Monday, July 19, 2004

Book Review: Angels And Demons

For now, the last two short stories you read will hopefully serve as enough literary output from me for a while. Heh.

.:Book Review: Angels And Demons:.

It's a review. You pretty much know what that means. SPOILERS AHEAD!!!

Angels And Demons, by Dan Brown
J.K. who?

Robert Langdon's first adventure seems to actually be leaps and bounds more gripping than the Da Vinci Code, albeit the puzzles aren't quite as fun to figure out on your own, as this time around, one would mostly be required to have stock knowledge of various buildings and specific works of art referred to in the book.

The story starts with Robert Langdon being summoned to the CERN by the director, Max Kohler, who wants him to discreetly look into the murder of one of his colleagues, Leonardo Vetra. It appears that Vetra has been murdered and then branded by an ambigram containing the word “Illuminati”. What is terrifying about this is that the brand reads both ways, up and down, hence, an ambigram.

All of a sudden, Robert Langdon finds himself in Rome with the late priest/scientist's adopted daughter, Vittoria Vetra, who wishes to find the man responsible for her father's death. The man is actually a descendant of the Hassassin, and is doing the bidding of a mysterious mastermind known as Janus. Apparently, Leonardo Vetra's experiments in acceleration chambers has led him to prove that matter can be created from pure energy and in converse, enough antimatter to level a whole city has been created. Predictably enough, this antimatter gets stolen, and is now planted somewhere in the Vatican city, about at the same time that the conclave is happening. A mere fifteen days prior, the previous Pope has died, supposedly of a stroke, and now, the camerlengo, Carlo Ventresca.

In the middle of a dangerous time bomb's threat upon the city, the preferiti, the four cardinals who are expected to be elected as the next Pope, have gone missing, and the Illuminati are now threatening to kill them and brand them one by one each hour with various ambigrams. It is now up to Langdon and Vittoria to find a way to race against the clock and save not only the four missing cardinals, but also the Vatican itself.

It is important to point out that this story is extremely gripping, although admittedly quite a bit of the same pattern as the Da Vinci Code. Again, there is a mysterious mastermind who is behind everything, and again, one is unable to be given a definite sign until the last possible moment as to who it is. However, as I have already read the Da Vinci Code, the final twist was no longer much of a surprise to me, although this was mainly because I saw the possibility that this particular character would've turned out to be Janus after everything happened. Nonetheless, the story was particularly amazing, as it really led one to consider the possibilities and the motivations behind all the actions. The way Dan Brown wrote this book was nothing short of electric. There was a sense of danger and excitement with every page.

I actually felt satisfied, far more satisfied this time, with the identity of Janus. Unlike the Teacher in the Da Vinci Code, it made perfect sense that Janus was whom he was, simply because his character really fit into it, and the way we were given glimpses into his mind provided a really good picture of what was going on with him. It was brilliant how they managed to make all the loose ends come together in the end.

I am a fan of Dan Brown now, more than ever. This book is definitely well worth every cent.

Marcelle's Evaluation: A+

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