Saturday, 20 April 2013

The Oracle Code by Charles Brokaw

After reading The Da Vinci Code, I am in constant search for historical thrillers with some history, intrigue, lots of puzzles, science, mythology and twists and turns. The Oracle Code by Charles Brokaw published as an ebook in 2012, is the fourth book featuring Thomas Lourds, Linguistics Professor from Harvard. I haven't read the first three books: The Atlantis Code, The Lucifer Code and The Temple Mount Code.

In this book, Thomas Lourds is working with his archaeological friends in Afghanistan trying to solve the code in an ancient scroll written in an ancient language. Boris, Lourds' friends, is looking for the tomb of Alexander and he discovers a scroll that could lead him to the tomb. While tomb of Alexander is of importance to Archeologists and historians, why is the Russian President Nevsky interested in the tomb? What is so special about the tomb that he employs an assassin to follow Boris and Lourds closely? Is there really something in that tomb that could regain the glory of Russia? It is not just Russians interested in the work of these Archaeologist, most of the work happens in Afghanistan so Taliban also shows some interest. Will these Archaeologist find the tomb of Alexander against all these forces?

What I really liked in Dan Brown's books is that the clues, puzzles etc are shared with the readers and readers can have a go at solving them. While I understand it is not possible for readers to solve something written in an ancient language, still I wish there was something for me to solve, and the only puzzle shared is quite obvious. It is not really interesting to say Lourds is sitting in his room trying to decipher something in an ancient language, is it?

The Russian angle is interesting showing the conflict between new Russia and Old Russia. The need to move ahead and the nostalgic feeling to bring back the glory of the lost past is shown by the journalist Anna Cherkshan and her father, General Anton Cherkshan. The young journalist represents the New Russia ready to embrace capitalism and ready to bring to light the atrocious plans of the tyrants, the General has seen the glorious USSR and wants to bring back the glory to the broken Russia.. But I feel the sudden change in the General in the end is quite out of character. We also get a glimpse of Ukraine and its political state and conflict.

The starting and the ending sequences are thrilling but I wish there were more twists and turns. I have a problem with the ending, Lourds goes looking for something but finds something else and the story ends, meaning it doesn't really end. I wish it is more conclusive, he finds what he goes looking for, and finishes this mission.

DISCLAIMER: I received a free ebook in exchange for an honest review. I was not compensated for my opinion or this post.


Clarissa Draper said...

I too love books with codes (as you probably noticed) and I am always looking for new books to read. Thanks for the review.

srivalli said...

Thanks for stopping by and for the special course in cryprography!