I have read all Dan Brown's books, except Deception Point, so my review here may also containt comparisons about this book with his other books.
Because, well, Dan Brown always use the same plot and storyline, so does he in this book. Being chased by a murderer who does so under instruction of an unknown mastermind while he himself has a mission to accomplish and running out of time is what this book is all about.
This book takes place in Spain and, as always, it offers general knowledge about history, church, politics, and architectural sites, such as Montserrat, Guggenheim Museum Bilbao, Sagrada Familia, Palmarian Church, and about the famous people, mostly this book mentions Antonio Gaudi, William Blake, and Winston Churchill.
One main difference is that this book lacks of symbols and codes breaking, what Langdon pursues is just a quite simple code to break and not much thrilling quest related to interesting symbol twists like how his previous books provide.
Another difference is, well, this book is the most modern and futuristic among all his books. Artificial inteligence, quantum physics, high technology computers and so on. Not much classical artworks like his previous books, this book shows much about modern artworks instead.
The main point is probably most likely alike with what is presented in The Lost Symbol... This book is about a duel of old religion and its politics vs futuristic science. One lead character (other than Langdon of course) sure has a resemblance with Stephen Hawking.
My conclusion is, this book is good and kinda recommended for anyone who loves thrilling adventure in the field of religion and technology related stuffs. The topic about futuristic science and technology is something hot and relevant to our daily life.
***Synopsis, very likely containts spoilers
The story begins with Robert Langdon coming to Guggenheim Museum Bilbao in Spain to attend an event held by friend slash his ex student, an eccentric and atheist futurist and scientist Edmond Kirsch. Here Kirsch wants to convey two big questions of humanity: where do we come from? and where are we going to? He claims he has discovered the answers, answers that may change the world perspectives of religions. He told Langdon before that he had met three big religion leaders in Montserrat about his discoveries because what he is going to share may shake the religions so he decided to show the presentation to them first.
In other places, two of the three leaders had died, killed by a murderer, Luis Admiral Avila an ex Spain Navy Seal whose family got murdered by a terrorist attack in a church in Spain. His action is commanded by Regent, somebody unknown.
Before Kirsch even started his presentation, he is murdered by a gunshot by Avila.
Tohether with Ambra Vidal, the curator of Guggenheim Museum Bilbao, as well as the fiance of Prince Julian, the future king of Spain, Langdon fled from the museum, also helped by Winston, an artificial inteligence program in the form of headset put on his head, they had a mission to break the password Kirsch made to launch his presentation to the world.
Later it was found that Kirsch had been fighting pancreatic cancer this past two years, so even if he wasn't murdered, he just had about nine days left to live.
Langdon and Vidal suspected Bishop Valdespino, the last one survivor of the three religion leaders whom Kirsch met before, as well as Prince Julian himself, for Avila's coming to the event was lately added by the his order. Later the greatest police officer Commander Garza was arrested, leaving them suspect Prince Julian more as he was the only one with right to arrest Commander Garza.
Langdon and Vidal met Avila in a church and had a thrilling fight until both of them are safe and Avila died after falling from spiral staircase during their fight.
After finding the password, they went to Kirsch's computer lab and released his presentation. In his presentation, Kirsch stated that in future, human will blend with technology, become a kind of hibrid. After all is revealed, Langdon found out that his helper, Winston would intantly be deleted at one p.m. Langdon felt a bit sentimental for losing an invisible helpful friend.
Later we are moved to suspect the king, with whom Bishop Valdespino and Prince Julian met out of the hospital where the ming ought to be. However, it was revealed that three of them were clean, and the fact is, somebody is framing Bishop Valdespino for doing evil. He is just, had a romantic relationship with the king, one reason why the king didn't remarry after the death of his wife.
It is finally revealed, when Langdon realizes, that Regent was actually Winston, the A.I. who helped him so far. His mission is to gather as much as possible viewers of Kirsch's video presentation. In order to accomplish this mission, Winston planned to pay Avila to murder Kirsch to create a fuss and lure public's attention. He also murdered two other religion leaders to frame Bishop Valdespino for being the culprit. To sum all up, Kirsch wanted to make a new religion, science, and he became the martyr of his own religion.
From the ending, it's shown the danger of the usage of A.I., for it's inteligence and obedience to his programmer's orders, he wasn't hesitate to murder. After one p.m. Winston is deleted as well as all Kirsch's datas he storaged.