The film adaptation for this book came out when I was in junior high and it was all the rage, so I’m surprised it took me so long to get around to reading Angels and Demons by Dan Brown. I wish I had read it sooner.
When a scientist at CERN, a world-renowned particle physics laboratory in Switzerland, gets murdered, Harvard symbologist Robert Langdon is summoned to investigate. The reason: the scientist was branded with the word, “Illuminati”. Along with the scientist’s daughter, Vittoria Vetra, Langdon goes to Rome to stop the terrorist plot against the Vatican brought about by the scientist’s stolen antimatter technology.
I’m all for a good conspiracy theory, and this book does not disappoint. While entertaining the reader (i.e. me, in this scenario) with all of its unexpected twists and turns, it also informs the reader (also me) about the histories of the Illuminati and the Catholic Church. An author’s note in the beginning of this story states that “all works of art, tombs, tunnels, and architecture in Rome” included in the story are entirely factual, which makes it so exciting to read about such a high-stakes adventure knowing that its fascinating locations are real. It gives the work an added depth, amplifying the intensity more than it would if the places and objects were entirely fictitious.
The novel also delves into complex and differing opinions on religion and science and the relationship between the two. To try to sum up every perspective touched upon in this behemoth of a book (compared to the other, not-as-long books I typically read and review) would be a nearly impossible feat, especially to do that within the short word count I keep my reviews to.
Brown certainly knows how to tell a story that keeps you on the edge of your seat. With the constant cliffhanger chapter endings and the mystery behind the Illuminati plot, you never know who’s to blame—even when you think you have it figured out. Langdon’s quest on the Path of Illumination is certainly an entertaining one, and, if you have the time and you haven’t already, I suggest you read this novel.