Contributor: Vimal Thiagarajan
Vimal’s Rating: 4.5/5
GoodRead’s Rating: 3.7/5
Genre: Historical Fiction
After the Lost Symbol got lost forever in the climax, Dan Brown is back with a vengeance with a solid, suspense-filled and educational roller-coaster.As usual, it demanded some intense reading, google-imaging, and wikipedia. And as usual, it is a mixture of history, art, science, action, intrigue and a tad bit of romance. The plot is highly convoluted in typical Dan Brown fashion, and has more twists and turns than a speeding snake.One twist especially is so brilliantly executed that you will stop and go re-read a few pages before shaking your head and thinking, “You got me this time,Mr Brown!”.
Dan Brown delivers the character of Robert Langdon in exquisite detail,ably supported by a strongly-built support cast, once again providing us with a historical lesson nestled amongst harrowing action scenes and strong emotional situations.But unlike other Langdon books that extensively solve puzzles, this is about figuring out what puzzle one is trying to solve.It does not infer so much of Christinity but heightens a moral issue no one should overlook. With Dante’s inferno as the backdrop,and a nicely crafted antagonist,and seemingly unrelated things like Transhumanism,Genetic Engineering and Black plague, Brown bridges past, present and future to draw attention to a pressing and much-denied international problem – Overpopulation.For most part of the book, he sets us thinking and succeeds in creating a riveting dilemma, where you feel conflicted when you start seeing the bad-guy’s point.
There is enough action to keep one’s eyes glued to the book but if one is a bit impatient, he/she will be tempted to skip through the educational parts about the artistic intricacies of Florence,Venice and Istanbul. But those really are not only well-researched and amusing, but some info is privileged as well, as Dan brown’s fame lent him access to lots of secret passageways, tunnels and artifacts, which a common person might never have access to, even if he spends a fortune and tours Florence for a month. The ending was good as well, with a lot of moot-points to ponder. Overall, a very satisfying read for me.