Angels & Demons by Dan Brown – Robert Langdon #1 (EPUB, MOBI)
When world-renowned Harvard symbologist Robert Langdon is summoned to a Swiss research facility to analyze a mysterious symbol, seared into the chest of a murdered physicist. He discovers evidence of the unimaginable: the resurgence of an ancient secret brotherhood known as the Illuminati. The most powerful underground organization ever to walk the earth. The Illuminati has now surfaced to carry out the final phase of its legendary vendetta against its most hated enemy, the Catholic Church.
Langdon’s worst fears are confirmed on the eve of the holy conclave, when a messenger of the Illuminati announces they have hidden an unstoppable time bomb at the very heart of Vatican City. With the countdown under way, Langdon jets to Rome to join forces with Vittoria Vetra. She’s a beautiful and mysterious Italian scientist, to assist the Vatican in a desperate bid for survival.
Embarking on a frantic hunt through sealed crypts, dangerous catacombs, deserted cathedrals, and even the most secretive vault on earth. Langdon and Vetra follow a 400-year-old trail of ancient symbols that snakes across Rome toward the long-forgotten Illuminati lair. It is a clandestine location that contains the only hope for Vatican salvation.
Overall, Angels & Demons was a fun read. It reminded me of a high tech Indiana Jones a lot of the time. However, at the end of the day, it was pretty much a by the numbers thriller, complete with forced sexual tension.
Like I said, it’s pretty Indiana Jones-ish, except instead of an archaeologist who has crazy globe-trotting adventures. Langdon is a symbologist who has crazy globe-trotting adventures.
The writing is so cheesy and over-dramatic I can’t help but be amused. It’s really pulpy but not in the good Raymond Chandler way. More like an early Doc Savage. Seriously, Langdon could have said “I’ll be super-amalgamated” and it wouldn’t have felt that out of place. It almost feels like Brown was trying to do a Black Dynamite-style commentary/spoof on conspiracy thrillers.