In Rome, the college of cardinals assembles to elect a new pope. Yet somewhere within the walls of the Vatican, an unstoppable bomb of terrifying power relentlessly counts down to oblivion. While the minutes tick away, Robert joins forces with Vittoria Vetra, a beautiful and mysterious Italian scientist, to decipher the labyrinthine trail of ancient symbols that snakes across Rome to the long-forgotten Illuminati lair - a secret refuge wherein lies the only hope for the Vatican.
But with each revelation comes another twist, another turn in the plot, which leaves Robert and Vittoria reeling and at the mercy of a seemingly invisible enemy...
Dan Brown was born on June 22 in Exeter, New Hampshire as the son of a mathematics teacher and church organist. Raised on a prep school campus he developed a fascinations with the interplay between science and religion. He is a graduate of Amherst College and Phillips Exeter Academy, where he later returned to teach English before focusing his attention full time to writing.
I never read one of the Dan Brown books but decided to pick this one up to fill two of my challenges. One of the challenges was for a book bingo square *pick up a book everybody but you read* and the other challenge was for the big books. As I am a rigid series reader always wanting to start at the beginning I went with Angels and Demons and not The Da Vinci Code. Before picking up this book I was curious. I love mystery books where symbols laying out trails are used but I was not really attracted to the Illuminati and religious aspect of the book (the reason I had not picked it up before). While reading the book I did notice that it was indeed not gripping me as much as other books written in this concept. This does mean I have to applaud the writing style of Dan Brown because he did manage to pull me in and making me want to read the book.
The story starts out on an early morning in Roberts house where you get onto the roller coaster with him which brings him to Europe and pulls him into this mystery. Robert is described as a man who loves his job, teaching and puzzling with religious symbols. I had the feeling he is a friendly and calm man. This does come out later in the story if we see him trough the eyes of Vittoria. He was easy to connect with him and feel for him when he gets in difficult situations. The fiery Vittoria is a very strong female character, I did experience her as a bit cold and calculated in some situations which was usually explained with her experience in one or another research project. The interaction between the characters was great and I did like that despite the fact that they are both smart people they did not all of a sudden got smarter in the field of the other character.
The development in the story has you on the edge of your seat from the start. You go from one situation to the other and it is one big whirlwind pulling you in deeper and deeper. As said before I could not always muster up interest in the subject of the story which sometimes stalled me in reading but something would happen that made me want to continue reading. There is a lot of speed in the story but there is no haste. Every situation has a clear beginning, explanation, action and end. After this experience The Da Vinci Code is still not on the top of my next to read list but I would surely do not mind picking it up.
Angels and Demons
Author: Dan Brown
Series: Robert Langdon #1