THE BAD NEWS
* The first thing I noticed about this novel when I started reading it, were the similarities it had w/ the “The Da Vinci Code (TDVC)”.
Some of the similarities are, like, for example:
– An elderly man got killed & branded at the start of the novel;
– The murdered man has a strong willed daughter who helped track down the killer;
– A faceless mastermind was responsible for the murder
– The murders were carried out by physically strong henchmen, who do not know the true identity of the mastermind.
* Of course, A & D was published ahead of TDVC, but since the TDVC is the vastly more popular novel , more people are likely going to have read it ahead of A & D, & will note down the similarities.
THE GOOD NEWS
* While there are similarities, though, there are obvious differences. For one, Langdon seems to have a much better sense of humor in this novel than on the TDVC. The whole theme of the novel, is also very different from the TDVC.
* Dan Brown, as usual, writes in very fast pace, full of details about the subject, & plot twists. Both these elements keep the reader turning page after page of the novel.
* The places, history & customs about the Vatican, the rift between Science & Religion are covered extensively & woven almost seamlessly into the novel, making for a mighty interesting read. You add in the plot twists, the action, & you have one hell of a novel.
* I think its obvious that Dan Brown had used A & D as sort of a prototype for the TDVC. The similarities are quite uncanny; Its almost as if he had used the same plot frames, then just dropped in a different theme or topic, plus minor changes here & there.
* The obvious question would then be: Which is better, A & D, or TDVC? For me, no doubt about it, it is TDVC. A & D was not able to inspire the same kind of enthusiasm I had when I read TDVC.
* However, this is not to say A & D to be a bad novel; It is a damn good one also on its own. Quite readable, despite its similarities to TDVC. Its just that TDVC, was truly a great novel for me, setting a very high standard.
* A & D is highly recommended, a pretty good book on its own.