review by showhost July 2013
I like Dan Browns novels especially the Davinci code. I think all Dan Browns fans look forward to the next book so I was really please when Alex Le Friec gave me his hardback copy of DB’s latest.
The story re-unites us with Robert Langdon (from the Davinci, The Lost Symbol Angels & Demons). Langdon wakes up in hospital in Italy, suffering from amongst other things, amnesia. He’s been shot in the head & keeps having hallucinatory flashbacks of Dantes Inferno, plague masks & a silver haired lady (NOT ME) who’s trying to warn him of some danger. But whoever shot him wanted him dead, it seems, and they are not giving up. As the assassin attempts to get him again at the hospital, shooting a doctor in the process, Langdon escapes with the help of a young trainee female doctor, Sienna.
Together they discover a hidden object in Langdons iconic tweed jacket.Its a glass phial containing a message from a genetic engineering genius prior to him committing suicide. He warns of the end of humankind which is way overpopulated & bound for extinction. It seems he has planted a time bomb of a genetic/viral kind which could cause another ‘black plague’.
The clues are there but can they find the virus in time before it is released.
So, it’s like a more subdued & scholarly Indiana Jones.Its far fetched but I enjoyed the book. It made me think about the issues raised and the population boom graph really is startling (4m in 1970, 9m by 1950). Its all based around Dantes Inferno but it
was more like a history lesson crossed with a novel. The historical facts were delivered like a history lecture & whilst they were interesting they bogged down the novel – it was almost like he was showing off his knowledge. I also liked the flits from Florence to Venice, love Venice so it brought back the holiday we had there.
So good read but stretches the imagination with his exploits and heavy going at times with his historical lectures. Are we getting to the end of how many adventures Langdon can get into without becoming too repetitive? James Bond managed it! ..... I do agree with another reviewer who said that:
quote 'the book isn't intended to be a literary work of art. The skill is in the story, not the execution; it's just a shame that the story has been told before'.