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Sanctuary Paperback – May 1 2008

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 480 pages
  • Publisher: Orion (May 1 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0753894009
  • ISBN-13: 978-0753894002
  • Product Dimensions: 2.8 x 11.1 x 17.8 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 259 g
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Gillian White on Oct. 1 2007
Format: Hardcover
I loved Khoury's first book - The Last Templar - even if like all novels of this genre, it was rather silly. So I expected more of the same enjoyable nonsense with this book. How wrong could I be? The big problem is that he takes far too long to reveal The Big Secret. Anybody with half a brain will have figured it out well in advance, realised that it's not such a big deal after all, and nowhere near interesting enough to fill a 450 page novel.

The other problem I have with this book is the page after page after page of chase scenes and shoot outs. I guess the authors of these books think it's necessary, but it's also horrendously tedious, and makes me skip page after page in a desperate attempt to get back to the point.

This really was absolutely underwhelming stuff. When you have to force yourself to finish a book on point of principle, you know you're in trouble.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By FRED on Aug. 23 2007
Format: Hardcover
I loved Raymond Khoury`S first novel The Last Templar. So I could not wait for "The Sanctuary." Khoury is able to mix a historical mystery from the 18th century into a fascinating suspense thriller. I don't want to reveal too much of the plot as that would ruin the read, but it starts out in 2003 with a US Army unit on patrol in Baghdad making a gruesome discovery. How is what the Army unit find related to an 18th century feud between an Italian prince and a mysterious marquis? You'll have to read the book to find out, but the author deftly mixes the action with plenty of historical scholarship to create a fascinating "what if?" If you liked "The Last Templar" or The Da Vinci Codeyou'll be just as happy reading "The Sanctuary."
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 68 reviews
56 of 65 people found the following review helpful
A huge disappointment from Khoury Aug. 29 2007
By Brian Baker - Published on
Format: Hardcover
I really liked Khoury's first novel, "The Last Templar", and gave it a rave review last year when it first hit the shelves. I was eagerly awaiting his next book.

What a disappointment. Most writers improve upon the skills they exhibit in their first published work; sadly, Khoury hasn't pulled this off. I didn't think it was possible for a writer to become formulaic with only two published works, but sadly that's what's happened here.

Whereas I found "Templar" to be original, fast paced, and with richly drawn characters, "Sanctuary" was simply a "Templar" knock-off without the upside. The characterizations were flat and - in some cases - confusing. Characters suddenly changed actions and apparent motivations mid-stream simply as a device to create surprise twists in a mundane and linear plot. The "McGuffin" of the story (I won't reveal it so as not to spoil it for others) was unbelievable, and again lacked clarity. Whereas in "Templar" the flashback scenes almost stole the whole book, in "Sanctuary" they were - again - muddled and disjointed.

Further, Khoury wrote this whole thing in the breathless style of pulp fiction, with non-stop chases and gunfights, and cliché damsels-in-distress. Frankly, that's pretty boring. Look at some of Tom Clancy's best work; the scenes of actual violence are few and far between, used to great effect as highlights to the plot, not as the only point to the story. As Hitchcock said, it's not the violence that's terrifying, it's the anticipation of the violence. Khoury needs to learn that lesson.

One last thing. Whoever edited this book needs to take another crack before the paperback version comes out. There are a lot of misusages of American English, unforgivable for a book in which the central characters are all Americans. For example, many times in the book, when writing about a gun being pointed at another character, Khoury refers to the end of the gun barrel as the gun's "nozzle". I don't know what Khoury's native language is, but fire hoses have "nozzles". Guns have "muzzles".

Sorry, can't recommend this one at all.
21 of 23 people found the following review helpful
Quit mid stream Jan. 25 2008
By Paul Forcina - Published on
Format: Hardcover
For those who pressed on, I hope the book gets better. Never before have I quit a book in the middle. The Sanctuary forced me to do it.

Ladies, please don't take this next section the wrong way. Tess, the heroine of Khoury's The Last Templar, I could handle. As an encore, Khoury drums up a grandmotherly archaeologist and her daughter. The characters didn't have much substance, whether on the side of good or evil, they were character props more than well drawn characters. They simply couldn't hold my attention.

A struggling author friend of mine read one time that, "the road to hell is paved with adverbs". Now, I may be exaggerating here because I no longer have the text in front of me, but - in the first section, taking place in Naples of the past, Khoury uses "menacingly" four times in as many paragraphs. Amateurish.

Skip over this one.
20 of 22 people found the following review helpful
Quasi-immortality does not bring happiness! Oct. 15 2007
By Robert C. Olson - Published on
Format: Hardcover
Good read. Mr. Khoury tackles an interesting subject: What if you could live 3 times longer than the average person? Would this bring you happiness? Or, would it bring problems that the average person does not have to deal with? In this interesting "time" thriller Mr. Khoury endeavors to answer this. Using flashbacks to prior centuries and a race between ancient antagonists and their offspring, The Sanctuary alternates between the old and modern day to analyze a quest for an age altering elixir of life. It's real, it works, but does it bring happiness? That seems to be the premise that Mr. Khoury tries to answer.
The problem with books of this type is they usually become bloated with several plot lines running simultaneously. Not so with The Sanctuary. Mr. Khoury keeps the past in perspective and keeps the reader engaged with the present. Hard to do but The Sanctuary pulls it off. Also, when dealing with elixirs and immortality the tendency is to pontificate but in The Sanctuary Mr. Khoury allows the story to carry the action. The ending is reasonable and not too far fetched. Mr. Khoury does a good job with a difficult subject and keeps the reader involved.
No gratuitous sex or language. Some violence but necessary for plot development. The wolves scene toward the end is well done.
Recommended. Not quite as good as The Last Templar but a good solid read that tackles a difficult subject. Will make the reader think.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Enjoyed very much May 28 2014
By THE BOOK DORK - Published on
Format: Hardcover
I always like a novel that utilizes the past and brings it forward to the present. I enjoyed The Sanctuary very much and enjoyed delving into the past to explain what was going on in the present. It was at times a bit hard to stay up with - I found I had to re-read a chapter after putting down for the night. I didn't catch on to the "plot" until 2/3rds the way thru the book-that was ok. Found some of the characters useless, but they had to be added to draw other characters into the storyline. Over all I loved the ending. Recommend. THE BOOK DORK
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Very good until the end Sept. 24 2008
By G. Henson - Published on
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This fantastical thriller is a riveting thriller with some interesting curves thrown in for the first 80 percent of the novel. The last 20 percent, however, is a disappointment. Much of it seems like filler, and the ends that need to be tied up are done so in a hurried and a little too pat manner. It seems strange that he seemed to waste so many pages on unnecessary scenes and then hurried at the very end. Still, it is a cut above much of the other thriller genre.

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