Sunday, January 08, 2006

Review: Angels & Demons

This doesn't count towards the RTBC TBR Challenge since I liberated it from my mom's stash. This is the first Robert Langdon book, set before DaVinci Code.

Harvard symbologist Robert Langdon, along with marine biophysicist Vittoria Verta, is racing to the Vatican in an attempt to prevent the murders of four Cardinals in line for succession to the papacy and to stop the entire Vatican complex from blowing up due to an antimatter bomb. Difficulties arise from their need to interpret mysterious, ancient, deliberately obscured clues before the Cardinals are killed. Then they must locate & disarm or remove the bomb.

All of this is upfront information provided immediately. There is a mysterious, disliked scientist in charge of a prestigious corporation. A charismatic young priest temporarily in charge of the Vatican until the new Pope is elected. A military man in charge of security who is mired in doing things 'the way we've always done them'. A young journalist recently hired into the BBC who needs to make his mark. Plus an Islamic assassin hired by an unseen boss.

Brown has written a spellbinding page turner that attempts to address science versus religion & faith while simulaneously keeping the reader hurriedly flipping pages racing toward the denoument just like Robert & Vittoria. I will not address his comments on this issue here except to say that I glossed over them because I was more concerned about the murders & the bomb. In the end, I was left wondering about the intersection of insanity & faith as well as human beings' reliance on 'proof' as an ingredient of faith.

I purposely held off reading this series because of the huge hype surrounding DaVinci Code. I do regret waiting and I'm anxious to read DaVinci Code but even so I'm a miserly bookaholic and will either read the library copy or look in the UBS for D.C. This is already a keeper for Husband, so I will simply add it to his shelf. From Brown's website, it appears the movie version of DaVinci Code will be released May 19th this year. says the third book in the series, The Solomon Key, is not yet available for preorder.


Tara Marie said...

I've already read The DaVinci Code, but haven't read Angels & Demons. My sister is reading it right now and being Catholic she's starting to think Mr. Brown has some "issues" but is still enjoying it immensly.

Bookwormom said...

As I'm sure you remember, the books have stirred up quite a lot of fuss worldwide. I read it purely for the storyline not Mr. Brown's religious views. I found it fascinating, but again, I skipped over as much of the religious speeches as I could simply to get to the end.

Jenster said...

I enjoyed A&D more than DVC - probably because of all the hype with the latter and my expectations being too high. I also thought DVC was more religiously "offensive" than A&D, but then again I'm not Catholic.