Book review: Inferno by Dan Brown

Inferno is the latest book by Dan Brown to feature Professor Robert Langdon as he gets caught up in another globe trotting chase.  As with the other stories he is being chased by the bad guys and he has to decipher clues in ancient texts and artwork to keep one step ahead of those chasing him.

The good

  • As with the other books in the series, the attention to detail is good, and you actually feel like you are visiting some of the places in the story
  • Great for the tourist industry in the places mentioned in the book – Dan Brown really sells them (I certainly want to go and visit them!)
  • The action – there is plenty of this as Professor Robert Langdon is chased by two sets of people who he believes want him dead.  As with the other books in the series, his knowledge of symbols and ancient art mean that he is led from one piece of artwork to another
  • The characters – most of them are believable enough that you care what happens to them and this helps keep you enthralled.
  • The facts.  The use of real texts, places and pieces of artwork add to the credibility of the story and make it seem that little more believable and real.  They also help make up for the shortcomings in other aspects of Dan Brown’s abilities as a writer.

The bad

  • The science (as with Angels and Demons) is stretched a little too thin and is on the boundaries of credibility.
  • Another book I’ve read recently with a large powerful secret organisation that is very powerful.  Do these actually exist outside of novels?

The ugly

  • The ending.  The last 80 pages (out of 528 altogether) were a total disappointment.  Instead of finishing like a firework with a bang and a dramatic close, the ending barely fizzles to a damp squib.

When I reviewed this on Amazon I gave it 4/5 stars.  I really enjoyed it (despite the things I wrote above) but the ending was a let down.  I’d still recommend it to others but perhaps you might want to wait until the market is flooded with second hand copies! Smile