Book review: 'Digital Fortress' by Dan Brown

Posted on January 17, 2007

For decades, the U.S. government has had the ability to encrypt and decrypt email messages. But now, a man claims he has rewritten the book on cryptography and can make messages perfectly undecipherable. At what lengths will the United States government go to keep the lid on him?

When all of the controversy started popping up surrounding "The DaVinci Code," I tried to shy away from Dan Brown books. It was nothing personal; it's just that the majority of time when there's a ridiculous amount of bad publicity concerning a novel, it's not usually because it's amazingly well-written.

Then the movie came out, and I read many of the book's reviews on Amazon. People seemed to trash Brown's writing style more than the controversy surrounding Jesus. I saw the movie, thought it was OK and proceeded on with the rest of my life.

My stepmom recommended I read the fiction novel "Digital Fortress," so I thought this would be a good introduction to Dan Brown. After all, it was somewhat unfair for me to consider him a poor writer if I never read anything he wrote. She said the book reminded her of "The Developers" in certain ways, more from a technological standpoint.

I have to admit, I was a bit surprised about how much I liked "Digital Fortress," and how much I enjoy Brown's writing style. It's succinct and not overly wordy. At the same time, he is able to get the point across and paint a picture of what is going on throughout the story.

The story itself is not bogged down in computer technology, although there are some passages that may require re-reads from a non-computer-savvy person. All in all, the book is an exciting and fast-paced adventure that canvasses not only the computer world, but a world of deception and governmental power.