Daydream Sanctuary Features

Sunday, March 22, 2009

The Rule of Four

The Rule of Four
by Ian Caldwell and Dustin Thomason

A religious fiction novel with a mix of college life and relationships. Not exactly better than Dan Brown's The Da Vinci Code, but to me it's certainly more fun and entertaining.

Rating: B- NICE! It had been really fun!
Favoritism: 7 hearts out of 10
The book is set on the Princeton campus during the weekend of Good Friday, 1999. The story involves four Princeton seniors, friends and roommates, getting ready for graduation: Tom, Paul, Charlie and Gil. Two of the students, Tom and Paul, are trying to solve the mystery contained within an extremely rare, beautifully decorated and very mysterious (real) book— the Hypnerotomachia Poliphili. (Wikipedia)

I see many reviews of it saying that it's better than Dan Brown's The Da Vinci Code and is comparable to the works of other famous authors. I'm a huge fan of religious thrillers, and seeing that this had become a bestseller for months didn't make me think twice of wanting to read this book.

People say that this is a coming-of-age novel . . . but I don't see it as such since there weren't enough issues in it that deal about growing up. It does tackle about youth and changing, but not exactly on becoming matured. It's also said to be some sort of a mix of college life and religious controversies. The parts of the story involving the lives of the boys during their college days was pretty good; the same goes to the parts of the story about religious issues. However, together they didn't blend or mix well in the novel. They seem out of place and don't connect. Certainly not as good as how Dan Brown's books did it. In addition, this is supposed to be a religious thriller, right? Well, a big problem is that I wasn't that thrilled. The parts that could have been thrilling were just narrated like how a history book would. And the religion bits didn't play that much of a big role on the main story either.

Though the events in this book hadn't been as thrilling as Dan Brown's book, the puzzles and mysteries in this book had also been interesting. I like it that it doesn't only concentrate on religion, but even in other disciplines like philosophy, art, medicine, and mathematics. And I am relieved that even if the main cast members are younger than the usual age of characters in other religious thrillers, I don't see much annoying angst and other emo stuff. Also, compare to Dan Brown's The Da Vinci Code, I find this more fun and entertaining. It had more interesting and lovable characters!

My favorite characters are Paul and Gil. Paul is a young prodigy who was an orphan and grew up pretty lonely until he fell in love with a certain book and met the son of its author, who later becomes the best friend he ever had. Paul was so adorable, and it makes me sad when he's left alone or is having problems with something. As for Gil, he's the charming guy with a fun attitude but had a pretty complicated family life. Though he's very popular and wanted by many popular groups, he chose to be closer to his best friends. I love Gil for being so funny. This line of his when he pretended to be a cop made me laugh a lot:
"Put your hands on your hips. . . . Now shake it, baby. Dance."
Hahaha! As for the other two guys (they're a group of four friends actually), Tom is a sweet guy and he's pretty funny at times too but he gives me headaches when he makes Paul sad or disappointed. But I really love the friendship between him and Paul. While Charlie, he's a really good guy. Like what Tom had called him, he's such a hardworking friend. I admire that. I wish I had been like that to my friends too.

What I really liked best in the book is the friendship love. I'm easily touched to stories that involve such nice friendships.

I don't think The Rule of Four is one of the best religious thrillers out there, but it's certainly a good book. I wasn't that hooked to it, but if ever this will be having a sequel, I'm definitely reading that too. :-)