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Book Review: Digital Fortress by Dan Brown

March 15, 2007
Posted by mmarvs in : Books, General
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 Review by Juan Carlos Fernández

digital-fortress.jpgDigital Fortress, by Dan Brown, is one of the most impresive techno-thrillers ever written. Its mixture of action, adventures, mysteries and hints as well as realistic descriptions combined with its extremely-addictive plot will make you read on from the first page.

The plot is one of the best points in this novel: the NSA (National Security Agency) is an American organisation whose duty is to intercept dangerous encrypted messages, decypher and report them. However, when TRANSLTR (a super-computer able to break any standard code in a matter of minutes) was built, a former NSA genius cryptographer creates an unbreakable code: Digital Fortress, only stoppable by a key, and whose existing reason was “Who guards the guards?”. If the code is released, the NSA would be useless and the whole world would be in danger. To avoid this, the best NSA mathematician, Susan Fletcher, has been called, and her husband has been secretly sent to Spain to get the key.

This book is the first thriller written by Dan Brown, but it´s just good. The plot is really great and weaved in a wonderful way: the investigation at the NSA headquarters is bound to the search of the keycode. In Spain, creating two stories that interact and develop with satisfying results, the keys of the plot are in a maze of hints subliminaly dropped by the author, and which make you want to read the book twice. One of the highlights is the mixture of science-fiction and realism: this fantastic story with next-gen gadgets and devices takes place in the present world, and the description of the places is strictly accurate. On the other hand, the author was poorly documented about the Spanish society. The rest of the book, the atmosphere is contrasted. Dan Brown has created a sublime combination of dark, grey, metallic environments at the NSA headquarters with the sunny Andalusian landscapes. The characters are expresive, but also suspicious and a bit disturbing. The only weak point of the book is that so many argumental turns end up making you bored.

To sum up, if you like technology as welll as realistic thrillers, you’re going to enjoy this book. It´s a masterpiece.

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