Review

Deception Point

by Dan Brown



There is a Chinese curse that goes something along the lines of
"May you live in interesting times." There have, no doubt, been
times more interesting than these --- I'm very happy to have missed
the 14th Century, for instance --- but we're certainly in the
middle of a wild ride. Part of it has to do with some of the little
boxes of knowledge that we discover, and open, with increasing
frequency.

The advances that have been made in medicine over the last half
century have been nothing short of astounding. Operative procedures
that would have resulted in several days of hospitalization 30
years ago are now done on an outpatient basis. Illnesses that would
have required intermediate care can now be resolved
pharmaceutically at home. Conditions that were once
life-threatening are now curable.

Part of the process of discovery of these medical advances has been
determining, quite basically, who we are, and where we come from.
The answers to these questions have the potential to upset more
than one philosophical apple cart, depending on what the answers
are and assuming that they don't fall into the classification of
the unknowable. But what would happen if someone discovered the
answers --- or at least the hint of the beginning of them --- to
those questions? Or, even more intriguing, what would happen if we
were confronted with irrefutable proof that within the boundless
reach of the Universe we are not alone?

Such a discovery is the premise of DECEPTION POINT, Dan Brown's
latest offering. Those familiar with Brown's previous works,
DIGITAL FORTRESS and ANGELS AND DEMONS, will not be disappointed,
while those encountering Brown for the first time will seek out
those earlier works on the strength of this one. Brown is one of
those guys who gets an idea, does meticulous, painstaking research
on the topic, and combines inspiration and perspiration to present
a novel that is absolutely impossible to stop reading once it has
been started.

This melding of talent and intelligence comes to its ultimate
fruition in DECEPTION POINT. The world is rocked when NASA
discovers, then recovers, an eight-ton meteorite millions of years
old, frozen in Arctic ice since the early 18th Century, which
contains dozens of fossils of an insect life form --- unequivocal
evidence of extraterrestrial life. The discovery, it is announced,
is made possible by the PODS satellite, a controversial NASA
project deemed absolutely necessary by its proponents and a time
and money waster by its critics. There are those inside and outside
of government who want to see PODS succeed or fail, for reasons
that have little to do with research and everything to do with
power, and it appears that PODS has succeeded beyond anyone's
wildest dreams.  

Brown, in DECEPTION POINT, once again demonstrates that he is quite
the craftsman, displaying a knack for character sleight-of-hand
while always playing fair with his audience. Be forewarned: some of
the characters in DECEPTION POINT are not as they seem. Actually,
nothing is. The only certainty is that Brown, within the space of a
few novels, has developed into one of the best of the authors
laboring in the suspense field. His next work no doubt will be
anticipated with the same fervor that his books to date will be
examined.

Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub on January 21, 2011

Deception Point
by Dan Brown

  • Publication Date: November 1, 2001
  • Genres: Fiction, Thriller
  • Hardcover: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Pocket Books
  • ISBN-10: 0671027379
  • ISBN-13: 9780739457153