The Tower
  • The Tower
  • The Tower

The Tower

4.8 25
by Simon Toyne
     
 

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After the risecomes the fall

When a cyber-attack at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Maryland disables the Hubble telescope and the Nobel Prize–winning scientist in charge disappears, the only clues left behind are a cryptic countdown clock and a chilling message displayed on the missing man's computer: Mankind Must Look No Further.

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Overview

After the risecomes the fall

When a cyber-attack at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Maryland disables the Hubble telescope and the Nobel Prize–winning scientist in charge disappears, the only clues left behind are a cryptic countdown clock and a chilling message displayed on the missing man's computer: Mankind Must Look No Further.

Newly appointed FBI agent Joe Shepherd, a former academic star with degrees in astrophysics and computer science, is uniquely qualified to handle the investigation, but he is also hiding some secrets of his own. He discovers a note in the missing scientist's handwriting that reads "end of days" and further evidence linking the cyber-attack to a series of strange events from eight months earlier—an explosion at the Citadel, an ancient monastery in Turkey; the deadly viral outbreak that occurred in its wake; and the disappearance of an American journalist named Liv Adamsen and ex–special forces operative Gabriel Mann.

Liv has been trapped in the Syrian Desert, a prisoner of the prophecy that drove her there and now whispers of terrible things to come. Gabriel, infected and tormented by the deadly virus he carried out of the Citadel, is desperate to return before it spreads.

Shepherd's investigation takes him on a journey to the secrets at the very edge of the universe and also deep into his own past as the countdown clock continues and extraordinary events begin to manifest around the globe—animals migrating out of season, extreme weather battering the planet, people deserting the cities as they answer a growing urge to return to their original homes. In this exhilarating conclusion to the internationally bestselling Ruin trilogy, one woman's destiny weaves the past and present together in a way that will change the future for us all. But what is the "end of days" and what does it really mean for humankind—will it be revelation or devastation?

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Federal agents probe a computer attack on the Hubble telescope, ostensibly the work of a religious cult, in this anxiety-inducing final addition to a trilogy by Toyne (Sanctus, The Key). The salty FBI veteran Franklin teams with recruit Shepherd, a Cambridge-educated cosmologist, to stay ahead of an enigmatic countdown, track missing scientists, and contend with a creepy duo of assassins guided by "the Archangel". Meanwhile, global civilization halts as everyone rushes home, submitting to a strange emotion—"like that feeling you get when you're running late," in Shepherd's chilling phrase. It's all linked to the outbreak, eight months earlier, of a lethal affliction known as "the blight." Originating from the Citadel, a religious cloister in a fictional Turkish city,, the disease separates journalist Liv Adamsen from her love Gabriel Mann. As they seek to reunite, a religious prophecy may lead everyone to the end of days. Toyne's descriptive skill makes for a story that is cinematically vivid. With many characters separated by time and space, the plot takes a while to cohere, but the relentless pace makes the action addicting. (June)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780062225900
Publisher:
HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
06/11/2013
Series:
Sanctus Trilogy
Pages:
454
Product dimensions:
6.44(w) x 9.12(h) x 1.47(d)

Meet the Author

Simon Toyne has worked in British television for twenty years. He was the writer, director, and producer on several award-winning shows, one of which won a BAFTA. He lives in England with his wife and family. The Tower is the stunning conclusion to the Ruin trilogy.

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The Tower (Special Edition) 4.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 25 reviews.
ABookAWeekES More than 1 year ago
In 2011, I was introduced to the religious conspiracy thriller, Sanctus, by Simon Toyne. While Sanctus shared some similarities with the Robert Langdon series by Dan Brown, I was impressed with the way Toyne was able to take the phenomenon that was surrounding religious thrillers and make something uniquely his own.  In The Tower, the third and final novel in Toyne's Sancti Trilogy, we meet Joe Shepherd. While still a student at the FBI Academy in Quantico, Shepherd is temporarily given the qualifications of a full FBI agent, in order to allow him to assist with an investigation. Recently, a cyber-attack was mounted against the command center for NASA's Hubble Telescope, leaving the orbiting machine unusable. Even worse than the attack itself is what investigators discover at the center. The American scientist who oversaw the Hubble project is nowhere to be found. Left behind is a countdown clock and the message on his computer, "Mankind Must Look No Further." Shepherd investigates with his teacher turned partner, Benjamin Franklin, and uses his unique knowledge of the scientific community (he was once a student working as a NASA intern) to uncover clues to the mysterious events. But as he begins to find answers, more questions arise. There seems to be a religious connection to events that occurred months earlier, at the Citadel, a monastery that lies within the Turkish city of Ruin. All signs point to these strange events, leading Shepherd to race against the clock to discover secrets that could potentially lead to the end of the world.  Readers of the previous novels will recall the American reporter, Liv Adamsen and the ex-special forces operative, Gabriel Mann, who were the main focus of those stories. They appear in this novel, as well, and we begin to see the connections of their story to the events taking place in America. As the novel progresses, we see Gabriel struggle to fight against the strange blight, a plague like disease that originated in the Citadel and slowly spreads through Ruin, and find Liz, trapped in the deserts of southern Asia. All three characters face their own troubles, as they soon intersect into a thrilling end.  Throughout this trilogy, Simon Toyne has managed to successfully maintain a commitment to relatable characters, thoughtful plotting, and page-turning pacing. This combination has made his novels thrillingly entertaining to read. The opening of this novel takes a bit of time to get rolling, especially as it introduces the new character, Joe Shepherd. Fortunately, Shepherd continues the Toyne tradition of being believably flawed while still being interesting. As his story begins to take shape, the momentum of the inevitable ending begins to mount, and the story becomes completely engaging. While Toyne does a nice job of subtly providing some backstory, to fill in readers who missed the first two installments, there are parts of this story that simply will not work for readers who are coming into this novel without reading the others. Despite this, there are enough new characters and plot points to grab a new reader's attention. Overall, this series may not be perfect, but it is a remarkably effective form of entertainment by an author who has quickly become one of my favorites. 
MdannNYC More than 1 year ago
     First of all I should disclose that I am a Simon Toyne fan. He captivated me with the first book of his trilogy, Sanctus. The notion of an underground movement to release the Goddess into our male dominated world I found to be truly original. The idea became more and more plausible as Mr. Toyne continued his story into the second book The Key. By the time I finished reading this second installment, I couldn’t believe I was expected to wait for the author to finish writing the third and for it to be released by the publisher. By this time I had become such a Toyne addict that when I learned The Tower would be available in the UK six weeks before the US, I ordered the UK edition. Now that the final installment is available in the US, I feel a bit smug at having read it before the rest of Toyne’s American audience.      Here's  the synopsis from the dust jacket:      “The forbidden Citadel at the heart of the ancient Turkish city of Ruin opens its gates for the first time in history. Why now, after centuries of secrecy?       “A deadly disease has erupted within, and threatens to spread beyond its walls. Infected charity worker Gabriel Mann may hold the cure –but can one dying man stop an epidemic?      “Without him Liv Adamsen, a former journalist, is vulnerable, surrounded by strangers in the desert oasis that is her new home. Liv, however, has far bigger concerns than just her own life…      “In the USA, newly qualified FBI agent Joe Shepherd investigates the disappearance of NASA’s most senior professor. Is it a vanishing act, or something darker? Shepherd’s investigation approaches a powerful conspiracy with a global reach, and profound consequences.      “For them all, this much is clear: something big is coming. Something that will change everything. But will it be a new beginning or The End of Days?”         Mr. Toyne’s books are not the garden variety mysteries. There are no old ladies or self-possessed inspectors here. Instead, his story germinates from a part of the world most of us have not visited, the interior of Turkey. The spark that sets everything into action is the suicide of an American monk who resided at a monastery called The Citadel. Even the name foreshadows the battle to come. This, however, is also not your typical Church conspiracy puzzle involving the Knights Templar, Messianic bloodlines or Masonic mysteries. This is a full-blown, action packed power struggle.      The adage is ‘knowledge is power.’ The monks of the Citadel have amassed a library of the entire world’s knowledge which is off limits to all but the members of a particular rank of the hierarchy, and certainly closed to the outside world. The hierarchy wields such power that there is no conflict or strife or disease within the confines of the monastery. All are devoted to The Sacrament even though only the top echelon knows or understands what it is. Once the sacrament is released into the world, circumstances change. A mysterious plague is unleashed and all available resources are engaged to recover it. Allegiances shift like desert sand leaving the reader to wonder who the good guys are. In true fashion of the genre, readers are given the ah-ha at the end.      I have two complaints I would lodge against Mr. Toyne. The first is that his books are such page-turners nearly 500 pages don’t last very long. The second is that I will have to go to readers rehab now that this series has come to an end.                         
Novembers_Saturday More than 1 year ago
This was a great trilogy and The Tower is a super ending to it! It was a little hard to switch back and forth between the present and 8 months ago but it did explain a lot of unanswered facts from the first two books. Overall I would recommend it! I will be watching for the next tale from Mr. Simon Toyne!
t_b_m More than 1 year ago
This book states that there was a culture that lived "thousands of years earlier" and founded religion, but were a secret isolated society. The book missed the opportunity to develop more mystery in the Tower and perhaps create more mysticism as well. Some of the personal relationships that unfolded were unbelievable. Also the symbolism attached to the artifacts could have been explored more deeply. I enjoyed the books for entertainment, and they did not require much analysis or thought.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I read the entire trilogy in a week, could not put the books down. Highly recommend .
LinLeeLP More than 1 year ago
I really enjoyed the entire trilogy. Couldn't put them down at all.
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neh820 More than 1 year ago
Really enjoyed the entire trilogy.
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Awesome end to an excellent trilogy. I couldn't put this down. I highly recommend!
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