Review: Newton's Fire / Author: Will Adams / Publisher: Harper / Release Date: December 6th
When disgraced Newtonian scholar Luke Hayward discovers some lost papers written by Sir Isaac Newton in a dusty attic, he becomes embroiled in a global conspiracy that leads all the way up to the Vice President of the United States. He finds himself caught in a race against time to decipher centuries-old clues left by a long-dead genius, with not only his own life at stake, but possibly the lives of millions.
There will be some of you, after reading that summary, who will start to think, "Hang on, wasn't there another, fairly successful book by Dan Brown, that sounded a bit similar?" There was, and there are more than a few similarities between the two novels. Newton's Fire not only borrows the underlying theme of The Da Vinci Code, but also duplicates a fair number of its story beats, right down to the love interest and the betrayal by a trusted friend. Being honest, for the most part it's pretty formulaic stuff. That's not to say that the book is bad, however. In most ways that matter, it's a better novel than the book it seems to draw it's inspiration from.
The story has been well researched, and the sprinkling of historical facts provide a level of interest beyond what you would get from a standard thriller. It's nice to finish a book and feel that you actually learned a little from it. Will Adam's writing style is smooth, and the plot moves along at a cracking pace, while the characters are generally well drawn and believable. That said, the ending becomes a little far-fetched, and the big reveal as to what Newton's Fire actually is, was quite underwhelming.
These nitpicks aside, Newton's Fire is an engaging, entertaining and intelligent read that fans of Dan Brown will love.