Received contemptuously by the Filipinos for disparaging the metropolis of Manila, dubbing it as The Gates of Hell—I don’t think Brown intended ignominy for regarding the Philippines as such. He plays with fact, a fact refuted still by our vehemently scorned nation.
Before you even think about chucking virtual tomatoes on Dan Brown’s opulent face, think about how much that’ll defile and cut the value of his dear tweed suit. (Mind not my shitty humor attempts.)
Given that Inferno tackles the incommodities of booming population growth; the employment of an ideal representation as validation to the extent of damage a nation’s congested populace may produce (i.e. poverty, unsanitary conditions, crimes, insufficient resources) is completely well-grounded. And since Manila holds the record of having the most densely populated city on earth, no wonder we became stars—although it’s a sin in our eyes.
Issues aside, I think Brown’s formulaic ploy is what makes this book lackluster. Just the same old tricks, conveying a different subject, and new recruits to catch up on. The infinite number of twists, breathtaking once, comes off now as dreary and nothing out of the ordinary. When you’ve been with Robert Langdon since Da Vinci Code, you would feel the same way. It’s like running around with the Professor for unvarying reasons, just into different locations, in a 24-hour timeframe. Seriously, a little surprise wouldn’t hurt anyone.
Nevertheless, what struck as satisfactory to me is the idea of Transhumanism and the different yet interesting take on international security threat. Who would’ve thought? He really did his research, you know. And he relates every work of art and architecture elaborately (though at times it appears a tad too travelogue-ish).
Leaving a question of moral issue has always been Dan Brown’s strong suit, and characteristically, he still succeeds on this part.
Overall, informative still (my brain screams in apoplectic rage for taking in too much information); scientifically/historically-taut narrative, with a dash of religion; thrilling and intriguing at its very core—just parched of freshness and novelty.