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infernoTitle: Inferno

Writer: Dan Brown

Publisher: Bantam Press (2013)

Pages: 461p

Bought at: @BaliBooks (IDR 60k, bargain!)

I have read all Dan Brown’s books although I couldn’t say that I’m his biggest fan. I fell in love with his work through Angels and Demons and I kept my expectations high ever since finishing that book. But to tell you the truth, now my expectations are getting lower and lower.. Especially because I’m getting truly bored with Dan’s favorite hero: Robert Langdon.

Even though I know Dan Brown’s formula by heart, I kept reading his books, simply because I was hoping that I found another gem. And that’s what I hoped for when I bought Inferno, Brown’s latest so-called masterpiece.

The opening did not impress me though. Langdon woke up in a hospital in Florence, didn’t remember a single thing why he’s in Florence and needed a hospital. He couldn’t even explain why he carried a strange object related to Dante’s famous literary classics: Inferno.

Then Langdon was suddenly in the middle of crazy adventure, accompanied by Sienna Brooks, a doctor from the hospital, while a bunch of people tried to catch and kill them. With the clues from Dante’s Inferno, Langdon and Sienna had to decipher a sequence of code buried deep in the locations around Florence. If they can’t break the code fast enough, the world was threaten to be destroyed- and facing its worst Inferno.

Again, Dan Brown’s formula is still the same. There’s basically nothing – I repeat, NOTHING- new in the novel. Langdon is still mediocre, being helped mostly by his sidekick (he’s a bit slow!). The plot is predictable, even the twist ending can be guessed since the middle of the book. What usually saved Dan Brown’s books are the expertise he has to describe the settings of his stories beautifully. Whether it’s Paris (Da Vinci Code), Rome (Angels and Demons), or Washington, DC (The Lost Symbol), Brown could always capture the cities in his beautiful writings. So at least that’s what I hoped for from Inferno.

But again, even his descriptions feel flat here. Florence (and later, Istanbul) is a beautiful, interesting city, so much potential to capture the readers’s hearts. But Brown made it as if he’s written a guidebook or article for Lonely Planet, even the descriptions seemed dull. To much repetition, unnecessary details, slow description and not so high paced like his previous books.

Another reason why this book became my least favorite from Brown’s books is the theme. I can’t elaborate it here since it’s gonna be a lot of spoilers, but I will simply say that I don’t agree with Brown’s opinion about how to solve the problem he stated in the book. There are other ways, and I’m sick of people who think they can act as if they’re God or something. It’s not revolutionary, it’s stupid and careless. So Mr. Brown- I really wish our next meeting will be more pleasant and in better circumstances! Too-da-loo!