Look Inside the Motion Picture Angels & Demons (Sony Pictures, 2009)
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From Publishers Weekly
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Top Customer Reviews
I knew I was in trouble only after reading the first couple of chapters or so. Why? Because I remember The Da Vinci Code starting off the same way! It starts off with some person getting killed by a mysterious person, leaving a clue of some sort, Robert Langdon getting woken up and briefed on the situation, he moans and groans about not wanting to do anything about it, he suddenly gets convinced its worth a look, he makes a trip to the location, meets and teams up with a hot woman and you get the rest. Some readers obviously don't mind an author rehashing a tried and tested formula but then there are readers like me who thinks its lazy work. At this point, I thought not all was lost because I could at least count on the author delivering a solid mystery that will no doubt wheel the protagonists around Rome in hopes of trying to save the day or night. Well, I was semi-wrong again. The mystery part that is.
It's not that the Illuminati is boring to read about. I said in the beginning that this subject does interests me. It's just that this time around, the author failed horribly to capture my attention. With The Da Vinci Code, the mystery about the whole Mona Lisa and the Holy Grail was extremely captivating and that's why it lead to that book being hailed as a page-turner. The use of real life artifacts no doubt is a staple with these stories but unlike The Da Vinci Code, it didn't really make me go on the Internet to look for pictures on these art pieces. Something just felt lackluster in Angels & Demons.
As far as character goes, well, let's just say the author isn't really gifted when it comes time to fleshing out the villains. The main killer here is a bore to read. It seems as if the author doesn't know how to flesh him out as a evil person so hey, what to do? Oh, why, lets turn him into a sex craved maniac who gets high off of torturing the women before having his way with them? Hmm, where have we heard that one before eh? Again, it makes the author look lazy when he does these kinds of things.
The book started off slow but picked up at around 23%, which I was glad for. There is no doubt that many would consider the author "brave" for tackling such a sensitive topic for so many. I'm sure he knows that controversy creates publicity, good or bad, and that in turn allows him and his publishers to cash in. I can say for certain that I will not being reading another Dan Brown book for a long time. It even got me thinking about whether my outcome of Angels & Demons would have been the same if I read it first instead of The Da Vinci Code. I can honestly say that I don't really know. The latter set the bar pretty darn high. I rarely will read a book twice but I can say for certainty that I will read The Da Vinci Code again. Not so much Angels & Demons.
There are many good things about this book. It was easy to read, and the reader is pulled into the story, making its 550+ pages fly by. The characters are interesting, and the conspiracy plot is fairly well done, taking the reader from place to place in Rome and Vatican City. Despite its flaws, for the most part the book was very entertaining.
On the other hand, there are many problems with the story. Some of the "facts" presented in the telling of the history of the Illuminati are wrong, and this does not appear to have been done for plot reasons. The situation with the bomb was not done very well, because the scenario which is presented should have resulted in the bomb being found relatively quickly. Finally, the last part of the book is messy. There are many things thrown in at the end in an attempt to surprise the reader, but it really doesn't read true to the rest of the story; at least not for me.
This is not a bad book. It has a great concept, and for the most part is fun to read. However, the ending and some significant holes in the story are the reasons that I give it two stars. There are better choices available that involve secret societies from hundreds of years ago, such as "Foucault's Pendulum" by Umberto Eco.
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