Dan Brown’s The Inferno
If you thought you would read another Langdon novel of Robert having to translate symbols in a hurry, the world will end shortly and a beautiful woman would be his partner, then guess what? You have in “The Inferno!”
Though somewhat formulaic, I really like Brown novels. The pacing, the brief flashbacks and the way he leads the readers to imagine one thing and then change the story completely around by the ending is maddening if entertaining.
Langdon wakes up with amnesia in an Italian hospital and has no idea how he ended up in a hospital, much less in Italy. The surgeon, Dr. Sienna Brooks, goes with him as they escape a mad shooter who is gunning for Langdon.
Right at the start you wonder who this woman is – why is she throwing away her medical career to keep Langdon safe? Who is she?
Another character in the mix is the silver-haired head of WHO (World Health Organization) who also wants Langdon and as well wants the third person in our triage: a man obsessed with the final solution to overpopulation in the world and using Dante’s famous Divine Comedy and especially The Inferno as inspiration to pull off his “final solution.”
As you tear through the book, you get greatly detailed accounts of Florence and Venice, the historic atmosphere and really have no time to enjoy it as you rush through deciphering (a very physical job!) and having a beautiful scientist in tow who is much different (and dangerous) than she appears to both Langdon and the reader.
Many of the characters are throwaways. I loved the Langdon character and enigmatic Sienna Brooks, but the WHO security guys, the various museum curators and even a few from the “all-for-the-client” Consortium (which organization was not all that explained) made for some disappointment.
Great exploration into the history and makings of Dante’s Inferno. I’m sure a lot of people will be searching out the places that Robert went to, looking for secret stairways and checking out Dante’s death mask.
Bottom Line: Enjoyable if formulaic book. Better than The Lost Symbol, but his DaVinci Code is still the best of the Langdon novels. Here’s hoping for a movie!