When you pick up a Dan Brown book you know what you're getting.
However, this time the format has been changed and tweaked a little making for a riveting and action-packed thriller. I think this was necessary after The Lost Symbol which I felt ran out of steam a little, well all I can say is Langdon is back and with a vengeance.
Robert Langdon wakes up in a hospital in Florence not knowing how he got there and having lost the last two days due to amnesia. Here's the first change in format, Langdn is actually now the victim or catalyst for all the action to follow. He also seems to be hunted himself by two agencies and not knowing why. He escapes from hospital by the skin of his teeth with Dr Sienna Brooks in tow who narrowly escapes the assination attempt on Langdon herself. Therefore, co-star Dr Sienna Brooks is born. After this the action is seriously non-stop with Langdon and Brooks runnning for their lives and trying to piece together not only the mystery before them but also to put back the fragments of Langdon's loss of memory.
This book again is not based around the interpretation of symbols in the tradtional sense, but has to do with finding the clues based around Dante's Divine Comedy and all the inspired works of art that were derived from this literary classic. Also dovetailing in the life of Dante and several other important historical figures, made for a gripping and very intriguing treasure hunt. I always like the why DB combines fact with fiction, whilst incorporating a backdrop of modern science and technology. All the works of art, places and people are all based on fact. Places and people you can immediately google to find out more and see immediately the places being described. This I feel is DB's trademark, combining fact and fiction.
This book takes plenty of unexpected twists and turns. I'm sorry, but I don't belong to the faction who always says, "predictable"
or "duh! knew that was coming."
So that either makes me the most stupid and thickest person in the world or I'm quite prepared to let the book take its course and let it lead me with every new twist and turn that it throws at its reader. Maybe Dan Brown doesn't always handle these twists and turns as deftly as could be, but he definitely had me sat on my seat thinking "WTF!! Where did that come from and how did we get here?"
but this is always resolved a few pages or chapters down the line and always ties in nicely with the whole picture. Wouldn't be DB if there weren't a few curve balls thrown in.
DB may not be one of the most eloquent or poetic of authors, he is certainly no Umberto Eco, but then I don't choose to read DB to be overwhelmed by 40 pages of literary art that just decribes a monastery door before we even get in the bloody building. I read DB for pure entertainment and that is exactly what he delivers.
As for the ending? Well, again not typical DB. This time the world isn't saved in the traditional sense. This time the impendng catastrophe couldn't be hindered and changes the world for ever. Intrigued? Then read the book!