Angels and Demons by Dan Brown ReviewPocket Books, 430 pages.
Hardcover, May 2000.
When renowned physicist Leonardo Vetra is found murdered and branded with an archaic symbol, Harvard symbologist Robert Langdon is summoned under conditions of great secrecy to CERN, the world's largest scientific research facility in Geneva, to give his expert opinion about the symbol. Together, Landgon and Maximillan Kohl, CERN's powerful director, make the horrifying discovery of the theft of enough antimatter to annihilate a small city. Langdon determines that an ancient, secret brotherhood called The Illuminati are responsible for the theft and plan to use the antimatter to destroy the Vatican on the eve on the Conclave, when a new Pope is chosen. The Illuminati have been deadly enemies of the Catholic Church since the 1600s when the church executed many of their scientist members for heresy (even Galileo was reputed to be a member of the clandestine organization which prized truth and science above what they saw as the repressing teachings of the church). Langdon and another CERN scientist, Vittoria Ventra the daughter of the slain physicist, must go to Rome to try to stop the horrifying disaster. But the Illuminati have agents everywhere and the pair will face overwhelming obstacles in their search for the missing canister, which holds the most deadly explosive invented by mankind.
Dan Brown, author of the bestselling techno-thriller Digital Fortress, serves up another top-notch, edge of your seat thriller with Angels and Demons. The brotherhood of the Illuminati really existed -- in fact, it is possible that the pyramid and eye on the United States one dollar bills was placed there because of the Illuminati-infiltrated Freemasons, many of whom were high-ranking U. S. officials at the time of the creation of the design for the bills. Brown expertly weaves real scientific facts, such as the creation of antimatter, with ancient texts about the Illuminati and their goals to create a compelling story line. The story also provides a fascinating look at the historical enmity between science and religion, and how that conflict continues today as physicists search for the answers to the questions of why we are here, and how our universe was created. Heart-pounding suspense and an intriguing premise make Dan Brown's second novel a winner; don't miss it.
--Claire E. White
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