Reading Dan Brown is like watching a car crash. This comment on Crooked Timber sums it up for me: 'Dan Brown has depth. He writes crappy books made up of crappy sentences made up of crappy words; positively fractal.' This is precisely it, every layer is just as bad as every other.
Descending from the chopper in her khaki shorts and white sleeveless top, Vittoria Vetra looked nothing like the bookish physicist he had expected (cut inept and lengthy description of her body) “Ms Vetra is a woman of tremendous personal strength,” Kohler said … “She spends months working in dangerous ecological systems. She is a strict vegetarian and CERN’s resident guru of Hatha yoga.” …She turned to Langdon, holding out a slender hand. “My name is Vittoria Vetra. You’re from Interpol, I assume?” Langdon took her hand, momentarily spellbound by the depth of her watery gaze.
OMG. Every sentence is poorly structured, every word is poorly chosen ('watery?'). The core concepts are crap, and the logistics of the paragraph are stupid (why is she introduced by name twice?). It's like looking into brain damage.
But this is a book about
... Harvard symbologist, Robert Langdon, as he tries to stop the Illuminati, a legendary secret society, from destroying the Vatican City with the newly-discovered power of antimatter.
That's just the kind of book I'd usually love to read. The Illuminati trilogy is great. Symbologist? Newly-discovered power of antimatter? Apparently the key plot device is that hundreds of scholars have been working for centuries to try and create a graphic design of the word 'Illuminati' which reads the same upside down as right way up (an ambigram). For centuries? I suspect they were on hourly rates.