Our resident Brit is back again with his 5th novel in the Robert Langdon series.
The book opens with the well known professor Robert Langdon travelling to the Guggenheim Museum, in Bilbao, to witness the unveiling of Edmond Kirsch’s discovery that “will change science forever” – now we’re interested. A scientific breakthrough that will shock every soul right to the marrow. And due to Edmond Kirsch’s past, little doubt his abilities.
But the great reveal could never be shown as a very unfortunate set of events start to begin. Langdon’s life is in danger yet again; he has no choice but to escape with the museum’s director by his side (yes, this is a pretty female, of course). They make their way to Barcelona to try and discover Kirsch’s secret password to unlock the PowerPoint (a little anti-climatic, not a giant gold plated box or a dusty door that hasn’t been opened in 3 thousand years, but it pays off, we promise). This is a Dan Brown novel, so winding paths, secrets, riddles and cryptic passwords are to be expected. Their only guide to their goal is modern art and symbols. Can they discover what they are looking for? You’ll have to read to find out!
Mr. Brown has a wonderfully extensive vocabulary- yet doesn’t bore us, showing us just how well he knows the English language. We must remember you don’t need to have a PHD or University degree to write a book. Harry Potter has remarkably simple language, yet is one of the best selling and adored books of all time. Dan has the ability to tell his wonderful stories very well and effortlessly, so we don’t notice the lack of long-winded metaphors. It’s actually quite refreshing. There is also a lot of explaining, but for simple beings like ourselves, we invite this. We will not know when The Parliament of the world’s religions started and what it consists of, we need some prompting and baby-talk. Some of the explanations do feel like fillers, but again, for those interested in history, this is hardly a bad point, the only ones we feel would protest to these lengthy details would be those that just want Robert to kiss the girl, find the goal, fly away into the distance in a helicopter and have as many explosions happen in the process. You need to fill a cake so it doesn’t cave in, the same goes for a book.
The reason we’ve always enjoyed Dan Brown is he doesn’t take these huge points too seriously. Religion and Science, if you pop in politics in there you have the 3 driving forces of our world. “Science and religion are not competitors, they’re two different languages trying to tell the same story,” - and we couldn’t agree more. Brown doesn’t push religion on anyone, nor does he say it doesn’t exist. He fills the pot holes than any open-minded soul will have asked their science and religious education teachers with no answer. So, we thank you for that Dan. But overall, it’s to be taken with a pinch of salt, it’s fiction after all and Dan Brown has agreed to the word ‘fiction’ being on back of his book for a reason. This one is for the nerd and geeks who just love a good book.
Thank you to Penguin Random House UK for kindly sending us a review copy.