includes so many things I like about Dan Brown novels--a fast pace, beautiful settings, a slow reveal of truth, theology/philosophy, an ethical dilemma, lessons in art history, etc. Brown writes popular fiction that educates readers on various topics. But the things I typically love about Brown's novels become somewhat distracting or momentum killing in the fourth installment of the Robert Langdon
For example, imagine you're rushing through Istanbul with the fate of humankind in the balance. Would you linger to appreciate magnificent architecture or a work of art? Does the following analysis have a place as Langdon and friends dash between Ataturk Airport and Hagia Sophia, the assumed ground zero for a near-extinction event?
The Blue Mosque, he quickly realized, spotting the building's six fluted, pencil-shaped minarets, which had multiple serefe balconies and climbed skyward to end in piercing spires. Langdon had once read that the exotic, fairy-tale quality of the Blue Mosque's balconied minarets had inspired the design for Cinderella's iconic castle at Disney World. The Blue Mosque drew its name from the dazzling sea of blue tiles that adorned its interior walls.
Beautiful and informative? Yes, but unnecessary and pace-disrupting when it's simply part of the scenery. Where's the appropriate urgency Brown conveyed in [b:The Da Vinci Code|968|The Da Vinci Code (Robert Langdon, #2)|Dan Brown|http://d.gr-assets.com/books/1303252999s/968.jpg|2982101]? It's there, though tamped down by a constant stream of scene-setting and edifying moments.
In the end, I did enjoy the story. I learned plenty about the Black Plague, transhumanism, Dante, the Malthusian "population bomb", and other interesting topics. But for me, the constant education served to de-thrill the thriller.