Friday, February 4, 2011

Angels & Demons by Dan Brown

Book Details
Angels and Demons by Dan Brown
Paperback, 496 Pages
2009, Washington Square Press
ISBN: 1416580824
Series: Book 1 of Robert Langdon

World-renowned Harvard symboligist Robert Langdon is summoned to a Swiss research facility to analyze a cryptic symbol seared into the chest of a murdered physicist. What he discovers is unimaginable: a deadly vendetta against the Catholic Church by a centuries-old underground organization - the Illuminati. Desperate to save the Vatican from a powerful time bomb, Langdon joins forces in Rome with the beautiful and mysterious scientist Vittoria Vetra. Together they embark on a frantic hunt through sealed crypts, dangerous catacombs, deserted cathedrals, and the most secretive vault on earth . . . the long-forgotten Illuminati lair.

When it comes to catholic religion-based adventure mysteries with mainstream appeal, Dan Brown has apparently found the magic recipe. There is no denying that his Robert Landon series has made him a household name. I do have to wonder, though, if he hadn't continued the story with The Da Vinci Code, would Angels and Demons alone have made him such a well-known author.

Angels and Demons may be the first book in the Robert Landon series, but I read it after having read the second book, The Da Vinci Code. I'd imagine this was the case for many saw The Da Vinci Code movie and wanted to see more of Brown's work. Angels and Demons is definitely heavier with the religion, being that it takes place in Vatican City and deals with the murder of current potential popes.

The history here focus on the Illuminati, a secret society of free thinkers of a time long past. Instead of delving deeply into the secrets of the church long ago, the look is at Vatican City itself and the secrets hidden in its architecture and design. We see a lot of present day, inner workings of the religious city, much more so than the beliefs that shaped it.

Angels and Demons contains a thrilling, engaging mystery that would be surprising for the few that haven't already seen the movie version. I can't comment on the accuracy of the history and architecture, but all seems plausible when reading for entertainment alone. Angels and Demons may be too focused on faith for the mystery loving non-believer, but those undeterred by a religious theme will love the adventure.


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