I think Dan Brown needs to change his formula for writing. I am no writer by any means – so my opinion might not have much weight to it – but for a best-selling author, he writes pretty dull. The writing style is so stiff to the point of robbing all the emotions in the story. And when he tried to write his characters to come off as someone who possesses degrees of emotions; his effort just fell flat. This is coming from someone who writes mystery books for a living, whose genre of choice is so closely associated with suspenseful writing. Instead, in Inferno, I felt like the story was just plodding along page by page, which is too bad since the premise of the book looks very interesting. The rhythm of writing feels too predictable, hooking the readers mostly by using new facts and not the natural progression of climax in the story.
Brown still used the same old trick in his previous Robert Langdon series to write this next installment: Incorporate obscure facts and controversial topics of the world, put some twist in it by introducing morally ambiguous characters with the loveable symbolist professor, and up the ante by having them solving a crime in a journey together or else the world will end. There you have the gist of the book. The obscure and controversial topic is Dante’s Inferno, the morally ambiguous character is Dr. Sienna Brooks, and the journey is set against the backdrop of Italy and Lisbon. Material-wise, the book is good.
If you can bear the writing, this book won’t be a total miss for you. I did learn a lot about Dante and the art history in Italy and Lisbon. As a culture enthusiast, this book appealed to me on the information level, saving me from abandoning it as a total bore. I just wish he switched up his writing style a little bit. Maybe then could he get more readers who enjoy a good storytelling for his book. 3 out of 5.