by Malak Elshafei
Adventure Through the Secrets of History
Brown, Dan. Angels & Demons. New York: Atria, 2003. Print.
Author of the bestselling novel, The Da Vinci Code, Dan Brown introduces a prequel that is just as thrilling and mysterious as his first novel. In Angels and Demons, Robert Langdon is a Harvard professor who studies religious iconology. One night, Robert receives a mysterious phone call from the director of CERN, an international science company. One of CERN’s top scientists, Leonardo Vetra, has been murdered and branded with the Illuminatus symbol. Robert is then rushed to Switzerland in order to help solve this homicide, which he soon discovers to be a piece of an even larger picture. Not only was Vetra murdered, but Vetra’s nuclear creation, called anti-matter, was stolen as well. Once the “Illuminati” have made it clear that they intend to use this antimatter to destruct their sworn enemy, the church, Langdon and Vetra’s daughter, Vittoria, embark on a journey to not only find the murderer of Vittoaria’s father, but to stop the Illuminati before destroying the Vatican and all of its priceless history.
The fact that this novel catered to science-fiction, historical fiction, realistic fiction, and mystery made it very enjoyable and addicting. It was impossible to get bored of the plot; so much history and science, ranging from art history to scientific history to modern physics, was packed into the story in order for the reader to follow the plot (or at least try to) and attempt to solve the mystery. Brown also did an excellent job of emphasizing on the modern issues of science and religion clashing. The theme that was occurring in his novel was how religion and science depended on each other, and should not be enemies. In addition, Brown did not fail to incorporate some humor and romanticism in order to keep those generic aspects of an entertaining novel. However, Brown seemed to lack detailing when it came to characterizing Robert Langdon. It was difficult to become emotionally attached with Langdon. Despite this novel being very focused on the world’s different views on religion, it was difficult to interpret Langdon’s opinion on religion, making the reader constantly sense that they were missing this critical connection with Langdon. Nevertheless, Brown’s twisted ending made up for any disappointments in the novel.
I would recommend this book to any mature readers out there who enjoy mystery mixed with science fiction, historical fiction, an realistic fiction. I say mature only because this novel does address some issues that I find are very touchy, specifically religion versus science and what you believe. In addition, there is some graphic material in the book, including language, graphic torture and murder scenes, and some disturbing internal thoughts. Other than that,