Title: Angels & Demons
Author: Dan Brown
Rating: 4 stars out of 5
After reading The Da Vinci Code a few years back, I was intrigued by the character of Robert Langdon and decided to read his previous adventure, chronicled in Angels & Demons.
In this, Langdon's first race against time, someone is threatening the conclave of cardinals electing a new pope with a new technology, antimatter. This someone is also systematically murdering the four favorites for election, according to an ancient study of science. This someone claims to be a group long thought dead or mythical: The Illuminati. Langdon, a professor of symbology, is the only man who can figure out where the next murders are going to take place, tracing the assassin through Rome and Vatican City in a race against time before the Vatican City is blown sky high with a quarter gram of antimatter.
Reading Angels & Demons requires a massive suspension of disbelief. However, once that suspension is achieved, the story is gripping, the mystery twists and turns, and gets a huge "OMG no way!" reaction when all is finally revealed.
My one problem with the book, the reason it only got 4 stars instead of 5, was this: Brown is a lazy author. Yes, he researches certain things thoroughly: the art involved, the city his characters race through, etc. However, I found myself arguing with simple premeses - something rudimentary research could have solved. It's like Brown got so involved with his convoluted plot and impressive art and history name-dropping that he forgot the simple things. Forgot his basics, so to speak.
If you're looking for a good adventure story with history, art, and some pseudo-science thrown in, do read this book. If you're looking for realism? Stay away.
One final word: Angels and Demons, like The Da Vinci Code, is fiction. People tend to forget that. They are both works of fiction, poeple.. please, keep that in mind.