In honor of the release of Origin (Robert Langdon #5) by Dan Brown today, October 3, I want to take the time and share with you all what I think of each of Dan Brown’s previous works by rating them from my least likes to my forever favorites.
Those who know me well (not just as a reader but on a more personal level) know that Dan Brown is my favorite author. Ever. It’s been that way since 2008.
So it shouldn’t be a surprise that I’ve read (and loved) each and every one of his published works.
Today I rushed to the bookstore after discovering that for once, a book is released on its actual release date here in the Philippines. We tend to celebrate book birthdays later than the rest of the world because bookstores don’t respect actual book birthdays here. *rolls eyes*
But before I stay up all night long to read and finish Origin within 24 hours and write a hopefully cohesive book review for you, allow me to shine some light on his previous books and how I thought of each of them.
As of today, Dan Brown has 7 published books. I have read 6 of them at least once before. I’ll be excluding the latest release for obvious reasons.
Let’s begin from my least favorites, shall we?
#6 – The Lost Symbol (2009)
I can’t tell you why this is my least favorite of all of Dan Brown’s books. Why? Because I can’t remember anything from it. That’s how irrelevant and forgettable it is. At least to me. It didn’t make an impact on me as a reader, much more as a Dan Brown fan, whatsoever. According to my Goodreads review, I rated this a 5 star. But let me be clear now that that’s not true. I was probably biased when I rated this after reading it. Needing to support my favorite author.
I really don’t know who the characters are in this, what the plot is, and what happened.
All I remember is it’s set in Washington D.C. But don’t quote me on that! Maybe even that tiny memory is incorrect.
I really must not have enjoyed it if I completely forgot about it.
No wonder this is the only Robert Langdon book that didn’t get a movie.
I’m probably not the only one who found it unmemorable.
I remember a good portion of this. But mainly because I have lots of complaint about it. Don’t get me wrong, I always enjoy a Dan Brown book. Twists and turns. Secrets and deceptions.
The main point I remember about this though is how boring it was.
I was in highschool when I read this. So it’s no surprise how utterly uninterested I was with political intrigues. Which is basically what this book is about.
It’s also not part of the Robert Langdon series! That’s why I didn’t enjoy it as much. I prefer it when we’re reading from the historical art professor himself.
#4 – The Da Vinci Code (2006)
Are you surprised? I bet you are. Especially since this novel is the one that blew up Dan Brown’s name…enough to make it a household name.
Everyone and their mothers probably read this book.
I mean, everyone loves a scandal.
I’m going to be honest with you (not like you have a choice): I hate the people who claim that this book shook their faiths.
If this book shook your said “faith”, then that faith of yours is weak!
I’m sorry, but it’s true.
You better ask yourself why.
This is a fictional work. Yes, it mentions real places, real works of art, real historical events.
But if you actually based your real life religious beliefs in this? To have it alter your outlook in the greater power you used to believe in? Ha!
Up until now, I still hear people commenting about this book in a bookstore, saying how they steer clear from it because it’s sacreligious. I want to laugh at their faces, honestly.
It’s not a favorite book of mine, but I still feel the need to defend it and my religious beliefs. Simply because people are so wrong about it. On so many levels.
I loved the idea that there are religious books out there in the Vatican Archives that they don’t release to the public because it’s too powerful for our mere mortal ears. I’m a huge fan of knowlege so complicated that we’re not worthy of knowing them.
And that is basically what this book is.
#3 – Inferno (2013)
The movie bored me. But really, the book’s better! It focuses on one of the biggest cause of turmoil in our world and in humankind’s existence: overpopulation.
The antagonist in this actually convinced me how his way of thinking is the right one. That his solution is the only way there is.
If we get to control, cure the sickness that is overpopulation, we’ll probably solve a lot of other problems too. Like famine, global warming, and animal extinction.
It is so profound with the political intrigue that I disdn’t even mind.
Add to that Robert Langdon’s knowlege and problem solving regarding Dante Alighieri‘s Inferno.
When I was in college, there was a time we read and discussed Dante’s original work and it spiked fear and intrigue in me. Imagine if it’s used as a clue for you to go on a hunt for the threat that is out there.
#2 – Digital Fortress (2004)
One of the best standalone book I have ever read.
I’m really dumb when it comes to mathematics. I flunked basic algebra twice! So it’s a surprise even to me how much I enjoyed this book.
Dan Brown’s writing style is so beautiful and concise. You have no fear that the complicated details will go over your head.
I probably should reread this soon because I don’t remember much of it other than the fact that codes and numbers were used. I was so awed at how the codes were cracked! I wanted to study codes in general and maybe even invent one myself. I was that obsessed!
It was also action-packed. The characters were under a time restraint to stop whatever is happening and there’s an assassin amongst them.
#1 – Angels & Demons (2006)
One of my favorite books of all time, everybody!
I did a report on this in highschool. I recommend it to anyone interested in delving into the general fiction genre. I obsessively (up until now) research and study anything I can find about Vatican City and Illuminati.
Not the Illuminati that people think they know about just because they see a triangle somewhere!
I hate how people think they know Illuminati just because there’s a random triangle somewhere. Or an eye. Or think that Lady Gaga is one of them.
I’m not claiming to be an expert on said topic because I honestly don’t even believe that the Illuminati is real much more talk about it in depth.
But Dan Brown’s version of it just blew my mind. The enlightened ones, they were called. I desperately wished I was smart enough to know atleast 1/4 of Robert Langdon’s knowlege.
I also want to go to Vatican City someday and go to all the places they went to in this book! How I researched the places and art pieces and studied about Bernini!
This book made me want to study European Studies in college!
I read this book in 2008. I remember it well because in the book, we learn about Catholic’s history, rules, and beliefs. I was so intrigued by the Conclave and Sistine Chapel and St. Peter’s Basilica!
Especially since as I was reading this, I was watching a live news report of how the real life conclave is inside Sistine Chapel at the moment, voting for who the next Pope will be!
I’m not saying I was excited over the death of Pope John Paul II…but this book was so similar to my reality at that time. You have no idea how the experience had an impact on me.
I have an Illustrated Edition of this book because I still hold on to the dream that someday, I’ll get to see those places and art works in real life.
And lastly, have you seen the Angels & Demons logo that when you flip upside down, it still spells out Angels & Demons??! I am still obsessed over that.
I forgot what it’s called but I used to draw it incessantly. I memorized it by heart. How to draw Air, Earth, Fire, and Water in the same way. It’s as close to magic as you can give me.
I can’t wait to finish reading Origin and see where in this list it will fall.
So far, from what I’ve already read, it reminds me a little of Angels & Demons, which I love! Therefore, I am enjoying it.
Have you read any Dan Brown books?
What are your thoughts about them? Let me know!