Inferno, by Dan Brown … Review by Yokibu Editorial
Posted on: September 2, 2021.

Author: Prabhukrishna M, Content Creator/Chief Editor, Yokibu Editorial

Inferno is Dan Brown’s sixth novel—starting with Digital Fortress and Deception Point—and the fourth installment in the series featuring world-renowned Harvard symbologist Robert Langdon—following Angels & Demons, The Da Vince Code, and The Lost Symbol—involving a series of events that occur over a span of 24 hours.

Inferno begins in Florence, Italy, where American professor Robert Langdon wakes up in a Florentine hospital in a state of complete disorientation—short-term amnesia.

He later discovers to be in possession of a strange projector—encapsulated in a stainless-steel biohazard container that only Langdon’s fingerprint can open—which displays a modified Botticelli’s Map of Hell, based on Dante Alighieri’s epic poem The Divine Comedy.

Sienna Brooks is an Italian-American doctor who treats Langdon and later also flees with him, after both fail to seek asylum in Florence from certain forces of persecution—including the American Consulate at Italy—in hot pursuit of “fugitive” Langdon and his attractive, young, blond-haired “accomplice”.

Langdon steals Dante’s death mask plaster with help from the 400-pound supervisor of the Cathedral Santa Maria Del Fiore “Il Duomo”, Ignazio Busoni—Il Duomino, “little dome”—and discovers a poem on its backside, written by the story’s main antagonist Bertrand Zobrist.

Zobrist—a Dante fanatic, billionaire scientist, and exceptionally brilliant germ-line genetic engineer—is on a mission to eliminate a significant portion of the human population with a “plague virus” he created.

Zobrist’s mission is unwittingly protected—from interference, or possible persecution by the World Health Organization—by an organization known simply as “The Consortium”, run by a small, tanned man known only as “the provost”, from his massive yacht, The Mendacium, adrift in the Adriatic Sea, off mainland Italy.

Vayentha is a female agent working for The Consortium under the provost, on a mission to apprehend Langdon. At one point in the story, Vayentha is killed by Sienna, as revenge for the former’s murder of Dr. Marconi, Sienna’s colleague at the Florentine hospital.

Dr. Elizabeth Sinskey is the Director of the WHO, working with Agent Christoph Brüder—Head of Surveillance and Response Support “SRS”, under the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control—and his team, to thwart the efforts of Zobrist.

Helped by a sudden character that appears in the story—a “Doctor” Jonathan Ferris—Langdon and Sienna escape to Venice, Italy, following the “clues” in Zobrist’s poem. Eventually, the trio—Langdon, Sienna, and Ferris—find that what they seek is not in Venice … it is “a world away”, a thousand miles from Italy.

In the course of events, Langdon and Sienna separate, Langdon makes a rendezvous with Dr. Sinskey and the provost on board The Mendacium in Venice, and later take off in the WHO’s mobile operation center—a massive, customized C-130 transport aircraft—to the Hagia Sophia Mosque in Istanbul, Turkey.

It is eventually found that Zobrist’s plague is not a killer disease but a genetic weapon that renders one-thirds of the human population sterile—a sterility plague. At this point in the story, the virus has spread worldwide, and all humans have already been infected.

The story concludes in speculation about the reversal or neutralization of the genetic nature of the infection. The future course of actions is left to the discretion of the global leaders of the medical world and the WHO, who would be gathering as a summit for further discussion…

In all, Inferno is arguably Dan Brown’s most compelling work so far, bringing together elements of history, architecture, art, symbology, medicine, genetic engineering, and the human population crisis…

…in a novel of great intrigue and mystery, flagrantly written, vividly described, meticulously narrated, and that is highly informative, thrillingly entertaining, thought-provoking, and soul-searching.

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