Book review: Angels & Demons by Dan Brown

Before there was The Da Vinci Code, there was Angels & Demons by Dan Brown. Angels & Demons is the book that thrust Dan Brown into the limelight as one of the most gripping authors of our generation. The book introduces the character of Robert Langdon, a Harvard professor who specialises in symbols and historical conspiracies (not his official job title but that’s essentially what he does).

Angels & demons by Dan Brown book review
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When a  famous scientist is found murdered with a mysterious ancient symbol seared into his chest, Langdon is brought in to investigate. And so begins a highly gripping book that leaves you wanting more at the end of every single chapter.

Plot – 4.5/5

Angels & Demons is all about Robert Langdon, a world-renowned symbologist being summoned to a Swiss research facility after a physicist has been murdered and had a mysterious symbol seared into his chest. The symbol suggests an ancient brotherhood by the name of the Illuminati, the most powerful underground organisation to ever walk the earth, have reappeared and intend on doing something big and dangerous.

The plot has you gripped from every early on and then for the next few hundred pages continues to keep you on the edge of your hypothetical seat with the ending of each chapter. You can tell Bronw has knowledge of these symbols as there’s a lot of research done into the background of many of the mysterious goings-on in the book. The mystery, conspiracy and history is absolutely my forte and so I absolutely loved reading this book. Without a doubt, this plot will keep your interest piqued for a good amount of time you’re reading it.

That does bring me to my one slight problem with the way the book is written. To create these cliffhanger-endings for each chapter, Dan Brown often gives you false hope. The plot essentially goes: something interesting is found, something dangerous is suggested by this, Langdon works out what this means but doesn’t tell anyone, the next chapter starts elsewhere, then Langdon tells us what it means in the following chapter and it’s not all that important. Don’t get me wrong, there are some incredible theories in this book that’ll cause you to question what you may know about certain incredibly famous paintings and historical facts. But just the way it’s written does give you a lot of cliffhangers that can sometimes create a less than satisfying following chapter.

Characters – 4/5

Robert Langdon himself is a highly intelligent and to-the-point character. He’s not particularly funny or witty but he then I feel sometimes this is the case with main characters as the supporting characters around them aren’t required to bring as much plot to the tale. 

Vittoria is the other main character, a very powerful woman who knows what she wants and isn’t afraid to express it. An Italian scientist, Vittoria brings much to the plot and also something of a love interest for Langdon. Though again, she’s not overly compelling but then I don’t think the incredibly character developments are the reason you’d like this book. Therefore, I’ve given this section a four as a three would suggest the characters hampered the book, which they didn’t.

Angels & Demons summary – 5/5

If you’ve got any interest in history, any interest in conspiracy theories or just a general intrigue for the mysterious, I’d highly recommend picking Angels & Demons by Dan Brown. The plot keeps you gripped throughout and constantly throws twists and mysteries at you that make you think and, as a result, want to read on.

The big name in the Dan Brown series is The Da Vinci Code, but I would highly recommend you don’t skip Angels and Demons first – this first book introduces you to Dan Brown’s incredible mind and his ability to draw you in with suggestions you may never have thought of to things you thought you knew. Despite being a thicker novel, Angels & Demons can be read so quickly as you simply won’t be able to put it down. I’d class this in the higher tier of books that are incredibly hard to put down. I have plenty more reviews of books filled with mystery.

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