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Inferno (Robert Langdon, #4)Inferno by Dan Brown

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This book follows the same pattern as Dan Brown’s other Robert Langdon books: Robert Langdon has to solve some mystery and stop some bad guy, who loves to play scavenger hunt with old Christian artwork, who have hidden meanings, and for some reason, there’s a time limit, there’s a girl he has to explain everything to, and there’s a betrayal. Robert Langdon wakes up in Florence, doesn’t know how he got there, and people are trying to kill him. He has a mini projector that shows a painting, The Map of Hell, based on Dante’s Divine Comedy, and from some changes in that, he goes off looking for more paintings and artworks. This book, he’s accompanied by another beautiful girl, since he can’t keep a relationship from the other books. This girl is Sienna, who supposedly has an IQ of 208, making her smarter than Albert Einstein and Isaac Newton, but she sure doesn’t seem like it. Robert is always showing her up with his knowledge, and she basically follows him, figuring out a few things along the way but mostly serving as way for Robert to show how smart and awesome he is. Despite all Brown’s talk in the Da Vinci Code about the sacred feminine and the Catholic church repressing females, his characters seem kind of misogynistic as well. The enemy of the book is a genius billionaire man who realizes the world is overpopulated and the population has to be reduced to 4 billion, or else we’ll run out of resources and all die, and he decides to take manners into his own hands. He likes to quote the Divine Comedy, but the work itself doesn’t really fit in with anything, just as imagery of people dying and suffering. It’s not like the Da Vinci Code where the works of art supposedly suggest that Jesus had a wife and children, not that I really believe that’s what Leonardo, who lived 1500 years after Christ, was trying to say. SPOILER ALERT: (view spoiler)[The whole scavenger hunt in Inferno is a total waste, as the plague had already been released and nothing Robert Langdon does has any effect on the plague, and the people he’s running from are on his side. (hide spoiler)] Despite the thriller part of this book, which feels kind of forced, especially once the revelations at the end come in, it eventually disappoints, not really offering what I think is a realistic solution to the problem of overpopulation. In the end, these books feel like hyper fast tours of different musuems and artwork in a certain place, ie: France, Washington, and Italy. The plots and quests for knowledge feel forced and pointless after getting to the end, but the journey to the end is gripping and interesting, and there is some educational material, mixed with conspiracy theories. Fun, but not to be taken seriously.

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