Sunday, November 18, 2007

Book Review: Deception Point by Dan Brown

This, Dan Brown's third novel, is a story of political conspiracy presented in the form of a techno thriller. Deception Point sees the beleaguered American president running for re-election against an opponent intent on slashing the NASA budget. If the President can confirm the existence of an alien life form he can guarantee re-election by announcing a flood of money for NASA; caught in the middle of this is the heroine - Rachel Sexton.

The problem is that despite numerous assassination attempts and death-defying rescues, one finds it hard to care about her or any of the other feebly portrayed characters here. So much of this novel is hackneyed and cliched that one is put in mind of a really bad action movie and the author adheres to a very formulaic structure with cliffhangers every few chapters and flimsy characters that have appeared in a hundred pulp fiction novels in the past. Another very poor facet of Deception Point is the writing style which lacks any originality or flair and uses an impoverished vocabulary that is embellished by an over-reliance on scientific jargon.

There is something about this tale that keeps the reader turning the pages, whether it is genuinely captivating or whether the reader just clings on to the hope of something credible and interesting happening must be left to the individual but the ending becomes a ludicrous series of events bolstered by submarines, fighter jets and a "twist" that can be predicted by about the fifth chapter.

The first few chapters of this book gave me quite high expectations, based as it is upon a real-life "discovery" of alien life, but I rapidly lost interest in the story which became more and more cliched as I progressed. By the end I had decided that this was one of the worst five books I had ever read and I vowed never to read anything by Dan Brown again: a vow which I have not yet broken.

Astonishingly poor, with dreadful characters, a formulaic plot, a banal style and one of the most predicatble endings ever. If you are a fan of Dan Brown or similar books which consist entirely of scenes cut and pasted from similar pulp fiction then I dare say you might find something in this book to entertain, but for anyone else avoid this rubbish at all costs.
Score: 1/10


James Aach said...

Feel free to review this techno-thriller by a longtime nuclear power worker, "Rad Decision".

Available at no cost online at and also in paperback.

One reader compared it favorably with Mr. Brown's work.

Nick Upton said...
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