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on 9 June 2005
Most people reading this will have already read the authors more famous publication: the Da Vinci Code. From the moment you pick up this book the similarities are obvious, the same lead character, the same phone-call-in-the-night start etc. However, once you have read the first few chapters it is apparent that this book is completely different.
Anyone who was captivated by the puzzles and clues in the Da Vinci Code will be equally satisfied with Angels and Demons. Like the Da Vinci Code this is a particularly intellectual book and you will be educated while reading it, although this time not about the works of Da Vinci, but instead particle physics and Roman churches. Once again the level of research carried-out by the author in order for the book to contain as many facts as possible is astounding. My main criticism is that where the Da Vinci Code was believable in most places, the plot of this book becomes rather far-fetched, especially towards the end.
If you enjoyed the Da Vinci Code read this, if you have yet to encounter Dan Brown's books then this is also a good place to start.
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on 23 April 2016
Not the first book by Dan Brown but the first book to feature Robert Langdon who is a well fleshed out believable and likeable character. There are plenty of twists and turns to keep the reader occupied whilst posing thought provoking questions about science and God.
A word of caution, this has been made into a film but the films were made in the wrong order with this book being made second and several characters and their actions and motives were altered substantially for the film, so if you saw the film and were dissatisfied try the book as I am certain you will not be disappointed. After all, the original source material is nearly always better than the Hollywood interpretation.
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Dan Brown's Angels and Demons is a fast-paced detective drama that involves science, art, the Catholic Church, and murder.
Harvard symbology professor Robert Langdon is the protagonist who finds himself at a Swiss nuclear research facility. It seems a scientist, who specialized in explosive antimatter, has been murdered and the historically infamous society, the Illuminati, is involved. The antimatter has been taken, and Langdon joins the scientist's daughter, Vittoria, on a mad dash through some of Rome's most famous landmarks, in an effort to find it before the Vatican is leveled.
If you read "The Da Vinci Code," this plot will be very familiar to you: Robert receives yet another call in the middle of the night, is taken to see another dead man killed by a secret anti-Catholic society, and helps the victim's lovely daughter/granddaughter unravel a series of clues to solve the crime - all at breakneck speed!
I liked the plot of Angels and Demons and found much of middle section wonderfully absorbing and tense, as Robert and Vittoria decipher ancient clues and race from place to place in Rome, fast on the heels of a murderer. The beginning of the book, which discusses antimatter, was slow-going for me and the conclusion is way over the top in terms of realism. The timeline was a major stumbling block: Being able to travel great distances across Rome in minutes (even seconds) took away some credibility for me.
In spite of the weaknesses, the basic story of Angels and Demons is very exciting and, at times, even spine-tingling. If you have been to Rome, you will enjoy revisiting the city in this book. You'll also learn about the inner workings of the Vatican, how a new Pope is selected, and about the Illuminati, which I found fascinating.
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on 24 October 2015
It took me awhile to buy this book having being told that it wasn't a good story. So I was surprised at just how good it is. Typical Brown/Langdon story that we've become used to in The Da Vinci Code, The Lost Symbol and Inferno. Not a disappointment at all. Tense, twisting tale with some nice surprises thrown in - I only saw one coming before it was revealed.
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on 21 May 2016
I have come to the Dan Brown party very late, having started reading in retirement and I have enjoyed the fast moving, if incredible plots. This is my third and a pattern has emerged. The eligible, intelligent, charming bachelor, Robert Langdon being drawn unwittingly into a complex and at times unbelievable sequence of events. These invariably include murders or mutilations, secret societies, a young attractive woman, mega rich people with hidden agendas and a nutter on the loose killing people, either under misguided direction or because he has an axe to grind. You cannot argue with the amount of research undertaken to write these books, both historic content and geographical information but you never quite know where the line is between fact and fiction. On balance, if you accept the incredibility of many of the situations RL gets into (and usually incredibly gets out of them), the stories are good fun but time now for a break before the next one.
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on 5 July 2004
Since having grabbing my attention with the Da Vinci Code, I have become something of a fan of Mr Brown's books. However, reading Angels & Demons took away some of the 'magic' that had captivated me after reading the Da Vinci Code (DVC).
This book starts out alot slower than the DVC but once it gets going you're hooked as Robert Langdon races round Rome trying to find an (H)assassin before it's too late, the details and ambigrams in this book really did surprise me and I was once again sucked into the fantastic world of Dan Brown, his writing is truly refreshing (although his plots sometimes leave alot to be desired). While you could cast the niggling doubts you had about the plot in the DVC aside - due to the fact that it might just be possible - Angels & Demons pushes the reader too far in terms of what they can regard as plausible.
I'll try not to give too much away but falling 3 Miles into foaming water (no matter how much Dan wants you to believe that it's three times softer than standing water) especially when this water isn't an ocean (relatively shallow) you just really wonder whether Mr Brown wrote himself into a corner that he can only get out of by coming up with something incredibly dubious and highly unbelievable which totally spoils the book - unless you can read this part and then pretend it never happened :)
Despite my dislike at how the book arrives at its otherwise excellent conclusion (including a truly unexpected twist) I enjoyed Angels & Demons. Dan Brown really does research his books well and even if you don't subscribe to his views you still have to admire the detail he goes into in his book, the ambigrams alone are worth picking this book up for as i'd never seen one until i read Angels & Demons!
Recommended although it's a long way off the DVC.
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on 11 September 2003
I read this after reading the Da Vinci Code, and found it to be every bit as good. Less codes maybe(!), but great twists, a really complex but easily readable plot, Dan Brown is quickly becomming one of my favourite authors. His descriptions of the Vatican and modern Rome are superb and his research is clearly very extensive.
Despite being a clever book, steeped in religious & art history and a deeply twisting plot, it manages to stay fun and a real page-turner.
I would recommend this to anyone.
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on 31 August 2015
I thought this was a decent book. I think Dan Brown has a writing style that make his books page-turners. I may be putting my neck on the line as I know his writing style has been the subject of controversy along with his books. But heck I don't care what stuffy book critics say, I think he writes very well and delivers twists and turns along the way.

I guess any book that is written about religion will be subject to controversy; it is after all a controversial subject. But Brown is smart enough to weave crime fiction and religion together in a neat bundle and keep a good pace along the way.

So why not five stars one may ask. For me personally, I think he overcooked it. The end goes on for too long. I shan't spoil what happens at the end, but I have made my point. Would I recommend the book, despite not liking the end? You bet. Read, enjoy and then enjoy Da Vinci Code afterwards, I did and I plan to read the rest at some point....... once I am through all my other books I have stored up.
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on 21 November 2004
Having read some of the other reviews about this book I was a little disheartened. I've also read several other Dan Brown books and the way the story works in this book is very different to the others. It was however pleasantly surprising once I was a few chapters into it. The book was a little slow to start with, but I suppose that's because of the amount of detail that Dan Brown has included (which always amazes me).
The book, as has been described by others revolves around science and religion, a deadly plot to overthrough the catholic church and Robert Langdon, a symbologist from Harvard who is called in to help solve the mystery. I found this book to be excellent reading (a real can't 'put-downer')and at one point I caught myself questionning my ideas of God and Science so it must have had some kind of effect on me!!
In short.. it's not the Da Vinci Code, but then do you want an author to produce the same thing over and over.
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VINE VOICEon 16 February 2015
I found this book really interesting and the factual stuff is brilliant. I learnt a lot about the Vatican City through reading this book.
It really does keep you guessing and you want to keep reading.
I would have given it five stars but i didn't enjoy the description of the murders and i kept picturing the scenes even after i'd put down the book. Too graphic for me.
Overall though i enjoyed the book.
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