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Books & Chocolate

I love to read just about anything, as long as it's fiction. I read for me - that means I read what I want, when I want. My reviews tend to mostly be based on how I'm able to personally connect with the story/characters. They are not intended to influence someone to read, or not read, a particular book. I always encourage people to take a chance and make up your own mind.


Oh, and I love chocolate.

Angels & Demons

Angels & Demons - Dan Brown

Angels & Demons is the second book by Dan Brown that I've read. It had been a long time since I'd read The Da Vinci Code, and Angels & Demons has been on my TBR list since then.


Overall, the book kept me entertained. I also like the way that Brown approaches the topic of how some view the relationship between the church and science. I've read a few reviews where critics poke holes in Brown's facts and claim that what he has written is anti-Catholic.


First I'll state that I am no history buff or religious historian. I don't know if Brown's facts are accurate or not. I do know that this novel is a work of fiction, so if he's taken some latitudes for sake of the plot then so be it. Many authors have. I can understand how these inaccuracies might offend some people, but that's not me in this case. I didn't read it as a base for historical religious facts.


As to the anti-Catholic claim, I personally didn't feel that way. I thought he did a good job of keeping to that thin gray line of not tipping to one side or the other. He had shown flaws and strengths for both religion and science. In the end he showed that in order to do what's best, the two had to work together. They may not have agreed with each other, but they had to understand each other and come to a mutual agreement. 


I liked the message throughout the book on the dangers of turning to either science or religion alone for answers. I personally believe the two are intended to work together to give people the ability to find their own truths.


One of the things I didn't quite like about the book was that it felt longer than it needed to be. It started to feel repetitive, especially toward the end. It also alternated between points of view many times. Overall I thought it was well done, and I was never confused as to which point of view I was in at any given moment. However, I didn't like that it hinted to things that were still to come. It felt like Brown did it to keep the reader engaged. I shouldn't need those baits to stay engaged, the story and the characters should be able to do that. Finally, there were so many events that were a result of 'perfect timing'. It was like watching an action movie that just pushed it too far with the unbelievable timing of everything. Maybe it was Brown's intention to have all that be 'evidence' of God's intervention in the whole ordeal, but then I would think that He would have altered the timing a bit more to save a few other lives. But maybe that's just me.


Ironically, when I was about 1/3 of the way through the book I realized that I had watched the movie version of Angels & Demons. It had been a few years, but somehow I had completely forgotten. Not a good sign. The things I remembered from the movie are those over the top action scenes. I didn't remember the message. I didn't remember the conflict between religion and science. I knew there was some sort of plot twist, but I didn't even remember what it was. I'm curious now to watch the movie again. I wonder if they took some of the main plot points out and focused only on the intense action of finding all the cardinals. 


Anyway, I'm glad I read it. I wish I would have loved it a bit more though.