Inferno by Dan Brown
My rating: 2 of 5 stars
Reading Robert Langdon books is more of a guilty pleasure kind of thing. You know that the writing isn't going to blow you away, and you know that on a certain level things are going to follow a pattern, but you do expect to be entertained along the way. Inferno is entertaining and fast paced, as well as a lot of other things that we come to expect--meaning, it's formulaic, but that could be a good or bad thing depending on what kind of reader you are--do you want an entertaining thrill-ride experience similar to other Dan Brown books? Then you'll find that here.
It's full of the art history, ancient and precious works and sites that fuel the action. Mysteries and puzzles that drag the characters through a lot of really amazing places, working against time with bad guys nipping at their heels, while admittedly sometimes there was a little much on the information side--some moments felt like reading a tour-guide book with interesting facts. But I enjoyed the scenery, so it was easy to sit back and enjoy the ride.
Blending modern issues with ancient art is a specialty of the villains that Robert Langdon faces, but Inferno followed this to an interesting conclusion. The whole part about population control blends well with the Dante fueled plot, until the end, when it completely steals the show. I was sad to leave Dante behind in Florence, and felt a little spun out at the conclusion with how things ended with the practically didactic extremist/Transhumanist agenda. Despite that, it was an entertaining ride with a lot of beautiful sights along the way, and Robert Langdon fans will find everything that they love from the other books in this one