Friday, December 26, 2014

Review: Inferno (Robert Langdon #4) by Dan Brown

In his international blockbusters The Da Vinci Code, Angels & Demons, and The Lost Symbol, Dan Brown masterfully fused history, art, codes, and symbols. In this riveting new thriller, Brown returns to his element and has crafted his highest-stakes novel to date.
In the heart of Italy, Harvard professor of symbology Robert Langdon is drawn into a harrowing world centered on one of history’s most enduring and mysterious literary masterpieces . . . Dante’s Inferno.
Against this backdrop, Langdon battles a chilling adversary and grapples with an ingenious riddle that pulls him into a landscape of classic art, secret passageways, and futuristic science. Drawing from Dante’s dark epic poem, Langdon races to find answers and decide whom to trust . . . before the world is irrevocably altered.
I've been meaning to read this book for a long time now, but it was only recently that I was able to obtain a copy.

In Inferno, Robert Langdon wakes up in a hospital in Italy with no memory of how he got there. On top of that, there are people out to get him. With the help of a doctor he met at the hospital to rely on, Langdon must race around Venice to find out what's really going on and what it has to do with Dante's The Divine Comedy.

If you've read Dan Brown's other books, you'll recognize the Dan Brown formula present in this book too. That is, Langdon is dropped in the middle of a mystery + a female companion + architecture, art and symbols + threat to the world + not everyone is trustworthy + plenty of action.

That said, this is still an interesting read. It was mostly a page-turner for me, especially during the action-packed parts, and the parts wherein they learn another piece of the puzzle. There were also some interesting twists here that were a little unexpected.

The book's villain and his accomplice was a touch more complex than I expected. Yes, they're both nuts, in a way, but they also had a point. Funnily enough, the book's ending, while anti-climactic for me, didn't exactly made me angry either. It's a moral gray area, and I'm not sure if it's for everybody.

There were two things that bothered me though. One is the descriptions of the architecture and other art. Most of the time, it helped with visualization, but there were also other times wherein it felt like information overload. My second issue is more personal. One of the characters recalls a pivotal moment in Manila that changed her. I've lived in Manila my whole life so I feel qualified to at least comment on this. One, six-hour traffic jams is an exaggeration. Yes, there are traffic jams here, but the several-hour long ones rarely happen, and if you had to wait six hours, you were probably travelling from the northern provinces to the southern provinces via EDSA during rush hour, after a long thunderstorm. Yes, there's poverty here. Especially in the slum areas where she went. I'd go into more detail about economics and local politics, but that would take too long. What happened to her, though, yes, it's plausible, especially if you're a lone foreigner, a female at that, in a rough area. She should have known better to exercise caution. Thankfully, though, people like those men aren't as common as you'd think, and people like that old woman are more common than you'd guess if you've never been here.


  1. It's action-packed.
  2. You learn a lot about Venice and Dante.
  3. There were some unexpected twists. 


  1. Some of the descriptions of buildings and scenery felt like a bit too much information to process. 

Wow, either this is the most accomplished audience on earth, or this e-publishing thing is really taking off. 

  1. If you liked Dan Brown's other books.
  2. If you liked Dante's The Divine Comedy.
  3. You want to learn more about Venice. 



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