ANGELS & DEMONS
Pocket Books, Available in hardcover
Reviewed by Sissy Jacobson
Harvard professor Robert Langdon, world famous symbologist and iconologist, receives an urgent summons from CERN, the world’s largest subatomic research facility, located in Geneva, Switzerland. A Catholic priest and physicist, Father Leonardo Vetra, who was working on a project to prove through science that the Genesis theory of creation was indeed possible, has been brutally murdered. After receiving a fax containing a picture of the victim branded with the ambigram "ILLUMINATI," Langdon rushes to Boston where a plane is waiting.
Maximilian Kohler, director of CERN, has also notified the adopted daughter of Father Vetra, Vittoria, a Bio Entanglement Physicist, who arrives shortly after Robert. She and Robert immediately begin a frantic search that takes them through the streets and underground catacombs of Rome, in an attempt to retrieve a stolen canister of antimatter. If not found before midnight, Vatican City and miles surrounding it will be blown into oblivion.
In the 1500s, the Illuminati, composed of the most brilliant minds of that day, formed the world’s first scientific think tank, meeting in secret to share their concerns. They felt religion and science could coexist. Ultimately, the age-old war of religion vs. science drove the Illuminati deeper underground, and they were eventually thought to be extinct…until now.
Gathered in Vatican City are one hundred sixty-five cardinals from around the world. The pope has been dead for fifteen days, and according to Vatican law, the conclave to elect a new pope must now begin. One hundred sixty-one cardinals are waiting in the Sistine Chapel. Four cardinals, one of whom is favored to be chosen pope, are missing. No one inside the chapel is aware of the activity occurring outside its walls, frantic race against time that will mean the difference between saving the Church, or the death and destruction that will occur if the antimatter is not found.
ANGELS & DEMONS is a high-powered thriller, tightly woven with intense, in-depth details and descriptions told through dialogue and narration. Puzzles have to be deciphered in order to save lives, but they are not always solved in time. The characters are three dimensional, and like the hero and heroine, I didn’t know whom to trust. For Robert and Vittoria, it is nonstop action trying to follow clues in order to save the Church and humanity. Robert is a realistic hero in that he is not always right, but Vittoria complements him with her knowledge and strength. Not until the very end do we learn the good guys from the bad, and which ones fall somewhere between.
What is fact and what is fiction? Some of the answers can be found in the front of the book and on the author’s website. For a good, fast paced, suspense/thriller, I highly recommend ANGELS & DEMONS. Just keep in mind the saying, "Don’t believe everything you read."
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