by Dan Brown
"Science tells me God must exist. My mind tells me I will never understand God. And my heart tells me I am not meant to."
The mystery-thriller book presents a Harvard symbologist Robert Langdon who is summoned to CERN to analyse a symbol found on the chest of a murdered physicist.
The book has an interesting way of captivating you. Langdon joins forces in Rome with the beautiful and mysterious scientist Vittoria Vetra. Together they make their way to the Vatican where they are faced with a frantic series of events to save the city from a powerful time bomb.
"A BREATHLESS REAL-TIME ADVENTURE. Exciting, fast-paced, with an unusually high IQ."
– The San Francisco Chronicle
"A READING EXPERIENCE YOU WILL NEVER FORGET. Dan Brown has created another frantic paced thriller that rivals the best works of Clancy and Cussler."
– Book Browser Reviews
The symbol on the ring from the book cover represents the "Keys of Heaven".
The book starts when Robert Langdon, a 45yo expert in symbology, gets a phone call from CERN director Maximilian Kohler regarding a peculiar word Illuminati written on a murdered physicist body, Leonardo Vetra. Langdon is intrigued and he agrees to help and leaves for Geneva.
Assassin(Hassassin)- literally 'the followers of hashish'.
At CERN Robert meets Vittoria, the adopted daughter of Leonardo, and finds out that somebody stole a canister that contained antimatter, a substance with destruction potential comparable to a nuclear bomb. To contain this energy, the canister has a battery that provides only 24h of power, after which the antimatter falls out of suspension and, on coming in contact with the physical matter of the container, creates a powerful explosion.
The antimatter project was trying to support the concept of God ("BigBang / Genesis can be explained simply by accepting the presence of an enormous source of energy.").
#the BigBang idea was proposed by a catholic monk, Georges Lemaitre in 1927.
Robert considers that the Illuminati are not responsible for this murder because they went extinct centuries ago, and also because they will not murder one of their own, a scientist. Kholer disagrees because Leonardo was also a Catholic priest, so this could be an exception.
Kholer is later informed that the canister was located somewhere in the Vatican, and sends Robert and Vittoria to investigate. On the plane, Robert shares that his fascination with Illuminati started when he learned that the US one-dollar bill has Illuminati symbology, "A call for enlightening change" (The eye signifies the Illuminati's ability to infiltrate and watch all things).
Vatican City was preparing for Il Conclave (" fallowing tradition,... at 7 pm the late Pope's chamberlain would arrive, give opening prayer, and then leave. Then the Swiss Guard would seal the doors and lock all cardinals inside....the cardinals would not be released until they decided who among them would be next Pope.").
Conclave - locked with the key.
When Robert and Vittoria arrived in the city, they are informed that the 4 Preferiti, the cardinals that are the most likely to be elected, are missing. They decide to contact the camerlengo's office Carlo Ventresca (he is a priest and the Pope's hand helper) and agree to meet.
While they're in the office, the kidnapper contacts the camerlengo to let them know about his plan to kill the Preferiti, one each hour and to destroy Vatican City. To be able to help, Robert requested access to the Vatican archives.
"Vatican archives contain over 20.000 volumes and are rumored to hold such treasures as Leonardo da Vinci's missing diaries and even unpublished books of the Holy Bible."
Robert and Vittoria discovered that they had to complete "the Path of Illuminati", in an attempt to stop the killer and save the Preferiti. The path consisted of 4 art pieces, created by Gian L. Bernini, an Illuminati artist, associated with Earth, Air, Fire and Water. Each piece of art was located in different churches, called "The Altars of Science".
During their research, Robert and Vittoria are getting closer to each other...
Unfortunately, all the Preferiti are found dead each of them having a word branded on their chest depending on which location they died. During one of the murders, Vittoria is kidnapped by the killer and later saved by Robert.
After her rescue, Robert and Vittoria rush back to St. Peter's Basilica and discover that Kohler is in Vatican and is confronting the camerlengo. When they heard the camerlengo scream, the Swiss Guards burst into the room and shot Kohler only to discover that the camerlengo was marked on the chest with the Illuminati Diamond. This discovery made Robert and Vittoria think that Kohler was behind the plan, as before dying he gave Robert a mini video camera and told him to give it to the media.
The time runs out and the Basilica is evacuated. The camerlengo tries to stop the evacuation saying that he had a vision from God, who has revealed the location of the bomb. Once they find the bomb, he and Robert take the canister in a helicopter to try to get it as far from the city as possible.
The bomb explodes in the sky, Robert survives by using a window cover from the helicopter as a parachute and lands in the river, and the camerlengo ends up parachuting on the roof of Sf. Peter where the people see him as a hero for saving the city. For this "miracle", the cardinals are considering making the camerlengo the new Pope.
Robert woke up in the hospital and decides to watch the video from the camera. After he sees the content, he decides to go back to the Vatican and share it with Vitoria and the cardinals. The tape reveals the camerlengo Carlo confessing to Kohler for killing the Pope, and then he marking himself with the Illuminati Diamond before the Swiss Guard storms the room shooting Kohler.
Kohler also knew that the camerlengo has had a meeting with Leonardo and found out that the Pope had a son, but without wanting to know the details, that was an artificial insemination, he gets angry at Pope because he broke the vow of chastity and decides to rectify the situation.
When camerlengo tried to justify his motives, Cardinal Saverio Mortati tells the real story about the Pope and that he is his father. Hearing this, camerlengo is overwhelmed by guilt and sets himself on fire.
The cardinals finish the Il Conclave where they select Cardinal Mortati to be the new Pope.
The book ends up with Langdon receiving the brand- Illuminati Diamond, which is given to him with the condition to ensure it finds its way home, and he and Vittoria are together.
Note: Some pieces of information are left out of the book.
Get the full experience by reading it! ❤