I first read Dan Brown’s novels when I was in High School, right before The Da Vinci Code exploded and was everywhere. I actually read all four of his books before they even considered making a film or the Da Vinci Code had been on the bestseller list for however many record-breaking weeks it was there for. I’ve always enjoyed them because of their conspiracy theory vibes and ties to history.
Now I’m not sure about the factual basis of the book or even the conspiratorial basis of the book, but overall I enjoyed it as a light read to pass the time. We once again found ourselves with the middle-aged Harvard professor Robert Langdon tied up in a beyond the ordinary, generally unbelievable sequence of events that reveals a seemingly earth shattering concept. This novels dealing with the Freemasons and the various traditions and legends associated with them.
Although equally as complex and detailed as his other novels, I probably appreciated this one more having recently visited DC. I recognized a lot of the places as he was describing them and even figured out (with about 20 pages to spare) where they were going at the end. Due to the way I read any novel, I was completely surprised by two parts. I doubt it was due to Brown’s genius authoring, but mostly due to my gullible readership. When I read a novel I put everything into the moment in the novel and I do try to think ahead, but only so far as the next few seconds/minutes in the novel and am therefore more often than not surprised by things that happen and it’s one of the reasons I love reading all sorts of books.
One of the things I do enjoy about Dan Brown, regardless of his mass appeal and his mainstream audience is his mixture of science and history. In his first two novels Digital Fortress and Deception Point his focus was primarily intrigue and science, and with The Da Vinci Code it was mostly history. However, both Angels and Demons and The Lost Symbol had an interesting combination of history and science that made both of the novels that much more interesting regardless of their factual inaccuracies.
Overall I would recommend this as a beach read as long as you weren’t reading it as a hardcore truth or as a work of nonfiction as it’s CLEARLY a fictional novel. I just love how much controversy he has stirred up by writing that ‘these novels are based on fact.’