Month: September 2005

Angels and Daemons

Writing a bad review of Angels and Daemons is like shooting at the ambulance, really too easy.The basis on which the entire novel holds are weak (problem: how would you find an object framed by a wireless cam? Just search the radio transmitter). CERN has an entire web section dedicated to the novel and to the antimatter stuff explaining why what described by Dan Brown can’t physically happen. Moreover anyone that ever used a battery powered device knows that batteries are far to have a second perfect discharge time. As it is quite … ehm… unlikely? that falling thousands meters from the sky you can really slow your vertical speed with a sheet of cover and even more … unlikely you can maneuver it to adjust your fall onto a precise objective.
If the main character is somewhat more defined and refined of the protagonist of the previous novel, the other characters are quite dull and not developed.
The final revelation comes all but unexpected and lets you wonder how that extent of madness could go unnoticed by everyone close to the Camerlengo.
The narrative pace has also an hard time to reach the right beat, with a quite slow part before the hunt for the killer begins.
Well, once all this has been told, is Angels and Daemons a bad book? I can’t say so. After all the writing technique of Dan Brown and his deep knowledge of the reader psychology makes it really hard for you to drop the book before you read the word “end”.
Also the matter narrated is very intriguing by itself – secret society, obscure plots, the pope election rituals, the Vatican secret library, the Swiss Guard and so on.
When I read the “Da Vinci Code” I thought it was a sort of manifest per advertising some ideas (about the origin of the Christian religion, about the Sion’s priorate). Since a great effort went in the description and motivation of this stuff and so little in the developing a character believability.
After reading Angels and Daemons I reckon this is just the author style, excellent in creating addiction, very good at presenting secret society and little known facts of our past, but rather weak on characters and rough about plot.