Move over Dan Brown, Simon Toyne has arrived!
You have to love a novel where a major plot point hinges on apple seeds found in the stomach of a corpse. Not just apple seeds, but apple seeds inscribed with a message. (How does that work, exactly? Doesn’t it make you curious??) And not just a message, but a cryptic message.
For fans of the action thriller genre, this is going to be a treat. Take a look at the website — a series of book trailers revealing one mystery after another (including footage of the apple seeds, by the way).
Sanctus is already an international best seller, scheduled to be published in 60 countries and 12 languages. For all my teasing, I know several teens who will eat this right up.
Adult/High School–For millennia, the cloistered monks of the Citadel (a mountain-cum-church/city located in the Turkish city of Ruin) have guarded the Sacrament; for the same millennia, the Mala have tried to recover the Sacrament, hoping to fulfill a mysterious prophecy. Brother Samuel has just been inducted into the Sancti, the Citadel’s inner circle, but is sickened by his new knowledge of the Sacrament and is beaten and thrown into a dungeon. Despite injuring himself during his escape, he manages to climb to the top of the mountain. There he assumes the form of the sacred Tau for several hours and then, while a crowd watches, pitches himself off the mountain. During the post-mortem, it is learned that his cells are healing/regenerating, and that his stomach contains a strip of leather with a phone number and apple seeds inscribed with a cryptic message. While the monks are supposed to enter the Citadel without family ties, it turns out that Samuel has a sister–his formerly conjoined twin–and the phone number is for her cell phone. She heads to Ruin to find out what happened to him, encountering the military branch of the Citadel, members of the Mala, and the Turkish police along the way. With kidnappings, bombings, and religious riddles, this first book in the trilogy has plenty of action and mystery. It’s sure to entice teens who loved Dan Brown’s The Da Vinci Code (Doubleday, 2003), Kathleen McGowan’s The Expected One (Touchstone, 2006), and others in the genre.–Laura Pearle, Venn Consultants, Carmel, NY