Inferno by Dan Brown

Dan Brown reached commercial and critical acclaim when he released his controversial and entertaining novel, The DaVinci Code. In the book, he combined combined a fast paced thriller with elements of ancient European history, making controversial conjectures about the Catholic church in the process. Brought together by his character, Harvard symbologist Robert Langdon, Brown gained an instant following and was regarded as an author at the top of his game.

But then the third novel in the Robert Langdon series, The Lost Symbol, was released, and Brown's star seemed to have faded. Gone was the tight pacing and seamless integration of historical details. The Lost Symbol, while commercially successful, seemed like an example of an author going through the motions. The convoluted plot and unnecessary tangents of American history, really fell flat, paling in comparison to the previous two installments.

With the memory of The Lost Symbol still fresh on my mind, I was cautiously optimistic that Inferno, the fourth and latest Robert Langdon novel, would be an improvement. The novel sees Langdon return to Europe, this time finding himself in Florence. There is only one problem . . . he has no idea what he is doing there!

As the novel begins, Robert finds himself in a Florentine hospital bed. Suffering from amnesia, Langdon has no recollection of the events leading up to his current situation, but he is haunted by the image of an elderly, white-haired lady who seems to be suffering in a fiery cave. The action is kicked into high gear when a menacing Goth woman, think Lisbeth Salander from The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, breaks into Langdon's hospital room, killing his doctor and leaving Langdon and the beautiful Dr. Sienna Brooks running for their lives. Now, Langdon must rely on his unique intellect to rediscover his actions of the last day and to escape the assassins who threaten his life.

After the disappointment of The Lost Symbol, Inferno marks a return to form for author Dan Brown. Like the previous novels there are moments of unbelievability, but Brown deftly makes up for these narrative shortcomings by keeping the pace moving and the historical information flowing. Brown builds his story upon the classic Inferno by Dante Alighieri, taking Langdon and Brooks through his own modern circles of Hell. By returning his focus to Europe's rich and mystical history, Brown crafts another thriller that is as equally smart as it is entertaining.

For more information, visit the author's website, Amazon, and GoodReads.

(2013: week 38, book 33)

This entry was posted on Sunday, September 15, 2013 and is filed under ,,,,,,,,,,. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response.

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