Series: Robert Langdon #4
Date Published: May 14, 2013
Description: In his international blockbusters The Da Vinci Code, Angels & Demons, and The Lost Symbol, Dan Brown masterfully fused history, art, codes, and symbols. In this riveting new thriller, Brown returns to his element and has crafted his highest-stakes novel to date.
In the heart of Italy, Harvard professor of symbology Robert Langdon is drawn into a harrowing world centered on one of history’s most enduring and mysterious literary masterpieces . . . Dante’s Inferno.
Against this backdrop, Langdon battles a chilling adversary and grapples with an ingenious riddle that pulls him into a landscape of classic art, secret passageways, and futuristic science. Drawing from Dante’s dark epic poem, Langdon races to find answers and decide whom to trust . . . before the world is irrevocably altered.
I felt that Inferno was quite a bit different than the earlier books written by Dan Brown. It has a more real life element where the previous Robert Langdon books dealt more with religious theories and beliefs. The pacing was different as well since the book used a lot of flashbacks and started out right in the middle of the action. I’m going to try very hard not to include any spoilers in this review but that might make it a bit vague.
I was a huge fan of the earlier Robert Langdon books but this one didn’t grip me as much as the others. Maybe it is due to the fact that it deals with a real life issue and is quite depressing if you really think about it. It might also be because I think I’m no longer into this type of crime novel writing where the narration moves from one character to the next every little bit so we end up getting the story piecemeal and as soon as a bombshell is dropped, we have to wait several more chapters to continue with that part of the story. Despite that, this novel was fast-paced and was definitely a thriller with some edge of your seat moments. It also contained some really creepy aspects with the video and plague mask. We basically spend the majority of the novel believing a deadly plague is going to be released and wondering if they will be able to stop it in time. See, depressing.
The villain of the story is also very different than the previous books. By the end of the novel you might even be thinking whether the evil genius had a point, and it could open some really deep moral discussions on the issue of overpopulation and if other less drastic attempts would even work. We learn from the beginning that the true villain is dead and Robert and Co are trying to find the plague or virus or whatever to stop the release. So we know there will be another “bad guy” that will double-cross Robert Langdon, ‘cause that’s what we’ve learned to expect. But when this “bad guy” was finally revealed, my mind was blown. I did not at all see it coming. Dan Brown did a great job misleading us and making us think something completely different. I actually had to go back and re-read a few sections to see if there were any hints.
The ending was a bit of a let down, and again, depressing. This is just so real of a possibility that it was sobering and not something I really want to consider. Also, the “bad guy” got off too easy. I really can’t say much more without giving details. I also thought the whole elaborate scheme and everything involving The Consortium was over the top. When we finally learn the truth, it just seemed like most of that wasn’t necessary. So I have my criticisms of this book, but I still found it enjoyable and am looking forward to seeing the movie one day.