When I started reading this book, I forgot that I have already partly watched the movie about the sequel before this book. The Subtle Knife is the continuation of Philip Pullmans The Golden Compass. Since, I did not realize that is the continuation of that story, I went on and read it. And I felt a tinge of dismay about how the author is trying to use his expert writing and great imagination to supply a very anti-Churh message.
I do not recommend this book to children and to those whose foundation to their faith is not settled yet. I am not sure if Brown (the author of the Da Vinci Code) and Pullman know each other. However, somehow it seem that they do not really believe in the Church and are total Anti-Church! It is that or they are just using this anti-Church plot to fuel a controversy that will allow their books to be controversial enough to be bought.
The story is really really good nonetheless. I just really hate how he used the church and the church based terms and then try to imbibe into the minds of the reader that the Authority (God) is the one who is bad. And that the cardinals and all that believe in the Church as the basis of evil and wrongdoings.
If only he didn't use the Church and the real God in his novel, I will say that he is a great writer. But he is not. He is an opportunistic delinquent whose aim is to earn money and nothing else.