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Journalism I

Word Count: 828

Draft #2

The book cover for Angels and Demons.

The book cover for Angels and Demons.

Angels and Demons Book Review

Dan Brown’s Angels and Demons is a mystery novel revolving around Robert Langdon, a professor of Religious Symbology at Harvard University. In this novel, Langdon is striving against one of the most cryptic societies of the past, the Illuminati. He has to stop the Vatican City from being annihilated by antimatter and save the four Preferiti who are being murdered, one by one, on the crucial night of holy conclave.

One night, Langdon is summoned to a Swiss research facility to analyze a mysterious symbol that is burnt onto the chest of a scientist. This symbol is a remainder of one of the most ancient and powerful underground organizations ever to walk the earth, the Illuminati. “Europe’s most learned minds…dedicated to the quest for scientific truth.”(p.32) Fearing that the resurging use of this symbol might spell out disaster for the Catholic Church, Langdon’s worst fear is realized when a powerful and destructive item called antimatter is discovered missing from the laboratory. Knowing that the Illuminati has always held a grudge against the Vatican, he races to the city with a beautiful Italian scientist named Vittoria Vetra, the person responsible for the existence of the antimatter. They work to assist the Vatican in a desperate bid to find this deadly artifact, before it implodes and causes one of the most tragic disasters in history.

The conflict between science and religion has always existed in the past, but it is even more prominent in this novel. The Illuminati was portrayed as an Enlightenment-era society that consisted of scientists, many of which were persecuted by the Church for their scientific findings. “[…] Physicists, mathematicians, astronomers […]. They feared that the church’s monopoly on ‘truth’ threatened academic enlightenment around the world. […]” (p.32) It is also ironic that the Church is in danger of being destroyed by something made from science, the very nemesis of religion is being destroyed by what it hates, thus making it seem that this struggle is still going on when the events take place in the book.

Once I started this novel, the plot made me want to keep turning the pages to learn how it would end. I kept on trying to guess who the culprit would be. At one point in the book, the identity of the villain seems obnoxiously easy to guess at, which disgruntled me. As I read on, it turns out there are twists to the book that made me guess incorrectly. Therefore, this book really made me use my brain to find clues in the story that might allude to who the villain might be.

Brown used many historical figures, such as Galileo Galilei, which helps us connect with the plot more. He also reveals to us that there is much more to the surface of seemingly innocent things, and that to find the truth, one must delve deeper, even at the cost of one’s life. There is also the element of misconceptions to many things that I thought was correct, but in reality, were not. He also refers to Altars of Science in Rome that were supposed to be the Path of Illumination, using the elements of Air, Water, Earth, and Fire. He uses many famous landmarks in Rome, which makes the plot seem more realistic and probable.

Robert Langdon is someone who really loves history, and that is evident when he shows his knowledge of the past. Yet this familiarity is also a double-edged sword. Because of his knowledge, Langdon’s life is put in danger. Langdon also has phenomenal problem-solving skills, thus enabling him to be the most suitable protagonist for this story. Armored by his knowledge and passion for history, along with his clever thinking, he is able to help the Swiss Guard, the protectors of Vatican City, find the four Cardinals that are being murdered by the antagonist.

Vittoria Vetra chooses to accompany Robert Langdon to Rome because she feels immense responsibility for the antimatter. This is because she was the one, along with her father to discover this extremely unstable matter. If she had not been compelled by her sense of duty to accompany Langdon on his journey, there would not have been any romance in this book. While that is not necessarily a bad thing, it adds more oil to the already roaring flames. She also helps Langdon solve the 400 -year-old clues that the secret brotherhood left behind, especially when Langdon’s deduction skills lead them awry. Her father was the scientist that was killed, resulting in Vittoria wanting to exact revenge, albeit indirectly, by taking back the antimatter. Also, because this was secret research, only Vittoria knows how to contain this matter, and there is also the stress of a time limit, before the bomb-like item goes off.

This book is worth the read, as it takes the reader on a roller coaster ride of mystery. With every turn of the page, the reader is one step closer to finding out the unexpected truth.

Alright. If there’s any more mistakes, then shame on me. This is my 2nd draft, and it’s a VERY good book.

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