Dan Brown plunges headlong into the age old conflict between Religion and science in his breathtaking novel Angels and Demons. This novel revolves around the ancient lore and history of a secret brotherhood that was hunted and persecuted by the Catholic Church for centuries, The Illuminati.
In the 1600s the teachings of enlightened scientists and artists were regarded as a threat to the existence of the church which preferred to govern its followers through fear and strict adherence to dogma, the scientists were hounded for their radical theories and free rein of thought, for instance when Galileo proclaimed to the world that the planets were in rotation around the sun he was placed under house arrest.
Looking for a way to meet and share their ideas and discoveries the scientists formed the Illuminati sect and met secretly at a lair whose location remained known only to a select few, here they hatch plans to achieve their quest: the destruction of the church.
Fast forward to present day and science has come up with a discovery that threatens to annihilate the human race. Buried deep under a research facility in Switzerland an Italian physicist has succeeded at an unfathomable, mind boggling experiment. Using energy he has created matter, for those familiar with physics matter can’t be created, all matter in the universe was created during genesis if you’re religious or during the big bang if you’re the scientific type. There is one twist however, the physicist created antimatter; this refers to matter whose electric charges are opposite to those found in normal matter.
Anyway to avoid sounding like the physics teacher whose classes you hated in O’level let me move on to something that might get your attention for real.
Antimatter is highly unstable it ignites when it comes into contact with absolutely anything even air. A single gram of antimatter contains the energy of a 20-kiloton nuclear bomb.how largehow
The physicist is found murdered and a small canister containing his only specimen of highly volatile antimatter capable of vaporizing anything within a half mile radius is missing. With all clues pointing to the Illuminati the canister somehow turns up in the Vatican, where it is visible on a live feed security monitor, but its location is unknown and its battery power can last only six hours before the vacuum suspending the antimatter dies, only six hours before the entire Vatican city is reduced to rubble.
Time is running out, the conclave is convened to elect a new pope and the entire top leadership of the church is sitting on a time bomb, and that’s not even the half of it, the top four favorites for pope are missing, kidnapped by an Illuminati assassin who threatens to execute a cardinal every hour, the Illuminati have no demands, they ask for nothing they are about to achieve their centuries old goal.
Enter Robert Langdon a Havard university professor of religious symbology whose extensive research on the Illuminati may be the only resource capable of unraveling the mystery of the ancient sect, the sworn enemy of the Catholic Church.
The book is a fabulous read that keeps you glued from the first page to the last, the plot is well spun in spell binding fashion. Langdon finds himself in the midst of a hair raising adventure as he hurtles across Rome a city that prides itself for preserving its ancient architecture that’s as beautiful as its history is mystical and hidden within this architecture are clues and riddles, riddles that contain the answer to solving the conundrum facing the church, before it’s too late.
And yes Tumwi, you were wrong.