Angels and Demons
Better Than The DaVinci Code
I already read The DaVinci Code, and although I found that book an enjoyable read, Angels and Demons provided a clearer, more riveting read.
At first, I was intrigued by the similarities between the two. Both stories revolve around Robert Langdon, famous symbologist. Each book features a beautiful scientist to kick around with him, each with a scientist father or grandfather who was unjustly killed by mysterious forces for reasons unknown. And those mysterious forces give off similar rings in both books, both being based on ancient cult-like movements in defiance of the Church.
But while The DaVinci Code boggled my mind with twists and turns and undecipherable codes, Angels and Demons was kinder to my problem-solving abilities in that there were fewer details to work out. I found the story more cohesive and riveting. Treacherous deeds are attributed to the Illuminati, an anti-Church group from ages past who appeared to have come back to wreak havoc on the Vatican.
And the mystery was symbolized (no pun intended) on a trail of secret symbols across Rome leading to the Illuminati lair. Our man, Robert, being a noted symbologist, sets out to decipher and follow the trail, hoping to find the lair before all hell breaks loose. The Illuminati have kidnapped the four main candidates to replace a deceased pope moments before a vote could be taken. One by one, the cardinals show up murdered, with Illumnati symbols branded on their chests. The problem is complicated by an explosive container of antimatter in Illuminati hands, stolen from our beautiful lady scientist after they killed her father.
Without giving away the ending, there were two events when reading that made me pause and flip over to the copyright date on the cover, the year 2000, before 9/11. In the story, the Illuminati planned to explode the anti matter in a grand demonstration of their power. But they placed the bomb in an underground area to minimize human casualties. I couldn’t help but think of 9/11 and how Islamic extremists determined how to acquire the largest loss of life possible. Ah well, in 2000 when the book was written, we still believed even our enemies would respect human life somewhat. At another point in the book, there was talk of dropping and exploding the anti matter into the sea, along with talk of whether it might not spark a dangerous tidal wave. Once again, my mind went to current events and the recent tsunami that killed thousands in the most remarkable natural disaster in modern times.
And so, I enjoyed Angels and Demons, an excellent story bound together by compelling symbols with charming characters and a frantic chase. The shocking part was for the first time ever reading a book, I realized real life had already presented tragedy more fantastic then fiction, in the events of 9/11. Somber thought.
Copyright 2007 JO Janoski