Now this was one book I had been eagerly been waiting for. I had even visited his website and played the pre-release game and won the prize which was a message from Dan Brown saying that if I was able to decipher the code in the cover page and send it to him, he will send me a signed copy of the book. This was applicable on the first 33 people.
So I eagerly went to Landmark, purchased the book at the discounted prize which ironically still was expensive(Rs 599) only to realize that there was no code in the front cover.
Only then did I realize that as with the HP 7 book, the actual cover was not published in India and it was an Indian cover altogether. So much for my hopes of cracking the code.
Coming to the book itself, It is written in classical Dan brown style with lots of fact and fiction mixed together in such a way that you wont know where one ends and another begins. You see things you do and see in a entirely different perspective. It makes you wonder what had made you so blind so as not to see all that. It arouses you imagination, challenges you existing beliefs and makes you aware there is something more to things that what you see.
Overall the book is a good read. But I did not find it worth the exorbitant amount I paid to have it or the hours of study time I wasted to read it.
You may ask Why? ...
Well first of all, the story has nothing new to offer in term on a baseline.
As a engineer I would say Dan Brown has created a Class of story and all his novels are Objects of this same class.
As a cook I might say, he has used the same old recipe again and again.
As a fan I would say "Dude, don't you get tired of writing the same old shit"
1 ) Same plot as used in Da vinci and A&D. One hero...(no prizes there... its Robert again still doing 50 laps in the pool).
2 ) Same concept of signs hidden in buildings. ( London and Paris, Rome etc) This time its W D.C.
3 )Secret cult/brotherhood(Illuminati, Priori of Sion, etc) protecting ancient secrets that have the potential to change world.
4 )Advancement in Science that opposes the ideas of the secret.(actually here it was collaborating with that of the ancients.)
5 )One evil demonic figure(Silas et all) hell bent on bringing the secret in the open.
6 )One map(The path of Illumination, The Cryptex, The single digit code et all) that tries and tests whether you deserve to know the secret or not
7 ) The map this time is not very long and it has very things to offer. Not much for cryptographers mind here.
8 ) Misunderstanding between Langdon and Government officials. Langdon escaping, chased by police.
and everything in between. Ppl getting killed. blasts, etc.
The only thing that changes is the way the signs are decoded and the underlying history behind it. The etymology of frequently used words and why we use certain phrases (I found the one about giving the 3rd degree a good one).
Overall I think it was a big let down after months of anticipation and waiting.
Overall: Typical Dan Brown but fast getting boring. I swear if I get the same plot next time,I'm throwing the book out of the window with its price label still attached.
Originality of Story: 2
Facts and information: 10
Suspense and Thriller: 8 (yes it has its good edges and U turns)
Price: 6 (you really should wait for the paperback cheaper ones)