Paperback: 336 pages
Publisher: Pocket Books (January 1, 2001)
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Robert Langdon – Professor of Symbology
Leonardo Vetra – CERN Scientist, Father of Vittoria
Vittoria Vetra – Biology and Physics Scientist at CERN – Developed Antimatter
Camerlengo Carlo Ventresca – The Camerlengo (Assistant of sorts) to the Pope.
Commander Olivetti – Head of the Swiss Guard
Hassassin – Hired Killer
This is technically the first adventure of Robert Langdon. Mr. Brown wrote and published this book before The DaVinci Code. However, The DaVinci code received much more attention. In this adventure, we find Robert Langdon in the city of Rome and Vatican City. The story begins when Physicist Leonardo Vetra is found murdered with the ambigram lluminati on his chest. An ambigram is a typographic design that is the same viewed upside down, or rightside up.
His daughter it seems was working on antimatter and a large amount of it was stolen. The Hassassin (Assassin) is behind it. He’s planted the antimatter somewhere within the Vatican, and kidnapped 5 Cardinals. The Pope had recently died, and all the Cardinals were meeting in Rome for the Enclave. The antimatter explosion could potentially destroy the entire church at once.
The Hassasin is after what is called the Illuminati diamond. Illuminati is a term meaning illuminated. There is a conflict between the Illuminati (Science) and the Church (Religion). He plans to kill each of the cardinals using one of a set of branding irons. Each is also an ambigram, and each represents one of the elements Air, Earth, Fire, and Water. Can Professor Langdon prevent the murder of the Cardinals. Can he find the Illumanti Diamond?
I like Mr. Browns novels. He does seem to stretch some facts, so the stories have to be taken with a grain of salt. However, I found this story to be fast paced after a point. A lot of time is spent, necesarily, setting up the action for the rest of the novel. So in the beginning it starts out slow, but once the action begins picking up, I find it hard to put the book down. There are many twists along the way. People change their alliances, or aren’t allied with those you’d think they are. I’d recommend this book, particularly if your a fan of this genre. I’m not sure there’d be anything offensive to the average reader. There’s a lot of action and narrow escapes. I always look forward to Mr. Browns books coming out. This one, while fiction, does raise many questions. Would scientific proof override faith or enhance it? Pick this one up, I think you’ll like it. If you liked the movie, you’ll like the book better. There are intense scenes within this book, so if I were to give it a rating, I’d give it a PG-13.
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