In excitement of the "Angels & Demons" movie & in anticipation of his latest novel, "The Lost Symbol" [out September 2009], I decided to post a blog relating to this. I'm very obsessive-compulsive at times. Once I read a book by a particular author, I tend to read all of the author's works [that is, if I see cheap copies on a second-hand bookstore or if I can mooch it locally].
Having read all four of his books: "Digital Fortress", "Deception Point", "The Da Vinci Code" & "Angels & Demons", I noticed a pattern in all of his novels, which I expect to see in "The Lost Symbol". But do correct me if I'm wrong. I have yet to read his 5th book [the 3rd in the Robert Langdon series].
***** Please note that there might be SPOILERS below, so if you have not read a particular book yet and don't want to be spoiled, please go to another section of this blog *****
1. The first chapter always tells of someone dying, which serves as a "trigger" point for the story and is a character that made a discovery or is hiding a big secret [Ensei Tankado for Digital Fortress, Jacques Sauniere for Da Vinci Code, the Canadian explorer for Deception Point [I can't remember his name], and Leonardo Vetra for Angels & Demons]
2. The protagonist is always a guy & girl pair [Susan & David for Digital Fortress, Rachel & Mike for Deception Point, Robert & Sophie for Da Vinci Code and Robert & Vittoria for Angels and Demons. Noticed something about Robert Landon's character, though. He never settles down with his partner]
3. There's always hired assassins who are very showy in their killings [ie public killings, new weapons technology, etc. Case and point the Hassassin for Angels & Demons, and the albino for Da Vinci Code].
4. The antagonist is always the one you'll least expect but maintains a very visible part in the story. He [I say "he" because all four novels have four male antagonists] is normally a character that has a commanding power over his peers, and is usually a leader. [Case and point: Carlo Ventresca - Angels & Demons, Susan Fletcher's boss for Digital Fortress, Teabing - Da Vinci Code & Rachel Sexton's boss in Deception Point].
5. The story is normally divided in a lot of short chapters that may explain how the story is unfolding in a different point of view. This may be a bore sometimes especially if the story is just "repeated" through the eyes of another character.
6. This is my favourite part: there's always references to historical works of art, buildings, tourist attractions and/or new technology. Which is very informative and fun. It makes me want to research on stuff. This proves that the book is indeed very well-researched by Brown. Although I have to believe that Brown may be a bit of a conspiracy theorist -- with regards to the secret societies that he hints at his books [Illuminati, for example].
7. All the protagonists are well-educated, and are very brilliant people. They can retain information that was just stated by another character, and they're always attractive characters.
8. There's always a happy ending at the end.
If indeed the above is what is in "The Lost Symbol" then I'd say that Brown indeed follows a pattern. I just hope that he "breaks" a bit of it. If he continued and more people noticed the similarities, then the thriller wouldn't be a thriller anymore. It'll be easier to guess who the antagonist is.
But then again, that's just my opinion.
Till the movie & book comparison of Angels & Demons [when I get to watch the movie].