SERIES: The Robert Langdon Series, book 4
AUTHOR: Dan Brown
PAGES/LOCATIONS: 528 pages
GOODREADS’ AVG. RATING: 3.71 out of 5 stars; 195,737 ratings
Dan Brown’s new novel, Inferno, features renowned Harvard symbologist Robert Langdon and is set in the heart of Europe, where Langdon is drawn into a harrowing world centred around one of history’s most enduring and mysterious literary masterpieces.
As Dan Brown comments: “Although I studied Dante’s Inferno as a student, it wasn’t until recently, while researching in Florence, that I came to appreciate the enduring influence of Dante’s work on the modern world. With this new novel, I am excited to take readers on a journey deep into this mysterious realm…a landscape of codes, symbols, and more than a few secret passageways.”
My first book read in the new year and it is also my first book read on my LG G8.3 via the Google Play Book app, so many firsts and so much happiness! I also tore through this book, I started reading it on Tuesday and ended up finishing it just before 9PM PST on Thursday. I haven’t read a book that quickly in a very very long time. Clear indication that I was absolutely absorbed in this book! However, regardless of my enjoyment of this plot I still felt as if I could have been reading any of the other Robert Langdon novels. Inferno was filled with much more deception, then came the expected betrayal by a character which had been built up as an ally. I don’t understand Brown’s obsession with this trope, I felt myself constantly questioning the motives of each and every character that Langdon came across which isn’t what I wanted. I then became complacent, I thought the plot had evolved from that same trope only to find myself blindsided when I came to find out that someone had been playing Langdon the whole time. If I had been reading a physical copy of the book, I imagine that I would have thrown it across the room in anger. Yet, regardless of my anger towards certain aspects of the story I don’t find myself hating the book.
Overall, I really did like Inferno because this novel continues in the form of Brown’s Angels & Demons further questioning the necessity for ethics and moral framework in the scientific world. Science is continuing to advance faster than laws can regulate it, much like the internet, and these advances raise a lot of questions regarding right and wrong, progress, and our future. I wasn’t expecting to find myself in the midst of an ethical battle regarding the idea of overpopulation, though it is an issue of growing concern, yet Brown tackled the subject in a manner which kept me interested in the story. A large portion of what kept me so interested in this novel was the use of facts and scientific evidence as justification for action. One of the most important lessons I have been taught is that facts can be manipulated to support many different claims, it is all based upon context and word choice. I was fascinated by Brown’s understanding of this in his creation of the character Zobrist who utilized the startling facts regarding overpopulation as justification for the release of his virus which impacted the future of humanity forever. It is truly scary just how easily he was able to justify his actions based, it is scarier to think that all of us are capable of that same crime (though I would hope on much smaller scales).
TL;DR REVIEW: 3.85 out of 5 stars. I am torn, I enjoyed a lot of the book and want to rate it higher but as I said…I felt as if I could have been reading any one of the Robert Langdon novels. I can’t get over his continued usage of betrayal in his plots – I just can’t, I don’t understand how Langdon can still be so trusting of other individuals given how many times he has been burned over the course of these four novels. If you are going to read any single Robert Langdon novel, then I would suggest this be the one. Out of all four of the novels in the series, I think that this one and Angels & Demons are tied as my favorite books – I just think that this novel’s grounding on a subject which all of us are so readily concerned for makes it a much more interesting choice in the long run.