I’ve read a few of Dan Brown’s books now, after enjoying The Da Vinci Code and they’ve been something of a disappointment. The Da Vinci Code is the pinnacle of his book series, which started with Digital Fortress. That this is his first work shows. While the ideas aren’t bad, some of the information is spoon-fed to the audience (admittedly this was released in 1998, but who doesn’t know what the NSA is and what it does, do we really need paragraph after paragraph of marketing explaining how brilliant they are?).
Before you consider the outlandish plot you have to content with characters which are walking stereotypes and somewhat chauvinistic. There may not be many places he steps over the ridiculous plot line quite so much as in Angels & Demons with the lead character jumping out of a helicopter several hundred feet up and surviving unscathed, but for anyone with an ounce of IT knowledge, he’s not far behind.
I wasn’t massively impressed with Angels & Demons when I read it, but it shows the improvements, although not complete, on the path to his best seller, which isn’t a classic but is a good read and in which he manages to rein in much of the ridiculous (I know, I have read it, but trust me, the other books are worse). Digital Fortress is one to avoid though.
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Reviewed: 4th May 2009