Well, I’ve got good news and bad news. The good news is, I just finished my ninth book of the year, leaving us only two shy of last year’s paltry total of 11. Since we’re pretty much at the halfway point of the year, I’d say we could double last year’s total pretty easily. The bad news is that there is no way we’re gonna get to 52. I knew I was taking on a big task when I set that goal, but I had no idea how much time it would take. It made reading a chore, took the fun out of it. That wasn’t what I wanted to do. Anyway, Angels and Demons is done, so now for my thoughts.
I’ll start by saying I was not at all impressed with the first 150 pages or so. I hated Brown’s writing style; I thought it was choppy and lacked substance. There was more science in that short of a time span than any fiction novel I’d ever read. I was expecting a THRILLER from the word go, not a physics lesson. I left that stuff behind in high school. I didn’t find any of the characters particularly interesting, although I could somewhat relate to Robert Langdon being a college professor, since I have slight aspirations of becoming one myself. The first page of the book was pretty good. Then I slogged through 149 pages of crap before finally unearthing anything worthwhile.
When the main conflict was finally revealed, I found it hard to put the book down. There was a day where I read damn near 300 pages in one sitting because I continuously fell victim to the one more chapter” bug. While I am still not sold on Dan Brown’s ability as a writer, I am sold on his ability to keep the pages turning and end things on the perfect cliffhanger.
I hit a dead spot toward the middle of the book. The action didn’t really slow, I just got rather bored. I read another book in between starting and finishing this one. I had to force myself to finish Angels and Demons, but I don’t know if that was just from reader fatigue or if that one part was really so bad that I questioned the novel as a whole. Anyway, I’m glad I finished.
I read the final 200 pages in one day (that’s quite high for me). I couldn’t stop reading. There came a point in time where I thought I knew how the novel would end, but in came a curveball and I watched it go by for strike three. About 50 pages later the same thing happened again, and I took another somber walk back to the dugout. I was 0-for-2 when it came to guessing Dan Brown’s plan. He was good. I’m still thinking about the ending. It was flawless.
I found Angels and Demons particularly interesting in the first place because of the whole Illuminati thing. My lasting impression was, “Damn, Rome has a lot of pretty cool history and maybe there is something to all the Renaissance art shit.” I have done absolutely zero background research on anything in the novel, but I’d like to believe it was at least somewhat accurate, and if it was, that’s pretty damn cool. A&D is kinda like a history lesson wrapped up in a Die Hard-esque adventure. I “learned” quite a bit about the Catholic faith, and quite a bit about the Illuminati (again, assuming 1/4 of that crap was true. How would I know?). It was still pretty interesting nonetheless.
On a scale of one to ten, I’d have to give this one a 7.5. Maybe an 8. The great parts were impossible to put down, but when I’m not interested to the point where I read another novel, something’s wrong. Maybe Dan Brown just isn’t for me, but I do have to commend his plot. It’s genius. I did like the book overall, and while I’m not disappointed that I read it, I don’t think I’ll be picking up The Da Vinci Code or any of Brown’s other stuff any time soon.
As for the future: I am currently attempting to read Thomas Harris’s Red Dragon again, and I got further in one day than I did the entire last time I did when I started reading it. I’ll try to have a review up soon.
For the followers of my story: I am working on it, but writing this 6th part after a year+ away from it has been painstaking. It’s lost all it’s magic and, quite frankly, is no fun to write. I’ll try to scrounge something up, but I can”t make any promises. I have other stories that are going much better at the time than to worry myself with a dead project. At the same time, I don’t want to leave anyone hanging, so we’ll see.
I think I’m going to start self-publishing on Amazon by the end of the year. I have a few stories that I need to work on and then maybe I’ll have some worthy stuff.
As always, thanks for sticking with me. Have a great day and hit the follow button so you don’t miss any updates.