Before I begin my review, I want to preface it by saying a few things.
I know a lot of people think Dan Brown is a crappy writer who writes crappy books about crappy stories with crappy characters and crappy, unbelievable plots.
I know a lot of people think Dan Brown is one of the best at the "cheese factor" and roll their eyes at his stories.
I know a lot of people out there know more about European history, etc. etc. than I do, and therefore, I might not be the appropriate judge of this story.
And I'm also aware that this is not the next literary classic.
I loved this book.
Every time the action picked up in this book, I had a serious adrenaline rush. My heart raced, my eyes frantically read line after line, and my hands automatically went to my mouth. I was totally engrossed in the story Dan Brown told, even though I had already seen the movie. Watching the movie before the book is very uncharacteristic of me, but I'm glad that it happened that way in this case. Reading the book cleared up a lot of unanswered questions for me, and the book was different enough from the movie to keep me gasping out loud at plot twists. For me, I was hooked along for the ride, and even though some might find his twists unbelievable or even predictable, I was just in it for the story and found myself completely absorbed. I appreciated the facts (or "facts") throughout the story that were presented to the reader about the Illuminati, Vatican City, etc. and I loved the feeling of being on the inside of solving a puzzle while racing against time. I appreciated Robert Langdon's character, and I'm so glad they cast Tom Hanks to play his character because even when I read The DaVinci Code years ago, Tom Hanks is always how I pictured Robert Langdon. Pretty damn intelligent, resourceful, and witty. Dan Brown can be pretty witty, too, and I found myself chuckling from time to time. I even enjoyed the general mechanics of this book--I liked the short chapters that kept me coming back for more. They made it easy to fly through the pages. I would look down maybe after a half hour or so into reading and be 150 pages further in the book. The "dun-dun-dunnn" moments at the end of pretty much each chapter had me flipping, too, even though I could understand how some might find that worthy of an eye-roll or two. My favorite part of the book, besides the adrenaline rushes, was how he bounced from one point of view to another without leaving the reader feeling disoriented. Rather, it had the opposite effect for me, clarifying everything by being able to watch the story unfold from all angles.
After reading The DaVinci Code a few years ago, I was a little hesitant to pick this one up...would I love Dan Brown as much (or more)? Or was The DaVinci Code a one-time deal? Well, I'm here to say that I can officially consider myself a fan of Dan Brown, however crappy others might want to declare him.