Sunday, January 13, 2008

Digital Fortress

Digital Fortress by Dan Brown lacked the umph that made The DaVinci Code such a spectacular novel. Don’t get me wrong, the story was suspenseful and thrilling, but I wasn’t as riveted as I was when reading DaVinci Code.

Digital Fortress is about the National Security Agency (NSA) and the Crypto department. Susan Fletcher is head of the Cryptography Division and is called into work to help Commander Trevor Strathmore solve an unbreakable code.

Unbeknownst to Susan, Commander Strathmore has also called her fiancé, David Becker and sent him on a top-secret mission to recover the passkey to help break the code.

As with any Brown story, nothing is as it seems and some characters are playing both sides of the fence. Its always fun to try and guess who is double-crossing or what some players real agenda is.

Brown loves writing stories involving codes or symbols and it amazes me how knowledgeable he is on the subject. He also throws in clues throughout to help you solve his little puzzle. It shows great planning and thought, which is what I love about his books.

Brown does a terrific job in building the suspense by keeping the chapters short and ending the chapter on a cliffhanger while starting the next chapter involving another character. It makes the story seem very fast paced and you cannot put the book down.

I think my biggest problem with Brown (and I felt this way too when reading the DaVinci Code and Angels and Demons) is that each situation becomes more and more over the top. Just when you think David is about to find the passkey, a stroke of bad luck occurs and foils his attempt to retrieve it. It gets to a point, where the story is no longer believable. I find myself exclaiming, “Are you kidding me?”

I was also upset that Susan Fletcher was not that strong of a character. I picked up this book in particular because the story was centered around a female lead, but she wasn’t a leading lady, more passive and allowed the events to control her. I was hoping she would take charge of the situation, but she didn’t and it was disappointing.

Digital Fortress was sub par to me, but you gotta admit, Dan Brown started this whole genre of novels involving hidden symbols and a race to save mankind.

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