Simon Toyne is back with the second in the trilogy that began with last year’s widely-praised Sanctus. The Key is a well-written, intriguing, action-packed conspiracy thriller, and a great recommendation for kids who like a Da Vinci Code kind of book.
HarperCollins offers an excerpt on their website.
Adult/High School–At the end of Sanctus, the Citadel of Ruin survived a bomb attack, the Sacrament was released from its prison, Kathryn Mann and Eve were in the hospital, and Gabriel Mann was in jail. This second book in the trilogy keeps the pace and action of the first and furthers readers’ knowledge of the Prophecy. With the Sacrament gone, the Sancti are dying and the internal rule of the Citadel of Ruin is in shambles and the remaining leadership is struggling to figure out how to assign control. Brother Athanasius hopes to modernize the Citadel, but his plans are derailed first by the emergence of a mysterious disease that destroys the Citadel’s garden and then by a flesh-eating bacteria that attacks those working there. The Vatican is concerned, particularly Cardinal Clementi, the secretary to the Pope and manager of the Vatican’s bank, because disarray in Ruin could reveal hidden truths (like the Sacrament’s existence). The survivors of the bomb attack must be silenced. There’s a Mirror Prophecy that leads a reunited Gabriel and Liv from Ruin to New Jersey, back to Ruin, and then to Iraq in search of Eden (yes, the Eden of the Old Testament) even as they try to outrun the Vatican’s assassin. There’s also the mysterious Ghost who may or may not be working to help the Americans in their oil exploration and the Vatican in its search for ancient relics. The ending leaves readers wondering what can possibly happen next. The Key will appeal to teen fans of action-adventure and conspiracy books.–Laura Pearle, Venn Consultants, Carmel, NY