Pages: 480 Publish Date: May 14, 2013
This is one of the few novels I anticipated so much that I pre-ordered it. I think Dan Brown has considerable talent & I always look forward to his next project. I will admit I got myself very worked up counting down the days until I could tear into it.
Now to the ugly truth. I was less than impressed with Dan Brown’s writing in this, his fourth novel in the Robert Langdon series. He usually mixes the perfect concoction of history, drama, suspense, & visuals. The major problem I had with this novel was his formula was asymmetrical. He focused too much on giving the reader visuals, so much so that at points I was bored & wanted to skip pages. At times it actually almost felt like a guidebook rather than historical fiction. I know he travels a lot for his research & this undeniably had a Frommer’s feel to it. The story in it’s base form was highly entertaining, although the symbology & hunt for said symbols was not as good as in “The DaVinci Code”. High points? It did have a skillful & flawless ending. Dan Brown also managed to provoke thinking on the ever present issue of overpopulation.
It was on the NYT bestseller list for 17 weeks (11 of those weeks at #1) which I find truly remarkable because of the mixed reviews it received. In the end, I miss the sense of urgency that Dan Brown is known for, so I give it a 3 out of 5 stars. I will invariably look forward to Dan Brown’s future work & what secrets it may have the world contemplating.