Angels & Demons is the first book starring Robert Langdon. This book, like the others where Langdon is the protagonist, has a lot of conspiracy theories, ancient history, architecture, art, secret societies… and so on. This is the stuff that makes Brown’s novels a very fun read.
The book was published in 2000 by Pocket Books, and then by Corgi Books. And, of course, it was a bestseller.
The story starts with one of CERN’s physicists, Leonardo Vetra, being murdered. He is found by CERN’s director, Maximilian Kohler. Vetra’s chest is branded with an ambigram of the word “Illuminati”.
This is where Langdon comes in. He is contacted by Kohler to determine the ambigram’s authenticity. When he confirms that the ambigram is in fact authentic, they contact Vetra’s adopted daughter, Vittoria.
She tells them that the long forgotten, thought-to-be-extinct society, the Illuminati, had stolen a canister containing antimatter. The antimatter being as it is, could unleash power comparable to a nuclear weapon.
Since the canister is located in the Vatican, and is a treat to the whole city, Langdon and Vittoria make their way there.
When they arrive, they learn that the Pope is dead, and the Preferiti, cardinals who are most likely to be elected as the next Pope, are missing.
And …I leave the rest of it for you to read.
This was a really fun book. Although it had a few inaccuracies, it was a great experience. If you like mysteries, puzzles, and learning some history along the way, you have to read this.
The book got it’s film adaptation in 2009, starring Tom Hanks as Robert Langdon. Few days before the movie premiere, a documentary named Angels & Demons Decoded was aired on The History Chanel. The documentary analyzed the bases of the novel’s stories, as well as the inaccuracies I mentioned before.