Review: Inferno

Inferno by Dan Brown
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

‘Seek and ye shall find.’

With these words echoing in his head, eminent Harvard symbologist Robert Langdon awakes in a hospital bed with no recollection of where he is or how he got there. Nor can he explain the origin of the macabre object that is found hidden in his belongings.

A threat to his life will propel him and a young doctor, Sienna Brooks, into a breakneck chase across the city of Florence. Only Langdon’s knowledge of hidden passageways and ancient secrets that lie behind its historic facade can save them from the clutches of their unknown pursuers.

With only a few lines from Dante’s dark and epic masterpiece, The Inferno, to guide them, they must decipher a sequence of codes buried deep within some of the most celebrated artefacts of the Renaissance – sculptures, paintings, buildings – to find the answers to a puzzle which may, or may not, help them save the world from a terrifying threat…

Set against an extraordinary landscape inspired by one of history’s most ominous literary classics, Inferno is Dan Brown’s most compelling and thought-provoking novel yet, a breathless race-against-time thriller that will grab you from page one and not let you go until you close the book.

Inferno was one of the books of 2013 I was waiting eagerly to read and Dan Brown certainly does not disappoint with this one. Each of the Robert Langdon novels involved some conspiracy/mystery which involved the symbologist to solve the puzzle and with him, we enjoy the journey through history and the World. Inferno involved a bioterrorism plot mixed in with one of the most celebrated poems, Dante’s Divine Comedy. The story was analogically related to its namesake Inferno, where humans have to undergo a trial of suffering to achieve Paradise. This Inferno takes us to a high-speed chase across Florence, Venice and Istanbul where Langdon is trying to uncover the clues left behind a brilliant but disillusioned scientist. The most difficult thing he had to face was perhaps his amnesia – for a person who relies on his eidetic memory, losing even a day would be worrisome. He has to uncover the clues of where he was and what he was doing while trying to figure out the mystery of the Inferno. Juxtapositioned alongside this was Consortium that was aiding the said scientist and Dr Sinskey, the nemesis of the same scientist. As a whole the book was interesting, engaging and the writing I would just not comment on because anything I would say would be insufficient. All I can say is the book in it’s entirety is spectacular. However, when you reflect back on it after reading, some things don’t make sense – like why bother leaving the puzzle when you didn’t want anybody to stop you. As for taking the credit, the arrangements were already made so why bother leaving this elaborate map and guide a person to the final point? That was the only thing that made no sense to me, and considering it does make up half the plot, I really couldn’t give this book 5 stars. The other Langdon books have good blending of the two aspects of the storyline – here, it was just the bio-terrorism angle that worked. Of course, they couldn’t have arrived at the end point without Langdon’s help, but, at the cost of repeating this again, why even have the map in the first place? So, while technically part of the plot felt pointless and irrational, the book was amazing overall.

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2 thoughts on “Review: Inferno

  1. I haven’t read this book yet, I keep putting it off because the ending of the last one was tedious. I’m glad to hear you enjoyed it though, I might need it up the list 🙂

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