6 journalers for this copy...
had it a while, got it through trade, it's on my partners TBR stack
I had to give up on Digital Fortress very early on, because he either had not done his research into cryptography, or had done his research but failed to understand it. Either way, he was going into a lot of detail that was utter nonsense.
This one I borrowed from my partner. Deception Point starts out OK, the prose is perfectly readable, and there is a character about which one finds oneself caring. BUT, then the Bad Science kicks in and this has put me right off.
First is his maths. There is an object (remotely detected by its unusually high density, if you can believe that) described as being 10 ft in diameter and weighing "over 8 tons", although later references take the 8 ton figure as definitive. If it is even aproximately spherical, its volume is around 14 cubic metres. Ergo, if it is the same density as water it will weigh 14 tonnes. His phrasing opens the possibility that it is actually less dense than water. There is no excuse for getting this wrong; the formula for the volume of a sphere is about as simple as they get, and is readily available.
Second, he has an "expert" on meteorites describing the heat of entry into the Earth's atmosphere. And this character states that the heating is due to friction. Oh, dear. This is demonstrating very poor research on the author's part. Every expert on meteorites is well aware that the heating is due to compression of the air in front of the object, with perhaps a 1% contribution from friction.
Third, there is a discussion of the possibility of extraterrestrial life, in which he states that it is well known that ET life is most likely to be arthropod (insects, spiders, scorpions etc.), because they make up 95% of species on Earth and 40% of the biomass. Well, maybe that's true of the animal kingdom, but, hello?, what about the plants, fungi, bacteria, cyanobacteria, protista and archaea? At one point, he even mentions meteorite ALH84001, the one in which NASA claimed to find fossil microbes back in '96. In fact, it has been known for a long time (perhaps 20-30 years) that ET life is most likely to be microbial (bacteria or something rather like them), which is why NASA made such a fuss over ALH84001. Again, this demonstrates sloppy or non-existent research. It is not difficult to find rational speculation about the possible form of extraterrestrial life.
Fourth, he states that arthropods are the hardiest of organisms. Well, some of them are very hardy (expecially tardigrades, aka water bears), but there is a class of bacteria on Earth referred to as "extremophiles", because they thrive in extreme conditions (e.g. high temperature, high acidity, high alkilinity). Extremophiles beat any arthropod hands down at tolerating extreme conditions, hence the name (a kind of English-Greek compound word indicating affinity for extreme conditions). This error could be artistic licence taken to set up a plot device, but I won't say why (to avoid spoilers). No matter why, it is still wrong, and it still smacks of poor research.
Fifth (yes, it goes on!), there is one point where they are lifting this object (specifically described as "stony") through many feet of ice. They heat it with a laser so it will melt the ice as they haul it upwards. Again, oh, dear. Stone is a very poor conductor of heat (as anyone who has read "Pigeon Post" by Arthur Ransome will know). If you point a powerful laser at a large stone, you will crack the stone. You will certainly not end up heating the entire stone. Again, this is either poor research on the author's part or a failure to take the trouble to understand what he wants to describe.
I have reached page 133 out of 557, and decided to give up on this.
In conclusion, I am inclined to agree with Stephen Fry's assessment of Dan Brown novels. Look at the personal quotes in Stephen Fry's entry on the imdb:
CAUGHT IN SPENNYMOOR CO. DURHAM UK
This will be up for trade at www.sf-books.com
Sending as a RABCK to celebrate my new job
Thanks to suedo for sending me this RABCK. And to follow suit I am sending this as a surprise RABCK to Luckeydipper who has it on her wishlist.
I will be forwarding it on as part of 'The 2006 Keep Them Moving Challenge'
WILD RELEASE NOTES:
Luckydipper - Surprise!! Hope you like the RABCK. I saw it on your Wishlist!!
Please visit my Guestmap and stick a pin on it!
Thank you so much for sending me a surprise book from my wishlist, you have really made my day.
Ps. Thanks heaps for the postcard, it has filled a special place in my album.
update: I have just checked with rabck.com and found another BCer who would like to read this book, so it is being mailed off with another Dan Brown book I have at the moment.
WILD RELEASE NOTES:
'Surprise' I saw on cliff wishes that you would like to read this book, I then confirmed your address on both rabck.com and your profile page ...... and tadaah here tis...
Happy Bookcrossing gingechick!
All around there are books sipping cool drinks under shady palms while other books participate in a wide variety of beach sports. There is plenty of sand, surf and sun here for all of the lost and wayward books to enjoy.
It is hoped that very soon a new journal entry will come to rescue this book from the island and send it back out into the BookCrossing world so that it may continue on its journey. It is hoped that the new journal entry will tell all the interested parties where this book has been this long time and where it will be traveling to next.
I am going to start on reading this on the weekend!
WILD RELEASE NOTES: