Angels and Demons, by Dan Brown

>> Monday, March 07, 2005

Angels and Demons is a prequel to Dan Brown's blockbuster The Da Vinci Code.

An ancient secret brotherhood.
A devastating new weapon of destruction.
An unthinkable target.

World-renowned Harvard symbologist 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
Most of those of my friends who've read both books have actually told me they liked Angels and Demons better than The Da Vinci Code, but I liked it a bit less myself. Still, I'd give it a good grade, a B.

What I liked best was the treasure hunt aspect, following Langdon around Rome as he deduced, step by step, the Path of Illumination. And thanks to the Internet, I was even able to see what each place looked like. I didn't think to use the author's own site for this and ended up googling, but if you've already read the book, here are pictures of all the locations, courtesy of Dan Brown.

I was also very interested by the stuff about the Vatican and the way a new Pope gets elected, especially since the speculation has already started these days. And anyway, even without this, a papal conclave is fascinating, anyway.

Even with this, I wasn't all that crazy about the book right until near the end. I don't want to give anything away, but I'll just say that I liked what was actually going on much better than what it seemed was going on.

The pacing was another of the things I didn't like very much. I'm just not fond of break-neck speed, race-against-time books. I know this is very personal, and most people won't agree (in fact, this was the reason my mum liked A&D better than TDVC), but I prefer not to get that stressed out. I'm just weird that way ;-)


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