The presentation of DaVinci Code in this format makes a difference (illustrated version!). While I love the high concept and the absolute cleverness of the puzzles, when I originally read DaVinci Code in paperback, I was inclined to give a three stars. Why? The main character to me is too flat, even for a thriller, no real depth or convincing characteristics. Dialogue really bothered me. Where some novelists stop a novel to write mini-essays (Crichton comes to mind, but I enjoy those), long speeches from characters is less effective to me than narrative intrusion. But I still can't dismiss DaVinci code because it's just plain clever. I'm thinking more of the great puzzles than the outcome (the fictional outcome that seems to outrage everyone). I'm delighted (as a novelist) when a novelist breaks through in such a substantive way. Kudos to Dan Brown all the way. I'm a fan. But, frankly, I enjoyed his earlier novels far more (especially Deception Point and even Angels and Demons).
But this illustrated edition is magnificent. Clues I "missed" were readily apparent. Things I thought were just "narrative license" became feasible enough for suspended disbelief when the prose is juxtopositioned against these lush illustrations. The Last Supper rendering is better than reproductions in non fiction books in my library. It was really nice to see a novel in this format, even at this price tag.
And, again, I do think Dan Brown is high concept and successful for a reason. This just isn't my favorite of his novels. I read, recently, where he plans on sticking to this main character in all future novels. That's a shame, to me. His characters in Deception Point were far more engaging!
Overall, a good investment for your library. For a good read, yes, it's still a good read in spite of my quibbles on character and dialogue. Why? Because you can't beat those delightful puzzles and the high concept pitch. But I see DaVinci Code as fun, not controversial.