08 February 2015

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

I loved reading Dan Brown's latest action thriller Inferno and remain a loyal fan and firm advocate of the Robert Langdon series, of which Inferno is the fourth. 

This time Langdon is back in Europe and the bad guy is a transhumanist by the name of Zobrist. A genetic scientist, Zobrist believes that the overpopulation of the earth is ruining the planet and humans will be doomed unless the population is brought under control. How does he intend to do that? Plague of course! 

Zobrist (who is obsessed with Dante Alighieri's epic poem The Inferno), intends to release a plague and kill half of the worlds inhabitants in order to save the planet. Zobrist believes that after the plague ravaged Europe centuries ago, it gave rise to sweeping change, plenty of food and opportunities for survivors and the birth of the Renaissance. As an extension, Zobrist sees himself as the earth's saviour and his plague as a great sacrifice that will cement his name in history.

In order to stop this bioterrorism threat, Langdon needs to cut through Zobrist's references to Dante and The Inferno and find out where the plague will be released. In doing so, Langdon finds himself running through Florence and travelling through Venice to track down his quarry.

Dan Brown uses a familiar and well-worn plot structure that has been successful in the past and works again here. Having said that, I was pleased to find a little less symbology and code breaking and and an increased focus on literature, architecture and art (of which I adored). I had to stop reading countless times to look up various artworks, paintings, sculptures and buildings and let my mind explore Italian history just a little further. 

I also enjoyed learning about transhumanism, discovered a renewed interest to visit Venice and finally decided to try and read Dante's epic poem for myself; although I don't know how I will manage (stay tuned).

All in all, Dan Brown has delivered another ripping thriller, and if you can ignore the fact that Langdon never sleeps or showers, and seems to have perfect recall, you will enjoy this fourth instalment just fine. I'm giving it five stars just for the art, literature, science and architecture that constitute so much of Inferno; all of it real and accurate.

My rating = *****

Carpe Librum!

P.S. Word is that Tom Hanks is going to star in the film adaptation of Inferno in a movie to be released next year. Filming begins in April 2015 and I'll definitely be going to see it when it's released. Will you?

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