I made notes as I read it, which are below. One of my friends wants me to tell her about it before she'll read it, so these were originally for her, but I thought I might as well post them anyway. They might amuse or annoy you, depending on your viewpoint.
Cut for length, spoilers (although I've tried not to put down big spoilers), and a horrendously large amount of melodrama.
(Please note that one of the reasons I find Brown's books so infuriating is that they are bad fiction presented by him as fact. Bad fiction on its own tends to be much less annoying.)
Our chief beautiful woman 'scientist' is investigating telekinisis. She can apparently make pretty ice crystal structures by sending loving thoughts at the water while it freezes. And in case you think I'm exagerrating, that was pretty much verbitum.
Yes, Langdon wears a Mickey Mouse watch. No, I didn't care the first time it was mentioned.
Let's continue this game of showing how clever we are by finding symbols in everything and pointing them out at length. Including ties.
Once more, America and Americans are superiour in every way to the backwardness of the rest of the world.
Yeah, calling yourself 'Abaddon' as an alias is really subtle.
Actually, every message in this book comes with the subtlety of a large sledghammer.
Paying lip-service to how great science is, when the 'science' to be revered is pseudo-scientific-religious crap and actual science is still portrayed as bad is not something that endears me to a book.
I've read really bad fanfic with less Mary-Sueish Mary Sues than Robert Langdon. And please stop reminding me about all the incredible things he's done in the past. Katherine's pretty annoying too.
The lab assistant constantly described as 'pudgy' was the first person to die. I wish I felt surprise.
This book seems to be a blatent advert for the Freemasons. I wonder if they're paying him.
Ooh, ooh, I'm making a guess as to what's in Langdon's little magic box!
This 'intuition' crap is getting on my nerves. All the characters should be making their living as psychics.
Hey, I guessed right about the box. Maybe I could be a psychic too. Or maybe Brown's plots are far too predictable.
Don't give flashbacks within flashbacks. Please.
All of Langdon's students sound incredibly inane. I'm glad I didn't apply to Harvard.
Yay for Langdon, protector of helpless women scientists. They run right into his arms. Literally.
Apparently Langdon feels unworthy very rarely, since it keeps being pointed out that he does on this one occasion.
Is my dislike of Langdon showing through? God, he's so bloody patronising.
I think Bones used part of this plot in season 3.
A scientist doesn't recognise Latin. Huh. Not 'not understanding the meaning', it's not recognising some words as Latin. Considering the phrase contains the words 'Sanctus', that's quite an achievement. Ok, she does when prompted, but still...
"His massive sex organ bore the tattooed symbols of his destiny." - now that's a sentence I never expected to read.
A twist? The bad person may not be bad after all? Wow, I never saw that coming...
I really don't want to hear any more about the baddy's "giant shaft of flesh".
Thank you! They've finally been called out on how thick they're being!
I think this technology is on par with the CERN super-plane. Which my friend at CERN keeps lamenting the lack of.
Oh, come on. You can't use a cipher you used in Digital Fortress again as if no one's heard of it.
No, no, my mistake. The one calling out Katherine and Langdon turns out to be just as thick.
I don't like this technique to go on a long and boring ramble about some bit of symbolsim or some bit of history which I'm not certain is entirely true. Especially when it interrupts every promising piece of action.
Woo, yet more melodrama.
I don't think I was meant to laugh there... but I couldn't help it.
Ok... WHAT????? That is science? FFS...
Yeah, that's actually a pretty cool way of murder.
Life after death? Again, FFS. If I wasn't reading this to mock it, I might have screamed. Also, souls have mass. Katherine weighed them with a big scale. It isn't mentioned how much they weighed, though.
Oh, there's a symbol of science and knowledge at the very heart of America? Ironic, especially considering certain Texan school boards.
Oookay... Brown has slightly more understanding of DNA than the writers for Stargate Atlantis. That isn't really a compliment, though.
Damn it. So close. I thought that was going to be a death. Sadly not.
Yeah, this is the big thing the CIA wants to prevent leaking? Can't say that I care about it... Seems rather like freedom of speech...
Ok, so I didn't see that revelation coming. What was I saying about melodrama?
Langdon has a Mickey Mouse watch? Really? Surely something incredibly important like that should have been mentioned over and over and over and over again...
So Langdon gets annoyed when people dismiss his crackpot theories about every symbol ever, and yet he acts exactly the same way about everyone else's theories.
I can see this plot point coming...
Apparently the Discovery Channel is where all information is picked up. Shame. I've never watched it.
Oh, called the plot point. But then, it was forshadowed extrememly heavily right near the beginning of the book.
Yes, we got it. Stop repeating it.
So the Bible is a magic book. And praying works (although, strangely, no studies apart from Katherine's have ever shown it...) Again, I have no problem with this stuff when it's presented as the fiction which it is - it's that the book came with a forward saying that all this is true. NO IT ISN'T.
And that is what is called a coincidence. Not Holy Fate or whatever.
I think Brown is on drugs.
'Twitterati'? That's the first time I've heard that word...
Pretty image at the end. But... again with the religious mumbo jumbo.
I've just remembered about the lab assistant. No one seems to remember that she's dead. Either they didn't bother to tell Katherine, or she didn't care. She was all cut up about her research, though, and esctatic when it was found, so I'm assuming the latter.
Huh, it didn't end with Langdon getting sex from the beautiful woman whom he's saved and formed a lifelong bond with. That's unusual. But since neither of his romantic affairs from the previous two books featuring him got a mention outside of their respected books, maybe that's a good thing for Katherine.
To sum up: No, I'm not very impressed. But then I didn't expect to be. I thought it would be better to be informed as to what the book was about, though. Only lost a few hours of my life, after all...