I have always admired Dan Brown. The Da Vinci Code was the first actual novel that I read years ago (if I exclude Famous Five, Secret Seven, Hardy Boys, Fear Street, Spooksville and Goosebumps) and the only novel that I have read twice. No doubt, he is one of my favorite authors. The amount of research he does and puts into his books is worth applauding.
Deception Point is the only book authored by him that was missing from my ‘read’ list and I decided to pick it up from my shelf.
This book, I believe, is quite different from his other books (especially the Langdon quadrology) in terms of the overall concept. It comprises of hardcore science material, some of which might also swing right above your head.
The setting and the plot
This time, Dan Brown targets NASA and US Intelligence to reveal technologies we don’t understand (but all of it is true as per his note in the beginning of the book). It all begins with a transmission that a person is forced to make on a special frequency. The person is killed afterwards and everything remains a mystery until the last section of the book.
A new setting is introduced to the readers. Oh yeah, he is clever and he wants to keep you hanging in there, thinking about all the possibilities. NASA satellite has detected something that is going to change the future of NASA. It is an astonishingly rare object that had been buried deep inside the Arctic ice. The discovery is powerful enough to turn the campaigning of the forthcoming presidential elections upside down.
Rachel Sexton, a White House Intelligence Analyst is summoned by the president. While she has no clue about anything, the president needs to propose her a gravely important task. On the other hand are some experts that have been summoned to verify the authenticity of the discovery. Accompanied by the experts and the charismatic academic Michael Tolland, Rachel uncovers the unthinkable, an evidence that reeks of scientific trickery. However, that’s only a beginning of something far greater of a deception that was unseen by everybody.
Are you hooked?
If reading that has kept you hooked and sparked an interest, you might actually find the Deception Point interesting. However, you must be open to the genre of sci-fi thrillers. That’s kind of a disclaimer because there is a lot of scientific data that has been incorporated into the book by Brown. It felt boring at some point of time because I was more interested into the story. I’m afraid but there wasn’t much. While you might be hooked in the beginning (at least I was), it drops down to a crawling pace where nothing happens for eternity and you keep waiting for something big counting the number of pages you have read so far.
The writing style of Dan Brown remains almost same in all his books. Deception Point is not anyway different. The formula is same. A male and a female protagonist who reveal things that were planted as a mystery into the plot, a grand event that may happen anytime, a twist somewhere towards the end of the book and a lot of information and research.
I hate to say but it dragged like a snail.
In all the five other books of Brown, I liked the pace of the events (Inferno was a bit dragging). A lot of stuff was happening and it kept me glued. However, in Deception Point, there was no change of events. For dozens of pages, you find yourself in the same setting where nothing or very little is happening. Even the final section is one hell of a big drag and I had to skip lines to keep myself going.
It wasn’t bad!
I am merely comparing Deception Point with Brown’s other books. I might have liked it more if this was my first book from him. Some of the facts that are mentioned in the book are overwhelming. Some words make you hit Google on your laptops. Some notions make you ponder of your existence and the world around you. The twist of events was nice but I had seen it coming a long way back. So, I was not shocked but it was all right.
I want to say that it could have been a lot better. It should have been shorter. The amount of information that pounces upon you needed a better story to keep up the interest.
Would I recommend it?
It’s Dan Brown! You have to read it whether you like it or not at the end of it. I personally liked the book overall but it was not exceptional like I had anticipated after reading a few pages. Also, it is the weakest book of Brown for me.
Breaking the Deception Point code at the end
If you turned enough pages, you must have found a curious code at the end of the book:
Well, the numbers refer to the chapter numbers. You have to take the first letter from the corresponding chapters. The letters in between the code stays like that. On decoding, you get
T V C I R H I O L F E N D L A D C E S C A I W U E
If you count, there are 25 letters, which scream of a 5×5 Caesar Square. Let’s arrange them.
T V C I R
H I O L F
E N D L A
D C E S C
A I W U E
I hope you know how to read a Caesar Square. Just start reading down from the first line. It says:
THE DA VINCI CODE WILL SURFACE
Which is an Easter Egg for The Da Vinci Code, which was published after Deception Point.
Sooner or later we’ve all got to let go of our past.
Anyone who said power was not addictive had never really experienced it.
Life is filled with difficult decisions, and winners are those who make them.