Tuesday, August 05, 2008
Angels and Demons
This is my book review for Dan Brown's "Angels and Demons".
This is Robert Langdon's first adventure. He's the protagonist in Dan Brown's most famous work, "The Da Vinci Code". The book's tone, plot, and theme is so similar to The Da Vinci Code that it should have been called, "The Bernini Code." That's what it's called in some other European countries. Instead of focusing on Leonardo Da Vinci, this book reveals the secrets of Bernini's hidden messages in his art and architecture.
Someone is brutally murdered. Robert Langdon is awaken once again by a phone call in the middle of the night. The same way the Da Vinci Code starts off. In fact, there are so many similarities to the Da Vinci Code, it's better to highlight some of the differences. Instead of a pentagram on the dead guy's chest, there is an Illuminati ambigram, an inversion that can be read the same way upside down. I thought the ambigrams were pretty cool, especially the Illuminati Diamond.
The Illuminati appears to have come out of hiding and are planning on taking over the world by taking over CERN's anti-matter, an energy source that could be incredibly destructive in the wrong hands.
This 712 page book reads very quickly. It's probably the fastest reading 700 page book I've ever read. The whole incident takes place within a 24 hour span and I've probably spent about half that time reading it. Dan Brown must have had an easy time writing the Da Vinci Code since he practically plagarized his own book, Angels and Demons. Nevertheless, it was a pretty fun read.
The Illuminati is a secret society that has been made increasingly popular over the ages by zealous conspiracy theorists.
I've heard that there is a going to be another movie starring Tom Hanks about this book. Hopefully, they can make the movie more interesting this time even though it will seem like an exact replica of the Da Vinci Code.
Langdon is brought in because he's a Harvard professor of symbology. He meets Vittoria Vetra, the daughter of the murdered scientist. Vittoria is also a renowned scientist who has been working with her father to create anti-matter. Leonardo Vetra was a catholic scientist who wanted to show that science and religion can be reconciled. He and his daughter were able to create something from nothing, anti-matter, using a particle collider. His theory was that that was how God created the universe using the Big Bang Theory.
Somehow the Illuminati have discovered their secret experiment. They steal the anti-matter canister and hide it somewhere in the Vatican, where they can blow the whole place up. Along the way, Langdon and Vittoria, his first main squeeze, uncover the clues and try to stop the Illuminati as well as retrieve the anti-matter.
The dynamic duo discover that the famous sculpture and architect who was commissioned by the Catholic church was really the mastermind behind the Illuminati, a secret society of scientists who worked together to overthrow the church.
The love bird pair work together to save kidnapped 4 cardinals at a time when the Vatican is about to elect a new Pope. The Illuminati Hassasin, a guy comparable to Silas from the Da Vinci Code, cleverly brands each cardinal with ambigrams of the Illuminati elements, Earth, Air, Fire and Water. They look to clues in Bernini's work to find the next hidden Illuminati lair where the cardinals are tied up.
There are plenty of twists and turns. It's a great read with a surprise ending. I recommend it for everyone. The book may not be entirely accurate even though the author says all the facts are true. However, it does cite to some facts that are true that the church tries to hide or downplays.
The Highs: Fast-paced; exciting; ingenious combination of Bernini, the Illuminati, science, architecture, and religion.
The Lows: Da Vinci Code is a clone of this book; facts claimed as truth are in dispute.
Verdict: A must read for everyone...except for people who hated The Da Vinci Code.