The final installment in the Sanctus trilogy, The Tower (Sanctus and The Key being the other two) brings the trilogy to an unsatisfying end. After keeping pace with the exploits of Liv and Gabriel, we’re brought back to the world of Ruin in an unconventional way. The Hubble Space Telescope has been sabotaged and of course, an ancient religious order turns out to be responsible for the act. If you’ve read the first part of the trilogy, this is the modus operandi for the entire trilogy. And almost from the outset, Toyne has slipped into hurried laziness. While the first two installments had startlingly clean prose for thrillers with crisp action and dialogue, this installment feels too forced. Perhaps Toyne had a drop-dead deadline to submit his manuscript, since there’s such a drop off of the cliff in terms of the writing quality between the first two novels and this one.
Whatever the reason may be, the quality of The Tower doesn’t quite live up to the standard Toyne set for himself with Sanctus and The Key. Yes, we get to go back to the world of Ruin, but it isn’t quite the same. A viral outbreak ensues, the final days of the prophecy are set to ensue, and the finale of the trilogy is all packaged up into this novel. Toyne probably tried too hard to wrap up all the loose ends as was evidenced by the creation of a single character whose only purpose was to give information to the reader merely for the plot within this book alone. Lazy writing meant that I didn’t quite speed through this installment as fast as I did the previous two. The reader is to be advised that merely reading the first novel may be sufficient to get the full experience of the entire trilogy (although The Key was worth reading as well).
Even though the trilogy was wrapped up with The Tower, it seems anticlimactic and at times I wished Toyne had just tacked a few extra pages onto the end of The Key to wrap up the whole story arc of Ruin itself. The plot in this thriller was preposterous even by thriller standards, and I highly recommend potential readers to read Sanctus first. I hesitate to give a favorable recommendation to this volume, which brought such a disappointing end to such an entertaining trilogy (especially after the first two books). A real letdown for thriller fans, and of fans of the Sanctus trilogy. On the upside, it’s not quite as bad as Inferno by Dan Brown was. But Toyne is a far better writer than Dan Brown ever has been, so it’s more of a disappointment to see this low-quality prose and sloppy writing. I had higher expectations for Toyne.
Despite the sloppiness and laziness, The Tower still is better than many other thrillers out there. I just wouldn’t recommend it to anybody who has limited time to read, or doesn’t want to plow through a trilogy for a disappointing payoff.
Overall grade – D+
Edition: William Morrow, First Edition (June 11, 2013)
Binding: Hardcover with dustjacket
Page Count: 464