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Angels and Demons – Dan Brown

Angels and Demons is a highly successful 2000 mystery thriller written by American author Dan Brown and published by Pocket Books and later by Corgi Books. The novel features the character Robert Langdon, who recurs as the protagonist in Brown’s later novels.

Angels and Demons share many stylistic literary elements with their sequels, such as conspiracies from secret societies, a one-day time frame, and the Catholic Church. Ancient history, architecture, and symbology are also heavily referenced throughout the book.


Summary and Synopsis

There was a murder in the CERN laboratory involving the theft of an antimatter canister, which, if not recovered within 24 hours, will explode. The Illuminati brought the boat to Vatican City, who left their name marked on the chest of a murdered CERN physicist.

Langdon, who identified the brand as authentically Illuminati, along with the daughter of the dead physicist, Vittoria, are going to Vatican City. The Pope has just died and the candidates for the papacy are missing. Langdon begins to search for the kidnapped cardinals hoping that antimatter will accompany them. He is joined by a man named Ventresca, who was close to the Pope and worked with the Vatican’s Swiss Guard.

Langdon pursues the Illuminati following the path given to those seeking to enter the secret society. In Rome, he discovers the four murdered cardinals in an echo of the elements earth, wind, water, and fire, each marked with an ambigram corresponding to its element. During the chase, Vittoria is kidnapped and Langdon continues to search for the Illuminati, now also for their rescue.

Langdon meets Vittoria in St. Peter’s Basilica and, saving her, he hears Ventresca scream. Langdon discovers that he has been branded by the Illuminati. Kohler, who first saw the murder at CERN and called Langdon, is believed to be in the secret society, and is shot to death, but not before giving Langdon a tape saying he should be shown to the public.

With little free time, the Camerlengo, Ventresca, claims that a revelation from God has shown him the location of antimatter: in the catacombs. He finds the time bomb and takes it to heaven where it explodes harmlessly after a moment of cardiac arrest that could have ended Langdon’s life.

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Ventresca is considered to be the papacy because of his miraculous vision, but it is revealed that the Camerlengo poisoned the pope under the guise of the name Janus (revealing Janus’s true identity) for the pope’s violation of his chastity vows and his sympathy for what natural. The Camerlengo is burned alive publicly to deal with his guilt and shame. Langdon and Vittoria consummate their love and Langdon receives the Illuminati diamond to be returned to the Vatican through his final will.

Genre: Fiction / Mystery

Angeles y Demonios is a fictional novel that leaves us with the intrigue of a murder from the beginning. Although it is based on real sites, all the characters and the story are fictional. With a third-person narration, follow an action-packed plot to solve a mystery through painstaking and convoluted clues.

Revealing secrets through clues is a staple in the mystery genre. Knowledge of mysterious elements within the plot leads the reader to guess “who did it.” In Dan Brown’s narrative, typical track layouts are less pronounced, as Brown prefers symbols and codes to direct tracks. His tracks are often more skeptical and rooted in corruption and conspiracy.


  • Robert Langdon: He is a professor of art history and “symbology” at Harvard University. Langdon is an expert on Illuminati-related conspiracies and is chasing the Illuminati in Vatican City and Rome in an attempt to save people from the explosion of antimatter stolen from CERN’s facilities in Switzerland.
  • Vittoria Vetra: As a scientist and adoptive daughter of a murdered CERN physicist, Vittoria aids Langdon in his search for the Illuminati, ultimately resulting in his capture. It is also the romantic interest of the protagonist, Langdon. Vittoria is resourceful and safer than Langdon. She is also a professional yoga guru and can move her limbs at will.
  • Maximilliam Kohler: Kohler is the director of CERN laboratories when a physicist named Vetra is found murdered. Kohler appears later in the book, believed to be the Illuminati henchman, Janus. Kohler is quadriplegic and therefore has a disdain for religion in general. He plays a vital role at the end of the story and insinuates himself as the villain for a short period of time to mock the audience.
  • Camerlengo Carlo Ventresca: The Camerlengo was a man close to the recently deceased Pope and offers his help to Langdon in the search for the Illuminati. However, its reliability is tested and it is believed that Ventresca may have hidden motives. He is said to be soft-spoken and is sometimes overshadowed by other officers.
  • Hassasin: The man who kidnaps and plans the execution of the cardinals. He is also lustful and has a low opinion of women. He is a descendant of a race of assassins who took drugs. He had contempt for the Vatican, which is exploited by the Illuminati to use it as the muscle behind the entire plan.
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Dan Brown’s works are known to stir controversy with his focus on modern corruption in the Catholic Church. This theme is seen prominently in angels and demons in plot details, such as the pope’s sympathies with science, the violation of the pope’s votes, the infiltration of the Illuminati into the papacy, the murders of cardinals to manipulate the future papacy and the murder of the Pope.

The effect of this theme makes the reader skeptical of institutions that are classic images of moral honesty and trustworthiness. This is also a genre-enhancing theme as it encourages the reader to feel a sense of tension between all the parties involved in Angels and Demons.

Angels and demons has a basis in the old debate between religion and science. While religion, with science, we are leaving aside our spirituality and belief, science debates saying that with religion we underestimate and even kill our potential. Characters are often seen in a tirade on which side to support.

Leonardo Vetra, priest and scientist, was killed as a result of this debate. Highly religious people like Ventresca shudder to think of a loving relationship between a priest and a nun, even if it’s not physical. Later, people like Kohler condemn the religion, as medical aid was denied as God’s will. The plot looks like an attack on religion by science, but in reality the whole plan is designed to make people condemn science and become more religious.