When a NASA satellite discovers an astonishingly rare object buried deep in the Arctic ice, the floundering space agency proclaims a much-needed victory -- a victory with profound implications for NASA policy and the impending presidential election. To verify the authenticity of the find, the White House calls upon the skills of intelligence analyst Rachel Sexton. Accompanied by a team of experts, including the charismatic scholar Michael Tolland, Rachel travels to the Arctic and uncovers the unthinkable: evidence of scientific trickery -- a bold deception that threatens to plunge the world into controversy. But before she can warn the president, Rachel and Michael are ambushed by a team of assassins. Fleeing for their lives across a desolate and lethal landscape, their only hope for survival is to discover who is behind this masterful plot. The truth, they will learn, is the most shocking deception of all.
My first Dan Brown book(though I have seen Angels and Demons movie) and I was thoroughly entertained. Seeing all the negative reviews in Goodreads, I initially hesitated to pick up this book. But I had no other choice one weekend as I had run out of books. Yes, the author was a bit over-stretching the plot with action-fillers but other than that, the book is a master-piece. I really had no idea who was involved behind the deception, and the final twist, revealing the person behind the deception took me by complete surprise. The characters were very well portrayed. The events revealed at breakneck pace and I could hardly keep up with the author. The pages seemed to fly by and I was actually seeing a movie, vividly seeing every event before my eyes! Such was the effect of Dan brown's narration.
To begin with, I loved the setup. USA Presidential elections coming up, two candidates striving for the hot seat, NASA's constant and miserable failures in space exploration, the sudden and astounding discovery that will no doubt be a huge milestone in space science if proved - what more can you ask for? Rachel Sexton works for the National Reconnaissance Office as an intelligence officer. She is also the daughter of a Senator currently running for President. Her father's main offensive, and a very popular one, against the incumbent President is to attack the huge amount of NASA funding. Rachel is barely on speaking terms with her father, believing him to be totally corrupt. In such a situation, the President calls Rachel and assigns her a work which she is almost forced to take over. And the work, if done successfully, will only mean doom for her father. Though she is caught in a dilemma, she gracefully does her job.
She along with another scientist, Michael Tolland discover some shocking truths that are not meant to be discovered. Soon they are attacked by an unknown enemy, who is behind all these, and both are on the run. The chase is built into a crescendo and the author here does a fantastic job of never letting the [ace die. You could hardly put down the book even for a second. They run, run and keep running discovering more and more shocking realities on the way. And watch out for the climax! Though I must say it was a bit filmy, it was no doubt fantastic. The final twist, the real culprit and his justification were all believable and it was like seeing an action packed Will Smith movie.
I especially loved the President character - Zach Herney. He was honest, good looking, charming and at the same time, so sure of himself. While his foe - Senator Sedgwick Sexton was willing to get his hands dirty, Zach wanted to win it straight. I also loved the final scene when Zach apologizes to the people for his mistake and that is when he looks more of a President. His elation at such an astonishing discovery, his anger when he comes to know that he was cheated, his disappointment, and his determination to educate the people with the truth are all characters of a true gentleman. He is one character who will stay in your mind even after you start reading your next book.
Overall, a very good read for thrill and action lovers. Don't miss it!