It takes guts to write a novel that combines an ancient secret brotherhood, the Swiss Conseil Européen pour la Recherche Nucléaire, a papal conclave, mysterious ambigrams, a plot against the Vatican, a mad scientist in a wheelchair, particles of antimatter, jets that can travel 15,000 miles per hour, crafty assassins, a beautiful Italian physicist, and a Harvard professor of religious iconology. It takes talent to make that novel anything but ridiculous. Kudos to Dan Brown (Digital Fortress) for achieving the nearly impossible. Angels & Demons is a no-holds-barred, pull-out-all-the-stops, breathless tangle of a thriller--think Katherine Neville's The Eight (but cleverer) or Umberto Eco's Foucault's Pendulum (but more accessible).
Harvard symbologist Robert Langdon is shocked to find proof that the legendary secret society, the Illuminati--dedicated since the time of Galileo to promoting the interests of science and condemning the blind faith of Catholicism--is alive, well, and murderously active. Brilliant physicist Leonardo Vetra has been murdered, his eyes plucked out, and the society's ancient symbol branded upon his chest. His final discovery, antimatter, the most powerful and dangerous energy source known to man, has disappeared--only to be hidden somewhere beneath Vatican City on the eve of the election of a new pope. Langdon and Vittoria, Vetra's daughter and colleague, embark on a frantic hunt through the streets, churches, and catacombs of Rome, following a 400-year-old trail to the lair of the Illuminati, to prevent the incineration of civilization.
Brown seems as much juggler as author--there are lots and lots of balls in the air in this novel, yet Brown manages to hurl the reader headlong into an almost surreal suspension of disbelief. While the reader might wish for a little more sardonic humor from Langdon, and a little less bombastic philosophizing on the eternal conflict between religion and science, these are less fatal flaws than niggling annoyances--readers should have no trouble skimming past them and immersing themselves in a heck of a good read. "Brain candy" it may be, but my! It's tasty. --Kelly Flynn
Lisa R (USA: NC) (2008/07/16): I loved the "Da Vinci Code" but I really thought this book was even better. It kept you guessing and on the edge of your seat.
Denise (USA: IN) (2009/02/09): I have to say that I really thought going into this book that it would never be as intriguing as The Da Vinci Code, but I was never more wrong in assuming something. This book is definitely the better of the two. Endless twists and turns, as well as action and mystery. WOW! It drags you into the world of religion, murder, symbolism and practices of an ancient cult. Definitely has a place on my keeper shelve. I highly recommend it.
Shannon (USA: NC) (2009/02/25): A pretty good read! I was intrigued through out the book.
steven13901 (USA: NY) (2009/08/12): I read Angels & Demons by Dan Brown after reading The Da Vinci Code. I would venture that most people reading this review are asking the question, "How does Angels & Demons compare to The Da Vinci Code?" The short answer is that they're very similar. If you enjoyed The Da Vinci Code, you should enjoy Angels & Demons. http://www.Start-an-Internet-business.net
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VJM (USA: MA) (2011/12/23): I enjoyed this a lot. I couldn't wait to continue reading it to see what happened!
Stephen (USA: MD) (2012/04/04): Robert Langdon is awakened by an early morning phone call and by days end is involved in tracking down stolen anti-matter, solving a centuries old mystery, and foiling a plot to destroy the Catholic church and the Vatican. If this sounds like the latest cinematic techno-thriller, it is. Dan Brown has created a bookish hero/anti-hero to rival Tom Clancy's Jack Ryan.
The action is pretty much non-stop and the many short chapters feel like cut scenes in a well scripted movie. The writing is fast paced, intelligent and draws you in. This novel is a roller coaster for the mind and yet, like a roller coaster, at its highest points you see the surrounding world from a fresh perspective. The theological questions and the historical give one food for thought while the ongoing story sweeps you along on an adrenalin high.