Review: Inferno by Dan Brown

17212231Inferno (Robert Langdon, #4) by Dan Brown
Published: May 14th 2013 by Doubleday
Pages: 461

In his international blockbusters The Da Vinci CodeAngels & 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.
“If you could throw a switch and randomly kill half the population on earth, would you do it?..What if you were told that if you didn't throw that switch right now, the human race would be extinct in the next hundred years?"
Actual rating: 2.5 stars

I'd like to start this review off and get straight to the point: this book did not blew me away. This book was most definitely intriguing, to say the least. The premise drew me in, yet when I finished the last page I couldn't help but to feel disappointed. While I was expecting an adventure filled with action, riddles and mystery, there were also a lot of other things I crossed paths with.

Inferno is a book made out of approximately five hundred pages, and it was most definitely palpable. There were a lot of moments where I threw my head back and sighed out loud, thinking I could never finish it. I had to read it for English class, and the fact that I have to read it by a certain date did not help. I had some difficulties with getting through it, but lucky for me it was never so slow that the word DNF came to mind. Let me tell you why: the mystery in this book is somewhat great. Dan Brown knows his territory, as it was already clear from page one. Plot twists left me speechless and grasping for more, while another big part of the mystery lacks a bit. The mystery didn't do enough justice sometimes. I expected it to be a masterpiece in its genre. Great, yes, but it does not come close to being a masterpiece.

The plot, however, is by far the best aspect of the book. It was what drew me in and was one of the few things that did not disappoint. I just couldn't resist saying yes to a book with a combination of the Black Death and Dante, though my knowledge of the two before this book was very limited. The story itself is something you'd expect from Dan Brown, and is still a memorable read. The European setting and an interesting historical event or time period is something you'd find in every Dan Brown novel. On the other hand, it's not like anything I've read before - mainly because of Dante -, and I just love how that aspect of the book turned out. Also the involvement of a topic such as overpopulation made me quiet for a moment. Not many people have the 'courage' to take on such topics, and when they do, I for one appreciate it very much.

Even though the plot is amazing, Inferno still went against many of my expectations. The most important has a lot to do with Brown's writing style. In the world where I come from, it's not very common to know that Brown has a special preference when it comes to his writing. One which involves repeating and a chunk of info dumps. I felt like I could easily skip a page, and still be able to keep up with what's going on. It would be like I wouldn't have missed a thing, because that was the case here. There's practically an overdose of useless information in here, and that's where the repeating jumps in. Let's say it's normal to find yourself wondering if you've read this already. It was like Brown wanted to make sure we would still remember everything, and therefore explains the non-stop repeating of either words in italic, events that just happened, explained terms, etc. Well, I don't remember any of this so-called important information about buildings and moments characters walk by. The information was just there to fill up the pages. At times I didn't feel like I was reading a thriller, more something like an encylopedia which jumps from one subject to another.

In a nutshell, Inferno wasn't the book I first expected it to be. The mystery lifted the book up because of several genius plot twists and the story did the book justice, yet not a single character in here was all that likable - except for Sienna, that girl has something about her -, and Brown's writing style is definitely not my favourite. In the end, there's no doubt about it: Inferno is so overhyped it's actually hard to believe.

Aurélie Cremers is an eighteen-year-old living in Belgium. As an active member on Goodreads, Edelweiss and Amazon, she's always spreading her reviews to express her opinion and influences her followers to read the books she fairly enjoyed. When she's not writing, you can find her at her local bookstore or in a classroom. With her blog, "Exploring Pages", Aurélie hopes to gain a larger public in the near future and to continue that what she'll always love doing: writing.

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