Series: Robert Langdon #4
Published by Bantam Press on May 14, 2014
Genres: Historical, Suspense, Thriller
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‘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.
Harvard University’s most famous Professor returns in Dan Brown’s forth installment of the Robert Langdon series, Inferno. Inspired by the poem of the same name about a man’s journey into the depths of hell, the major focus of Inferno includes deciphering some mysterious lines that can only be solved by Robert’s intellect.
As my most anticipated book of 2013, Inferno did not disappoint. Despite a contrived beginning where Robert suffers from short term amnesia, the research conducted into a centuries old poem, the magnificent daydream setting of Florence, and the historical references of major artifacts is a literary feast for your senses. As Dan Brown’s trademark, Inferno takes us through famous museums, old crypts and celebrated tourist spots, where Robert’s knowledge of symbolism, secret passages, and historical secrets may flourish.
Only one person can masterfully envelop multiple points of historical and current research into a thrilling, yet eerie plot and that person is Dan Brown. Filled with twists and turns, the novel entices us with it’s nonstop action with Robert and Sienna, his trademark lady accomplice running from armed soldiers. Their mission is to decipher an obscure poem left by master geneticist and Dante devotee, Bertrand Zobrist which hints at solving over population, human kind’s biggest threat.
The conspiracy within the book is as chilling and realistic as ever, captured in this confronting quote:
“If you could throw a switch and randomly kill half the population on earth, would you do it?…What if you were told that if you didn’t throw that switch right now, the human race would be extinct in the next hundred years?”
Multiple plot lines seemingly converge at a perfect pace and the pockets of intellectual research never seem to interfere with the fast-paced plot. The novel covers a myriad of topics, from theories into bio-weapons and geneticism, Dante’s life and other historical figures, the trademark opera masks, to the significance of ancient artifacts such as the death mask. A book like this can be digested over and over again, and each time we can take away something new from it.
While Robert is as sharp as ever (despite his brief lapse in memory), it’s his companion Sienna Brooks that steals the show. From the start of the book, we find out the doctor is also a child prodigy, where her intellect and smarts blow the rest of his peers out of the water. While being a master actress, skilled fighter, multi-linguist and being able to think quickly on her feet, she seems to have a mysterious agenda which she only hints at alluding to throughout the book. Since Sophie Neveu from The Da Vinci Code to Vittoria Vetra in Angels & Demons, Dan Brown has always been proficient at creating intelligence female characters that match Robert’s intellect in one way or another.
The facts are all presented to us in a thrilling way, and the ending is definitely not a happily ever after. It leaves us with some thoughts to ponder on what will be done to solve a real threat to life as we know it. Dan Brown is extremely adept at his craft and his gutsy, intelligent, and controversial reads will always be at the top of my favourites list.
Rating: 5 out of 5
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