Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Book Review: "Digital Fortress" by Dan Brown

In rounding out my Dan Brown reading there was only 1 of the 4 novels I hadn't read. But now I have and I wish I would have read this one first. That way I wouldn't have been let down. "Digital Fortress" doesn't to have the edge or the constant action found in "The DaVinci Code" or even "Angels & Demons." It's not a bad novel, it's just very tame when compared to those action thrillers.

In "Digital Fortress" Dan Brown covers a very timely storyline, in which the U.S. Intelligence community relies on the NSA. And the NSA Relies on a new computer called TRANSLTR, which can snoop and read every email and break any encryption code. Published at least 5 years before President Bush had problems with wiretapping and snooping, Mr. Brown was talking about how the government could snoop through your e-mails. The action begins when a former NSA employee a computer expert, Ensei Tankado, who helped design TRANSLTR, does not think the government has the right to snoop in private lives of citizens and vows to make an unbreakable encryption code.

The code is Digital Fortress, and after creating the code the creator, Tankado dies of a heart attack, but not before putting the code up on the internet. The NSA has downloaded the code to try to break it but problems erupt without the key to the encryption code. Tankado's motto, "Who will guard the guards" is moved on through the fact that unless the NSA publicly admits to having TRANSLTR the code will destry TRANSLTR.

The action of this book is lacking mainly because most of the events take place in the Crypto-Dome of the NSA (home of TRANSLTR). However, Dan Brown, does do his signature globe hopping, by the NSA having to send the fiance (David Becker) of one of it's crypto agents (Susan Fletcher), to Spain to find the key which is with Tankado's body. At least that's where it started. So between the events in the crypto-dome and David Becker trying to locate a ring that Tankado handed off to tourists at the time of his death, the action just doesn't match up to Mr. Brown's other books.

It is a good espionage, plot-twister novel. Just don't compare to other Dan Brown books.

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posted by Gil T. @ 7:52 PM Comments: 0