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Shvoong Home>Books>Mystery & Thrillers>Angels And Demons Review

Angels And Demons

Book Review   by:Eva215     Original Author: Eva215
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Plot introduction The basic plot is a classic race against time to find a hidden bomb and hunt down a serial killer in Rome. As its backdrop, the book debates the question about which is to be trusted - science or religion. It purports to show how the Vatican works as the plot to blow it up is uncovered during the conclave, revealing hidden secrets and mysteries as the story unfolds. Plot summary Angels & Demons follows Harvard symbologist Robert Langdon, as he tries to stop what seems to be the Illuminati, a legendary secret society, from destroying the Vatican City with the newly-discovered power of antimatter. CERN director Maximilian Kohler discovers one of the facility''s most respected physicists, Leonardo Vetra, murdered in his own secured, private quarters at the facility. His chest is branded with a symbol — the word "Illuminati", formed as an ambigram, using a hot iron. Instead of calling the police, Kohler researches the topic on the Internet and finally gains contact with Professor Langdon, an expert on the Illuminati. Kohler requests his assistance in uncovering the murderer. What Langdon finds at the murder scene frightens him: The symbol appears to be authentic, and the legendary secret society, long thought to be defunct, seems to have resurfaced. Kohler calls Vetra''s adopted daughter Vittoria to the scene and it is later revealed that the Illuminati has also stolen a canister containing a quarter of a gram of antimatter — an extremely deadly substance with destructive potential comparable to the most powerful nuclear weapons in existence, a potential unleashed upon contact with any form of normal matter. When charged with electricity at CERN, the canister''s magnetic field controls the drop of antimatter to float in a pure vacuum, ensuring safety; but when it was taken away from its electricity supply, it automatically switched to its back-up battery, which will only power it for 24 hours. The horrible truth is that the Illuminati has put the stolen canister somewhere in Vatican City, with a security camera in front of it as its digital clock counts down to the explosion.
Langdon and Vittoria make their way to Vatican City, where the Pope has recently died and the papal conclave has convened to elect the new pontiff. Cardinal Mortati, host of the election, discovers that the four Preferiti, cardinals who are the top picks in the current papal election, are missing. After they arrive, Langdon and Vittoria begin searching for the Preferiti in hopes that they will also find the antimatter canister in the process. Their search is assisted by Camerlengo Carlo Ventresca (the late pope''s closest aide) and the Vatican''s Swiss Guard, including Commander Olivetti, Captain Rocher and Lieutenant Chartrand. Clues found in the Vatican Archives take Langdon and Vittoria through many tourist attractions in Rome following the so-called "path of illumination", as they seek out locations which the book calls the "Altars of Science". Each altar relates to one of the classical elements (Earth, Air, Fire and Water) which were once considered to be the only constituents of all matter. Upon reaching each Altar of Science, Langdon finds a member of the Preferiti murdered in a fashion appropriate to the element; the first was found half buried beneath a church with soil lodged in his throat (Earth), the second''s lungs were pierced (Air), the third was burned alive (Fire), and the final cardinal was drowned in a large fountain (Water). Each cardinal''s chest is branded with a ambigram reading Earth, Air, Fire, and Water, respectively. Langdon discovers that the Preferiti were abducted and killed by an unnamed Hassassin. In hot pursuit, Captain Olivetti is killed by the assassin, who kidnaps Vittoria, planning to rape and kill her. Langdon manages to find Vittoria just in time.
Published: December 13, 2007   
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