury fan.
cowboymidalo More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed this book very much. The characters and the plot held my interest and kept me reading. With many twists and turns the story was not concluded and the mystery not revealed till the last pages. I have read all of this authors novels and have enjoyed all of them immensely. Although I did not think this was his best novel it is definitely worth reading.
humaneisfact More than 1 year ago
an exciting thriller that anyone who appreciates Dan Brown or Preston and Child would enjoy.Bad reviews seem to come from people who can not get past their own political views and realize this is just a work of fiction.Too many people are not mature enough to read a (thriller)novel and judge it on its merits-was it exciting?was it fast paced?was it character driven? Instead they only care that the plot may involve scenarios that seem to shed certain political views in a positive or negative light.So if the heros of a novel have leftist slants then right wingers will give the book one star.And vice versa.So you could say this work of fiction is controversial.I'd say those who loved Atlas Shrugged hate this novel "Signs".But Atlas Shrugged is a wel lwritten book even though the subject is controversial,.So is Signs.
DIAMONDTROY More than 1 year ago
I so looked forward to reading this his 3rd book . How disappointing, full of left wing hatred and BS. Bush and Reagan Bashing. I liked the first part but found the ending and the authors comments offensive and out of place in this type of book. As a result I am done with him and his left wing sermons. He is probably a NY times best seller because the all sleep together. When did being a Christian become a bad thing? Stay in England and keep your junk there. Your affiliation with the media comes out loud and clear.
Leavenworth More than 1 year ago
I guess I should have paid attention to the other reviews, but I read this because I've enjoyed his past novels so much. Khoury lets his viewpoint overload his story, leaving just a really bad book. I'll think carefully before buying another.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The book was way over the top. I was offended by the religous bashing and I am NOT a religious person. I tend to agree with his basic premise and I was still offended. This was the last book I will read by Mr Khoury.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago