2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing Read
Dan Brown has inspired me to read and actually find it enjoyable. I was never a vivid reader and despised reading most books I picked up "Deception Point," another novel by Dan Brown. I read it and was hooked. For each of Dan Brown's 4 books, I have never been so into a book in my life, I read for hours on end hoping to finish the novel to read the ending. Admittedly, I...
Published on June 16 2006 by L. Ha
3.0 out of 5 stars Enjoying enough read, but leaves a lot to be desired
While I have generally enjoyed all of Dan Brown's stories, I found Digital Fortress somewhat unbelievable and far-fetched. For a work of fiction, an adventure and thriller, it meets the requirements, so long as you don't delve too deeply into the facts or science. The abilities of the characters also don't quite meet the mark - somewhat unbelievable and not in the realm...
Published on Nov. 4 2005 by Avid Reader
Most Helpful First | Newest First
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing Read,
Dan Brown has inspired me to read and actually find it enjoyable. I was never a vivid reader and despised reading most books I picked up "Deception Point," another novel by Dan Brown. I read it and was hooked. For each of Dan Brown's 4 books, I have never been so into a book in my life, I read for hours on end hoping to finish the novel to read the ending. Admittedly, I believe that The Da Vinci Code was over-hyped. Of the 4 books of his that I have read, The Da Vinci code was the worst. Digital Fortress, however, was not disappointing.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Digitally good,
Normally one to keep to something our book club is reading ("Life of Pi" by Martel, or "Katzenjammer" by McCrae), I veered off the path in search of my own "grail." Low and behold, I found Dan Brown. No I have NOT read "Da Vinci Code" but I will. DF is my first book of his and I loved it! This is just not something I'd ususally pick up, but WOW! What a punch this one packs. I guess if you're expecting a hyped up book, you might be disappointed, but I hadn't heard that much about "this one" and wasn't expecting much. Must also recommend the novels "About a Boy," and "Katzenjammer" by McCrae. Also, anything by Brown.
3.0 out of 5 stars Enjoying enough read, but leaves a lot to be desired,
This review is from: Digital Fortress: A Thriller (Paperback)
While I have generally enjoyed all of Dan Brown's stories, I found Digital Fortress somewhat unbelievable and far-fetched. For a work of fiction, an adventure and thriller, it meets the requirements, so long as you don't delve too deeply into the facts or science. The abilities of the characters also don't quite meet the mark - somewhat unbelievable and not in the realm of reality. While looking for something new to put a better taste in my mouth, I discovered a new thriller recently whose characters (unique) and strong science and facts, provided me with more thought-provoking ideas - Fusion, by Bruce Huntly. This one has ideas and characters you can enjoy and take seriously, and he even provides a possible solution to some of today's energy problems. I would recommend Fusion as a serious addition for readers of Dan Brown and Michael Crichton. Don't get me wrong, Digital Fortress keeps your attention and is an entertaining enough book but it fell short on some of my expectations.
Also recommended: Bruce Huntly: Fusion; Dan Brown: The Da Vinci Code, Deception Point; John Grisham: The Broker; Michael Crichton: State of Fear; Douglas Preston, Tyrannosaur Canyon.
3.0 out of 5 stars Same plot over again, but still worth reading,
This review is from: Digital Fortress: A Thriller (Paperback)
This is the 3rd book I read from Dan Brown. I started with da Vinci Code like everyone and loved it. So I went on and read Deception Point, and now I just finished Digital Fortress. The latter two had exacly the same plot as the first one. Reading DF, I found myself skipping pages forward a couple of times, since it was so easy to predict what was gonna happen and I just couldn't read it again.
If this is the first book you read from Brown and you are not too much aware of computer security, you will love it. But if it isn't the first book, you'll easily guess the plot since the author uses the exact same plot through all the books I read from him. I still think it's worth reading if this is not your first Dan Brown but as I said, you we be a little disapointed with the plot.
Now, I'm an expert in the field of computer science security. Two third of the books I read from this author, and I know Angels and Demons deal with that to, have to do with cryptography. So, I think Dan Brown should get a lot more knowledge about cryptography and computer security before publishing his next novel. It seems to me that he just got a few "buzz" words from some cryptograhers so that he could throw them in the novels as needed. Also, some of his puzzles like the one in da Vinci code where you have to look in a mirror to decrypt a message, are way too easy. I'm not asking for puzzles imposible to solve, but at least something that would challenge the average reader. This is true for some puzzles in DF also.
Not all bad comes from Dan Brown's novels. I found that it is really well written and interesting. When I start reading his books, I know I wont be able to stop for a couple hundred pages. I love the fact that he bases his stories on hightech consiparies. I would just love to see him write a novel where the high tech stuff would actually make sens. That doesn't mean it has to be possible as this is a sci-fi novel you have to be open minded for the impossible to happen!
5.0 out of 5 stars Worth A Look!,
This review is from: Digital Fortress (Hardcover)
Although "The Fort" (Fort Meade, home of the legendary and most secretive National Security Agency) seems to be at the thematic center of this book, the author, a member of the high-IQ Mensa society, is at least as much interested in humanizing the male and female protagonists (both of whom have IQs that would dwarf those of plain vanilla Mensans) as in the maze-like nuances of abusing code making and code breaking in the computer age.
True enough, the opportunities for rogue activities abound in the "black world" of cryptography -- and, plausibly, they might even extend to the highest reaches of the organization whose mission was so sensitive that even its acronym remained classified until very recently.
Clearly, the author risks treading on the sacred, potentially killing ground that he fictionally represents. Indeed, the author claims to have been informed of details about the NSA by two trusted aficionados of the secret world.
He did not need to acknowledge these sources since his fictional work is harmless fun -- only interesting to the crypto lords and wizards, perhaps, for its recruiting potential (and NSA is facing a crisis of personnel as perhaps never before in its history).
Yet the games presented in the Fort -- and in the field -- to complicate the mystery and to bring it to a literarily satisfying conclusion have a pattern too, and for those interested in trying their mastery of the black arts, a coded message is included.
The pattern and play of the work do suggest that high spirits and thinking "on the fly" are still valuable -- Cold War or none! I enjoyed this book great, but try it for yourself. Pick up a copy! Another book I need to recommend -- very much on my mind since I purchased a "used" copy off Amazon is "The Losers' Club: Complete Restored Edition" by Richard Perez, an unconventional, weirdly entertaining little novel I can't stop thinking about.
1.0 out of 5 stars Don't read this because you liked DaVinci code,
By A Customer
After DaVinci & A&D, I went hunting for any Dan Brown book. This one was a big big deception.
Don't read this because you liked DaVinci code or Angels and Demons. This has nothing to do with it. You won't find here the same kind of caracter with interesting knowledge that add to the story and make it so unique...
In this one, I even knew who the vilain was after a couple of chapters....
the "computer side" of this story is a bunch of nonsence - If you know a little bit about computer security, you'll see for yourself. This is Hollywood style computer suspence... Furthermore, I can't understand any suspence on any computer dangerous situation when you just have to have someone unplug the damn thing.
You'd better wait for the next Robert Langdon story. A caracter with style! :)
A not to interesting plot with a killer in Spain running after a someone trying to retrieve a ring that is a key to a decoding program. Meanwhile, in the US, a not to interesting plot to solve the decoding program that turns out to be something else...
5.0 out of 5 stars Calm down guys, good plot,
Hey, I actually thought this book was better than the Da Vinci Code. The plot twists and turns and the action never stops. It's easy to say things are predictable AFTER the fact. It's really not that predictable. More on this later. The cleverness of the plot overcomes the potential technical flaws. And by the way, some of errors people listed were not really errors. Fiction is not supposed to be entirely real, it just has to fit within the constructs of the reality they are in. Most things seemed to make sense and while not explained thoroughly, it was good enough of an explanation anyway. Just a few possible errors.
My chief complaint would be that in classic Dan Brown style, the protagonist is able to dodge bullets better than Neo from the Matrix. But hey that is only mildly ridiculous and kinda funny anyway.
Enjoyment of novels are really subjective anyway, so you really can't take anyone's word for it, but go with what you know, Dan Brown writes good books. That being said, I can now begin insulting other people who wrote comments.
POTENTIAL plot spoilers to follow:
People were complaining that shutting down million dollar devices came down to simply unplugging it. Brown sorta justified why devices of such complexity took some time to shut down, even if you think shutting down a giant computer is like shutting down a microwave. People have been saying "Just yank it out of the wall!" However, that's not the point. The point is an engaging plot with a reasonable amount of technical flaws which are acceptable BECAUSE IT'S NOT A TEXTBOOK.
By the way, to address another issue. Strathmore knew the original writer of the program could not trace the revised version because Strathmore ordered the original writer killed. Dead guy wouldn't know the difference right?
By the way, Strathmore didn't ask Susan to just come over to blow his cover (interesting word choice). Actually, He asked her over because he had trouble executing his secret plan and needed her genius to help. Besides she's hot. Wouldn't you want to be alone with a hot genius in a VERY SECURE NSA building with her boyfriend slated to die? Sounds like a good idea to me.
How could you say the plot was predictable? The end of one of the chapters has you thinking Hale is going to rape Susan, but then he buttons her blouse back up and it turns out Strathmore the old man is in love with her despite the horniness of Hale! How clever!
I'm an Electrical Engineer and unlike that software engineering guy I'm not trying to impose my 'expertise' on disparaging a great novel. Get a life dude! Enjoy good fiction!
2.0 out of 5 stars Pedestrian, though not the worst of its ilk,
This being the 3rd of Brown's books that I've read, I probably won't pick up any more. Da Vinci left me a bit cold, if only because some of the puzzles were simple and all the "codes" in it were not from Da Vinci, but from a 2ndary character. 3 stars.
Angels and Demons attracted me since I'd recently been to Italy, and I enjoyed reading about some of the places I'd actually been, but the "awe and wonder" of the ambigrams felt a bit silly and contrived, since there are websites that can automatically create these types of things for you. 3.5 stars.
While I'm not saying Digital Fortress didn't have its moments, I feel it is the weakest of the three. When the reader sees the answer to the final puzzle immediately, and it takes the supposedly brilliant people in the book more than 20 pages to figure it out, that gets frustrating. I'm of certainly no more than average intelligence, so I expected more. The characters often very quickly jump to highly emotional conclusions/actions without considering other options. I also dislike the author's use of phrases similar to, "<character> was absolutely certain that <wrong thing> was true, there could be no other explanation!", when quite clearly there could be many other explanations. I've noticed he does that in every book, and it grates.
The more I read from Dan Brown, the more I suspect he's writing for younger people...maybe 8th grade or early high school. There is merit in this, but I guess it's just not for me.
All that said, if you loved his other work, you'll probably love this one, too. Characters are similarly drawn, similarly emotional, and the plot is similarly (i.e., "quickly") paced.
2.0 out of 5 stars Engaging, but gargantuan flaws in the plot,
Well it would have been hypocritical not to give it a couple of stars since I read it to the end. Wish I'd resisted the urge to do that, but the short chapters and the-thrill (even murder)-a-minute pace, like a bad addiction, were hard not to give in to.
The flaws in the plot were gargantuan. Would be interesting to have a contest to see who could tally the largest list. (Don't read further if you plan to read the book!) Several come to mind immediately. The main thrust of the book is that Strathmore, the Deputy Director of NSA, was attempting to write a back door to a rogue encryption algorithm that he thought (mistakenly) was for all practical purposes capable of producing uncrackable codes. The world unknowingly would get his doctored algorithm, and NSA could secretively snoop the production of its codes. This he was doing in secret on a weekend in his office. So he invites the attractive Susan over for some reason. But why? She could only blow his cover.
Another. Somehow Strathmore figures that the author of the original algorithm would never bother to check or would have great difficulty checking the revised version that NSA would put on the Net against his original. You run a BINCOM program and see in about 2 seconds that modifications have been made.
Then there's the 2 billion-dollar computer that burns up because it was drawing too much current and it could not be cut off. I guess they ran out of money for circuit breakers. Later a machine with the NSA database of sensitive data could not be unplugged from the Internet when its access regulation was being thwarted by a worm. Etc., etc.
'Course without the flaws, like with much fiction, you wouldn't have had much of a story, but Brown stretched things wildly.
Now I need to figure out the flaw in my makeup that led me to use my time this way.
3.0 out of 5 stars The slowest Brown read and most trite, but not horrible,
By A Customer
For me, the hallmark of a Brown novel is that it is exactly as "Riveting!" and "Relentless!" as the back cover would have you believe. The chapters are short bits concentrating on one storyline, each ending in a mini cliff-hanger. The reader rolls from one chapter to the next trying to amass enough of a sense of resolution so (s)he can put the book down...which never happens. THAT's Brown's narrative momentum and THAT's what is missing from Digital Fortress.
The characters are a bit drab and, as described above, the structure does not have the momentum of his other work. There is also a point at the end (when the big "reveal" happens to explain what is REALLY going on) when, as a reader, I felt like I was way ahead of him. He had already said enough to give away the twist, but I was forced to read 2 pages of conversation and cinematic details as the answers dawned on the characters and events played out. It was a terrible suspense killer right at the end of the book that left me with a sinking disappointment. NOT what I usually get from Dan Brown.
BUT if you have read everything else Dan Brown and just want more, this one is fine but it might not meet your expectations after reading his other stuff.
Most Helpful First | Newest First
Digital Fortress: A Thriller by Dan Brown (Mass Market Paperback - Nov. 4 2008)
CDN$ 11.99 CDN$ 10.79