Wednesday, 24 July 2013
Inferno by Dan Brown
I was so excited when I saw that Dan Brown had finally written another book. I was even more excited when I found it at the library as a 7-Day Express book. This meant I didn't have to wait weeks in the queue for my turn to have the book.
What I Liked About the Book
I loved the way this book started. You are right in the action. I think Brown's previous books took awhile before they became exciting. This book is a race against time. Langdon doesn't just have to save one person, or even several people. He has to save the entire world. I felt this book could have been titled Robert Langdon: Superhero.
You also couldn't figure out exactly who was the good guys and who were the bad guys. Once you do have some figured out Brown switches them at the end.
I loved the descriptions of the art. I loved imagining what the different settings looked like. I was tempted to look some of them up online but decided not to because I actually think it's more fun to imagine them in my head. Brown is excellent at describing art, sculpture, and buildings so you know almost what they look like. I find my imagination is always a bit better than the real thing.
My favorite part of the book (as is my favorite part of all Dan Brown books) is watching Langdon solve the clues, riddles, and puzzles.
I never once felt Inferno slow down or drag. The pacing of the book kept me interested right up until the very end. I noticed many people complained about the description in their reviews on Amazon and that it slowed the story down but I never felt this way at all.
What I Didn't Like About the Book
Trying to do this without spoilers will be a challenge, but I will do my best.
The bad guy, Zobrist, was a bit cliche. A super rich, mad scientist with a lair? Really? As was the character of Sienna, the genius that just wants to belong and make a difference in the world who is tempted by evil. And I still don't quite understand why she was bald.
The very first clue of the painting where sections were changed around was so boring. If I were Langdon I would have been laughing at how easy it was to solve it. The clue just seemed so amateurish. But then again, Zobrist was a scientist, not an art historian or a symbologist.
I was disappointed by the real reason people were trying to kill Langdon. It was really kind of a let down. I also found the idea that certain settings and people were faked completely unrealistic. The reason for Langdon's head wound was just absurd.
I was absolutely fascinated by The Consortium. I find the idea that a secret organization that helps governments create illusions and create false scandals or cover ups absolutely fascinating. However, when the provost (head of The Consortium) bragged about his part in creating the illusion of WMDs in Iraq, I literally burst out laughing. That "illusion" ended up being an utter failure and sure as heck was nothing to brag about. But maybe in Langdon's universe no one ever found out the Iraq WMDs was total bullcrap.
The virus that is found in the end was completely and utterly unbelievable. Dan Brown needs to stay far away from science fiction because I thought it was the stupidest idea in the entire book. In a way, the ridiculousness of the virus almost ruins the book. I wish so much that I could tell you why I hated the idea of the virus but that would be a spoiler that would ruin the entire book for anyone reading this review.
Overall the book was mostly classic Dan Brown, but the science fiction mixed with cliched superheros and supervillians was just too much for me. I felt like they were comic book characters at times. Although a graphic novel version of Inferno would probably be pretty cool. I also have to admit I love to see a movie version of this book.
Despite the flaws it was a good read and I enjoyed it up until the ending. At the ending, I rolled my eyes several times. I really rate it at about 3 1/2 stars but I will be nice and bump it up to .