There were a few books I could have chosen for this post. There were books that I was forced to read in school where you already have a preconception that it will be boring and then suddenly find yourself unable to put the book down. There were also books that I have read so far on my top 100 books challenge that I had not heard of but ended up falling in love with the characters and worlds contained within them. I chose this book though as I believe it is not that well-known compared to the successors in the series, yet it was the first book by this author that I read, and I have to say it is his best work. A friend recommended that I read the first two books in this series; I had heard of the second one as it was outselling everything else at the time but I didn’t know it was actually the second book in a series. The story line on paper for this book isn’t something that appealed to me, I can’t say exactly why but it just didn’t grab my attention. However just a few chapters into this book and it certainly had my attention, you literally feel you are being dragged along in a whirlwind with your heart beating too fast and adrenaline flooding your veins from cover to cover. Drum roll please…
As you may know, this is the first in the series of books about Robert Langdon, a Havard professor, the most famous book in the series being The Da Vinci Code, which succeeded this book. Each book involves the protagonist somehow being embroiled in a race against time to save the victims from the evil force in the book. To do this Robert Langdon’s expertise in religious symbology is required to solve the mystery that is unfolding. As I said before, it didn’t really appeal to me on paper, it all sounds a bit bookish and also a bit clichéd: the protagonist is our unlikely hero, his only superpower being an unusual talent that somehow makes him the only person who can save the world. If you think that sounds a bit dull and maybe a bit condescending, that maybe it will all be dumbed down for you so that you can follow the plot, then you needn’t worry. I had never read a book that had so much action yet at the same time almost made my brain hurt with the amount of information I had to take in, but somehow I never felt lost in the fast paced story line. I have no idea if half the information in the book has a foundation in fact but when I’m reading it I don’t care, you somehow feel exhilarated as the characters work out the next clues, even though if you were to try to explain it all to some one else later you might not be able to, but at the time it all makes perfect sense. Since reading this book I have read the next two in the series, I’ve not read the latest one yet but I don’t think Dan Brown will ever do better than this one, the combination of action, thriller, mystery and suspense is just right and I don’t think it could ever be replicated successfully. Even if you’ve already read some of Dan Brown’s other works give this a try, it is honestly in my opinion his best and shouldn’t be missed.