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.
When it comes to the Robert Langdon series by Dan Brown, it’s hard to beat the controversial blockbuster that was The Davinci Code. Well I can honestly say that if you were disappointed with The Lost Symbol as much as I was, well…Inferno delivers the much-needed hellfire.
From the very beginning of the story I knew it was going to be everything that The Lost Symbol should have been. Robert Langdon wakes up in a hospital, groggy, and no memories of the past few days, only to have to escape with his life as an assassin comes to pay him a call. It soon becomes apparent that Robert is on a strange journey of symbolic puzzle solving in order to save the world from a seriously disturbed scientist that’s hell-bent on releasing the black plague on the mass public.
On top of that very different beginning, Inferno does a few things to make it a very memorable novel. Obviously Dan Brown’s signature of taking a little bit of fact and lacing it around so much fiction that we don’t know we’re being lied to is all through the novel. Also, thank God, Robert Langdon is back in the old world, Venice this time, as he hunts down clues. Nothing against The Lost Symbol, but it just wasn’t the same when Langdon was in Washington DC. Inferno also kept me guessing, which is a hard thing to do. Every single time I thought I knew who the bad guys were that was helping this lunatic scientist unleash such a unspeakable biohazard, it gave just a little bit more info, and immediately the story took a complete 180 on me.
And then there’s the villain.
It’s not often that I can completely sympathize with a villain. There’s always something about a good villain I can connect to, but never able to see eye to eye with one. Granted this guy was completely unhinged, but at the same time, so rational about everything, it was truly hard for me not to take his side.
Inferno does have some issues. Unfortunately Dan Brown still loves to repeat himself. For instance, in Inferno there is a recording that is supposed to go viral on the net, but the organization that’s handling it isn’t sure. Now I’m glad the contents of this info was in the book, but Mr Brown did not need to repeat it every time someone new sat to watch it. I can’t help but think that he’d be able to cut about 100 pages from his novels if he’d just learn to not repeat stuff over and over. Also, there really isn’t any type of love interest in this one. Does it need it? That’s up to opinion. However, I’ve always thought that every novel needs some romance in it.
Even with these nitpicks, Inferno was a hell of a novel. It has a strange new beginning and lots of twists and turns to keep on guessing, and a wonderfully twisted ending (don’t worry, no spoilers here). This is definitely going on my top picks list.
Score: 4.5 out of 5 stars