This blog is already taking a different path than what I thought it would take. I’m an avid reader and have always loved reading, so I’ll post some reviews on favorite books and authors of mine once a week. I thought I’d start with the book I most recently finished, Dan Brown’s Inferno.
In Brown’s latest novel, Robert Langdon returns to action, this time in Italy. He wakes in Florence with an alleged bullet wound to the head, his government trying to hunt him down, and various other forces working against him, all while working against amnesia. He has one clue left to him, a painting of Dante’s which has been digitally altered. Working alongside an Italian doctor, Langdon races across Italy to uncover the clues left in the painting, trying to recall his lost memories, and avoiding capture from several forces. The clues left in the painting suggest that a mad genius has developed a disease engineered to seemingly kill off a portion of the human race, to eradicate the growing problem of overpopulation. This is the problem Langdon races to avert in this novel.
All in all, the book is well written. Being a fan of thrillers, I thought the book had loads of action. There are several plot twists, especially near the end of the book. The book certainly didn’t disappoint; that being said, however, there were some things about the book I didn’t like.
First and foremost, it seems to me that in the Langdon novels, Brown always resorts to a template of a book. He always has his hero, Langdon, working against multiple governments and secret agencies, racing against the clock, and always with a female accomplice beside him. The template isn’t a bad one, but I feel that Brown overuses it. Perhaps it’d be a nice change if Brown instead had Langdon fighting with a government agency or something of that sort; just something different from his bread-and-butter books.
My other big issue with this book was the ending. In this novel, I was really left feeling that instead of having an exciting, deadly climax, Brown instead resorted to ending the conflict in as easy a way as possible. He picked the most boring way to avert the crisis that he created in the book. It was even worse in his last Langdon novel, The Lost Symbol, so compared to that I suppose the ending to this book wasn’t bad at all. Still, I wish he made the climax more action-filled. This problem leads to my only other problem with this book; it’s too unrealistic. I understand that most thrillers aren’t realistic, but there’s a fine line between unlikely reality that excites us and something that will just never happen. If the book (and the characters for that matter) were a bit more realistic, I think it would be much more enjoyable.
Despite my slight problems with the book, I really enjoyed the novel. I’d rate it a solid 8.5/10. Brown’s Langdon novels aren’t bad, I would definitely recommend reading them. Try Inferno; if you’re a thriller fan like me, you’ll enjoy it.