I thought the book was a good thriller. It made nice use of puzzles. It made good use of religion, including wild religious conspiracy theories.
I think it's the addition of the religion angle that has made the book a monster hit. The book paints an alternate history of Christianity that is obviously attractive to a contemporary audience. Jesus becomes more of a man, and a non-virginal "sacred feminine" gets rewritten into Christian history.
We saw the movie with a friend who had not read the book. She really liked the move and found it thought provoking. Marsha and I found the movie a bit less thrilling, but that was partly because we already knew all the secrets and twists.
Do I have to believe this story
When it tells me that the Templars
Really were exemplars
Of dedicated glory?
Or were they simply gory
Guys who trampled
Lives to build their ample