NASA, a hot-button topic in a contentious presidential election, has made the discovery of a lifetime in the Arctic Circle. The organization calls in civilian scientists to confirm the validity of their findings. The President is ready to announce the discovery and virtually assure his victory in the election. But then questions arise and the civilians--Rachel, Michael, Corky, and Norah--are required to brave the Arctic elements to perform one last test. That's where the adventure begins.
Overall, this was a fun book with likeable characters. I really liked Rachel and Micheal, and even quirky Corky. The pace was a little bit slow for me at the beginning, but that's probably because I was expecting to get sucked into this book the way I have in other Dan Brown novels. About a third of the way in, the action finally took off and I couldn't stop reading.
I noticed that the writing was a little awkward in this one. I know other people have had that complaint about Dan Brown since he burst onto the scene, but I honestly never noticed until now. The foreshadowing was very heavy-handed. "Oh, Rachel fell through the ice as a kid? That's going to fit in somewhere." It really was pretty bad. Also, I never understood why Rachel was in the Arctic in the first place. The explanation was pretty weak and I was left feeling like she was there as an excuse for the scientists to explain what was going on to us non-scientist readers through dialog. Dialog's always better for me than description, but give me a plausible reason for it. The technical explanations also verged on being too much for me. They never quite crossed that line, but, please, I'm not a weapons expert. I'm happy just knowing that a secret helicopter has a big gun. I don't need to know how it was developed and its multiple uses. I know that probably adds a feeling of authenticity to the story, but I could have done without it.
Like I said though, overall I did enjoy the story itself. Fans of Dan Brown's works won't be disappointed with this one.
Reviewed October 14, 2008
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Friday Flashback Reviews are a weekly feature here on The Introverted Reader. These are old reviews I wrote on GoodReads. Thanks to Angieville and her Retro Friday Reviews for the inspiration and encouragement!I have an affiliate relationship with Malaprop's, my local independent bookstore, and Better World Books. I will receive a small commission at no cost to you if you purchase books through links on my site.