On the back cover of Steve Berry‘s latest Cotton Malone novel, The King’s Deception, is a blurb from Kirkus Reviews: “A Dan Brown-ian secular conspiracy about the Virgin Queen driving nonstop international intrigue.” Unless the point of the sentence was a play on the word Brownian as in Brownian motion, the reviewer seems to consider Dan Brown to be the leader in the genre, though, as from what I can find out, both Berry and Brown published their first novels in 2006.. Having read all of Berry’s (12) and Brown’s (6) novels, I can state unequivocally that Berry is better. In fact, all of his novels have been well-written, interesting, and enjoyable. Of Brown’s books, only two, Angels & Demons and The Da Vinci Code, can be favorably compared to any of Berry’s novels.
Until I read The King’s Deception, I was not familiar with the theory that Elizabeth I was a man. I’m more inclined to believe Prince Tudor theory, which would make the the theory impossible unless Elizabeth died in childbirth in her early teens.
Though Inferno, Dan Brown‘s fourth Robert Langdon novel, is only a few pages longer than The Da Vinci Code and shorter than the other two (Angels & Demons 572 pages, The Da Vinci Code 454 pages, The Lost Symbol 510 pages , Inferno 480 pages), I think it could have been much shorter. Too much of the plot is based on misleading Langdon and the reader.
I have to repeat what I wrote after reading The Lost Symbol: “I think Dan Brown‘s best novel is Angels & Demons followed by The Da Vinci Code. . . .” I don’t remember enough about The Lost Symbol to rank it against Inferno.
In Inferno, Brown does include scientific as well as artistic information, though he didn’t include an author’s note about the research he did and what in the novel was true. I guess he’s trying to compete with Steve Berry and James Rollins, though I don’t think he can.
I’ve read all of Steve Berry‘s printed books (not the ebooks). Until I started reading it, I had expected The Columbus Affair (New York: Ballantine Books, 2012) to be the latest in the Cotton Malone series. It’s not.
The concept and plot are interesting, but I didn’t care for the characters. None of them is really very likeable or heroic.
Steve Berry has a new Cotton Malone novel, The Emperor’s Tomb, which will be available November 23. Unfortunately, I have no idea who the emperor is in the title.
The plot of Steve Berry‘s most recent novel, The Paris Vendetta (New York: Ballantine Books-Random House, 2009), didn’t seem as complex as those of his previous novels. He didn’t tie together so many different elements, and the characters weren’t spending as much time jetting from one part of the globe to another. The majority of the action took place in Denmark, England, and France–mostly in France, which made sense since the historical focus was on Napoleon, with some references to the Merovingian kings and the Nazis.
I think Dan Brown‘s best novel is Angels & Demons followed by The Da Vinci Code and The Lost Symbol, in that order. His first two rank far behind the others. I don’t want to spoil things for people who haven’t read The Lost Symbol yet, but I was disappointed. I’m probably spoiled after recently reading so many novels by James Rollins and Steve Berry.
I wonder why it takes Brown so much longer to finish a novel than it does Rollins or Berry, when their plots are more complicated and require research on more subjects.
The last few months, I’ve been reading, and enjoying, suspense novels by Steve Berry and James Rollins. Unfortunately, I’ve read all of Berry’s novels except The Paris Vendetta, which will be available in about a month, so I’ve been looking for other authors who write the same type of books, which remind me of The Da Vince Code and Indiana Jones–maybe with cutting-edge science and technology thrown in.
I’ve found the following authors, who seem to write in this genre, and requested the indicated books from my county library: