This is the fourth book featuring the character Cotton Malone. Right off, I have to say that I'm a huge fan of Steve Berry's work and have been anxiously awaiting this novel. This book brings back several characters that have appeared in previous books: Stephanie Nelle, President Danny Daniels, Edwin Davis, and of course, Cotton Malone. It also introduces a twisted German family and a Navy conspiracy. This adventure roams up and down the East coast of the United States, Germany, and Antarctica.
While I enjoyed this book, I was a little disappointed. It didn't seem to grab me the same way the previous books did. I felt that this novel centered on too many relationships and personal conflicts rather than the history/mystery that usually keeps the story moving. Oddly, I enjoyed the chapters about what was happening state-side more than Cotton's journey. The concept behind the story is fascinating, though only really tangentially related to Charlemagne.
All in all, this was a good book. I would not hesitate in recommending it to anyone (though of course I would recommend they read the previous novels first) - in fact, my sister is already desperate to read it. One of the best things about this book was that the end more or less promised a future novel. Steve Berry remains one of my all-time favorite modern novelists.