I've never been in Paris. I wasn't a DaVinci's fan and didn't know much about his works & paintings except Mona Lisa. When I picked up Dan Brown's Da Vinci Code to read, I did have a hard time to follow the Da Vinci's works and some sightseeings in Paris described in the book. Thus, I had my computer connected to Internet besides me to dig out different paintings and photos of what the book mentioned like Louvre, Pentacle, The Last Supper, Opus Dei Headquarters, etc. Luckily, The Da Vinci Code Special Illustrated Edition is just out.
I couldn't wait and purchased immediately regardless I have the regular hardcover edition of Da Vinci Code, which I plan to give it to one of my friends. This Special Illustrated Edition is not a cartoon or comic edition of Dan Brown's Da Vinci Code, nor it is an abridged version. It's a full original version embedded with over 126 colorful pictures & photos besides the text. It saves you lots of time & effort to search from Internet if you don't know how Château de Villette looks like, the overview map of the Louvre, and many other scenes, buildings, paintings mentioned in Dan Brown's Da Vinci Code. Overall, it's LOVELY!
Undoubtfully Dan Brown has done amazing jobs to his book "The Da Vinci Code". The story is powerful and magnificent. Mixing with a lot of traceable truth and facts, he made his novel sound extremely convincing and inevitably deluded you from what's real and what's fictional. However, please don't take it too serious, it's just a novel, not a research paper trying to make a breakthrough statement. Overall, the book has quite a lot of twists shocking you. Even the ending has double meanings. Make sure you read the Epilogue chapter, or you won't know where the Holy Grail rests that Dan Brown suggested as the poem below:
"The Holy Grail 'neath ancient Roslin waits.
The blade and chalice guarding o'er Her gates.
Adorned in masters' loving art, She lies.
She rests at last beneath the starry skies."
For people who love deciphering codes, Dan Brown wisely placed some codings on the regular hardcover edition's paper cover. If you pay attention you may find some bold fonts seemed appearing randomly. Link them up and you should see a hint to read.
(Reviewed by Otto Yuen, 21-Nov-2004)