I’m not sure if this has pulled me out of my reading slump, but I did read it. When I got the notification from the library for this I was surprised. I had completely forgotten that I’d requested this.
I wasn’t exactly chomping at the bit to read this, but I figured why not? Brown might not be the most high brow of authors, but the man knows how to write a page turner (mostly). I still remember reading The Da Vinci Code it’s year of publication and quickly seeking out Angels and Demons and Deception Point. Ever since then I’ve made a habit of reading his books as they’re released. I enjoyed both The Lost Symbol and Inferno, and this one probably falls somewhere with those two. The wonder and awe as the action in Da Vinci Code unfolded just wasn’t there in the follow ups.
Where I struggled with this book was the super slow start. It took almost 100 pages before the book really started to pick up the pace, which felt very odd to me. I feel like Brown usually writes engaging fast-paced page turners. The only reason I stuck with it is because so much of the book took place in Spain, specifically the parts that we visited a few years ago (here, here and here). It’s always fun to read a book set somewhere you’ve spent time and this one really made me want to go to Bilbao to visit the Guggenheim there.
What I will say is that I’m excited Brown appears to be moving closer to where he started in the tech world. Deception Point was an interesting book and rather than being focused on Art History and Symbology it focused more on science and technology. This book felt like a good hybrid/meeting ground between the two books. I’m not sure this one is any more believable than what we’re supposed to believe happens in Deception Point, but everything is possible if you can suspend your disbelief long enough.
Recommendation: If you want a relatively quick page tuner then this is a good book. It’s a good summer read that is (mostly) engaging. There are some interesting art works discussed that I still want to see and many discussed that I have seen. Overall, this was another good entry in the Robert Langdon series.
Opening Line: “As the ancient cogwheel train clawed its way up the dizzying incline, Edmond Kirsch surveyed the jagged mountaintop above him.”
Closing Line: “In that instant, Langdon felt the tiniest of tremors in the earth beneath him, as if a tipping point had been reached…as if religious thought had just traversed the farthest reaches of its orbit and was now circling back, wearied from its long journey, and finally coming home.” (Whited out to avoid spoilers, highlight to read.)