Dan Brown's ‘Angels & Demons’ was written before he wrote the famous ‘The Da Vinci Code,’ and introduces the character of Robert Langdon, a professor of religious symbols and art history at Harvard University. ‘Angels & Demons’ is very similar to ‘The Da Vinci Code’, but with a less gripping plot. Both stories have a hired assassin and a beautiful woman, who is very closely related to the murder, functioning as Langdon’s sidekick. Another point of similarity is that the clues require broad knowledge of art history, symbology and secret societies.
The main themes of the book are race against time, revenge and good prevailing over evil. Robert and Vittoria are trying to find the antimatter canister before it explodes, and also trying to find the mysterious assassin who murdered Leonardo and take revenge against him. In the end the theme changes to good prevailing over evil when they find the canister and Vatican City is saved. However, these stereotypical themes get freshness because of the setting of the novel in Vatican City, with all its classical architecture and old rituals, and in Rome.
The story starts with Langdon being called to investigate the murder of Leonardo Vetra, a top physicist at a research institute, who was also a Catholic priest. His chest is marked the word ‘Illuminati’, an ancient secret society.
Leonardo and his daughter Vittoria were using the world’s first particle accelerator to produce antimatter, and had suspended it in air so it doesn’t touch matter and explode. The canister which contains the antimatter has an emergency back up batteries which last 24 hours when removed from its electrical dockets.The murderer had stolen one of the antimatter canisters.
Robert and Vittoria are immediately sent sent to Rome to find the canister and return it to its lab before it exploded at midnight. But, even though Langdon is an expert on the topic, they always seem to be always one step behind the Illuminati.
Finally, they find out...