As the event begins, Langdon and several hundred guests find themselves captivated by an utterly original presentation, which Langdon realizes will be far more controversial than he ever imagined. But the meticulously orchestrated evening suddenly erupts into chaos, and Kirsch’s precious discovery teeters on the brink of being lost forever. Reeling and facing an imminent threat, Langdon is forced into a desperate bid to escape Bilbao. With him is Ambra Vidal, the elegant museum director who worked with Kirsch to stage the provocative event. Together they flee to Barcelona on a perilous quest to locate a cryptic password that will unlock Kirsch’s secret.
Navigating the dark corridors of hidden history and extreme religion, Langdon and Vidal must evade a tormented enemy whose all-knowing power seems to emanate from Spain’s Royal Palace itself... and who will stop at nothing to silence Edmond Kirsch. On a trail marked by modern art and enigmatic symbols, Langdon and Vidal uncover clues that ultimately bring them face-to-face with Kirsch’s shocking discovery... and the breathtaking truth that has long eluded us.
Comment: Dan Brown is an author I don't run out to read but his books offer that incredible mix of cultural content and fast paced plot that I find very easy and captivating to read, even if his writing is a little exaggerated and his stories too formulaic. Nevertheless, I saw this book available at my local library and decided to bring it with me to read.
In this latest book, the author takes his hero Robert Langdon to Spain, for him to participate in a conference/presentation by Edmond Kirschner, a student he had at Harvard and who has become a brilliant scientist. In this presentation, Edmond is bet on proving the origin of life in the planet and the destination humans are supposed to evolve into one day, dismissing formally the need to believe God did it. But before his presentation can be finished live, he is killed and chaos follows the place. Langdon and Ambra Vidal, the curator for the Guggenheim museum in Bilbao, where the event was taking place, must run and hide to be certain Edmond's presentation can be finished and they will only be able to do it by accessing his computers, back in his house in Barcelona.
Will they be able to do it before Edmond's killer reaches them?
Once again, this book was quite an adventure. I must say I liked it a lot even though it wasn't perfectly constructed. As it happened with his other work I've read I think there is a distinguish one must do in order to better appreciate Brown's books: first, that the stories are fiction so of course there's a lot one must read suspending belief and second, the content can be read in regards to being based on facts as the author says before any of the stories but isn't meant to be seen as the only way to consider things. I actually think the author does a good job letting the reader make their own mind, even if his beliefs are a little obvious at times too.
Thinking this, I did like to learn things and Dan Brown always makes certain he includes several amount of information about the theme and many other things he obviously researched. I do like to read these things as if they really matter to the plot and not as if they were there just to prove how clever the author can be.
I can't say I followed all the details and notions but the things said were intriguing and fascinating to think about.
As it always happens with this autho's books, there's also some fictional content and in this case the author has invented new monarchs for the Spanish royal family. I can understand why using the real on wouldn't be considered acceptable, especially because of the freedom he took by using the characters created to make some plot decisions make sense.
I think he went a little overboard but overall, I liked the situations regarding the royal family and, surprisingly, it added an interesting emotional content I wasn't expecting but liked.
Robert Langdon is again an incredibly resourceful and clever hero, he manages to do things in an incredible way but this time not as ridiculously as he did in Angels and Demons, where he accomplished things I just couldn't believe at all.
His sidekick is again a gorgeous and intelligent woman but I liked how the lack of romantic interest was played in this; it suited the plot well that they were only pals in reaching the goal, even if some vibes at the end made it pointless. Oh well, not everything is perfect.
There is a lot of extra content, which I found engaging to read about, namely about Edmond's work and his attempts to help humanity, This played out very well into the final revelations, especially regarding the "bad guy". As for the reason for this plot, the apparent discovery abut the origin of Man and so on, and the notion religion can be put aside, well, like a friend said, we live in such a global world, the surprise effect wasn't here because any theory has already been discussed somewhere so it didn't cause such a big impact.
Overall, this was a good adventure, filled with interesting content and characters and although the main premise and development don't go too far from what one would expect, I think this was a lovely story to read and it was certainly very entertaining.