This is the second novel I've read by Adrian Dawson (the other being Sequence) and I must say I'm looking forward to more from him. This has an intersting plot involving high technology and religious texts (think high tech Bible Code) along with strong characters and plenty of adventure and intrigue. There are elements that are far-fetched but, hey, its fiction after all. It kept me engaged from beginning to end. Give it a try.
The real problem I had with the book is that there was too much 'telling' and not enough 'showing.' The plot was interesting but took too long to development. It was painful for me to get through the first act. The second and third acts were much, much better but even in them there was too much explaining and just not enough action with the characters.
Why you may ask? Because the plot has all the makings of a great thriller, a read that nobody should put down, and one that by any means should be an easy translation to the silver screen. However, the catastrophe that keeps this book, in my opinion, away from the truly great thrillers of the past two decades is the way the writer unfolds the plot to us...and it's a shame. Adrian Dawson needs to hire a new editor, just for the fact that the editor never told Adrian to cut down on the excruciatingly long internal dialogue and thought process of several characters and given them instead something to do with each other.
As someone else mentioned in another review, the first third of the book was hard to get through. There were too many chapters where we read what is essentially an essay on what happens instead of a story that unfolds through character interactions. Page after page, we get paragraph after paragraph of just personal accounts of stuff happening. It doesn't help that most of the time Dawson spews too much flowery writing that bogs down the reading. We want descriptive writing--to a point, but sometimes it's just overkill and it looked like Dawson was trying hard to make every sentence a poetic exercise in similes and deep meanings.
However, the plot is a good one as I stated above. The only reason I got through it was because the plot kept me in it. I wanted to know what would happen next, and for that I have to give Dawson credit. And when Dawson actually creates a real scene with dialogue and interaction between characters, the pages come alive and that's when Codex is at its best. If Dawson would have just converted some of those chapters of internal thoughts into conversations between characters, the book would have been magnificent and I would have gladly given it a 5-star rating, but as it is now, the book needs a heavy re-write and a better balance between scene and internal exposition.
It wasn't my cup of tea, but it wasn't a bitter cup either.
When Jack Bernstein's prodigal daughter Lara is killed as a result of the bombing of flight 320, the one time chess Grandmaster is completely unaware that the flight was downed for one reason... to stop his daughter coming home.
Having been summoned via a strangely coded message to a meeting with a man referring to himself only as 'Simon', Jack is made aware that his daughter was leaving a lot more than her new life behind. She was also leaving a secret... one that has been building for centuries and one which a global group of corporations will stop at nothing to protect. It soon becomes apparent that Lara Bernstein's new life was no accident. Lara was selected to become part of an ever-expanding belief and her selection was a direct result of her father's company's near-perfection of the one thing they need - true artificial intelligence, computer systems capable of cracking the most complex codal system known to man.
As With his superb thriller SEQUENCE - Adrian Dawson has proven himself to be at the very top of the thriller genre- creating both characters and plots that literally fly off the page into the reader's consciousness- a rare feat for any writer. Mr Dawson is a writer to not only read- but savor!
Both SEQUENCE AND CODEX ARE MUST READS!!
JAMES MASON COMMUNITY BOOK CLUB'S MUST READS
RICK FRIEDMAN FOUNDER THE JAMES MASON COMMUNITY BOOK CLUB