A [Slightly] Inferno Sunken Palace Tour In Istanbul

Myra here.

NovDec2015_HiRes

I knew when we launched our reading theme on Mystereadventure that I will have to share my thoughts about this novel which I read sometime in April. My primary motivation for reading this was my earlier visit to Istanbul where my amazing host informed me about how the latter part of the novel is set in Turkey. Since I fell in love with the city, I thought of reliving my time in Istanbul by biting into Dan Brown’s predictably-bestselling novel, Inferno.

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Inferno

Written byDan Brown
Published byBantam Press, 2013
Bought my own copy of the book.

It has been awhile since I read Dan Brown’s Da Vinci Code, which I enjoyed tremendously. I was expecting to be as riveted with Robert Langdon as I had been a few years ago especially since this novel came very highly recommended. However (yes the but can be heard a mile away), it took a great deal of will power and reading stamina for me to get into the book. I found it dull at first and while the twists and turns were seemingly fast-paced, I wasn’t too invested in it to really care about what was happening. While I found Sienna interesting, I also anticipated the betrayal in the end, which made the ending anticlimactic for me. I was fascinated more by the depiction of giftedness here and immense talent that portrayed a different and sordid path hell-bent on human destruction under the guise of saving humanity from the inevitable catastrophic effects of climate change through a very radical means of population control.

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At the Basilica Cistern – also known as Sunken Palace in Istanbul – blurry photo taken by me.

The novel is riddled with codes and clues that a learned scholar such as Langdon is expected to unravel in the nick of time, given that the fate of humanity is in the balance, what with the World Health Organization involved in this bioterrorism plot which already claimed a few lives. What keeps the reader turning the pages is that it is not clear whom to trust – especially since there are assassins clearly intent on taking Langdon’s life to prevent him from uncovering the plot and solving the mystery.

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Still at the Sunken Palace in Istanbul

I suppose what disengaged me as a reader is how each clue solved seemed like a well-earned validation of just how smart Robert Langdon is in figuring out the subtleties of each well-orchestrated challenge. Somehow this was done in a way that I felt alienated the reader, indicating how much the reader does not seem to know as compared to Langdon who simply knows it all. At any rate, I enjoyed “seeing” familiar sights as I read the novel:

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Needless to say, I would most likely watch the movie which apparently will come out next year. Add the fact that the streets of Manila (described as the gates of hell) also happen to be one of the settings in this novel.

Here is Dan Brown himself being interviewed by Wall Street Journal as he reveals the secrets of Inferno. Enjoy!

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Inferno: Goodreads Choice Awards Best Mystery & Thriller

#AWBRead2015 Reading Challenge: 37 (35)

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