Sunday, 23 June 2013

Inferno, Dan Brown

Publishers: Bantam Press

Pages: 463

Main Characters:

Robert Langdon, Sienna Brooks, Elizabeth Sinskey

Inferno is the fourth book in Dan Brown's truly captivating Robert Langdon series and the novel finds our favourite art historian in the beautiful and historic city of Florence to solve his next art puzzle and mystery. After waking up in a hospital bed, Langdon has no recollection of how he got there or where he is! It isn’t until his Doctor (Sienna Brooks) informs him that he has been shot in the head with minor amnesia and that he is currently in Florence. 

Poor Langdon has no idea why he is in Florence but more importantly, why someone would want to shoot him. All he does know is that the weird and demonic visions which keep coming to him of a grey haired woman telling him to ‘seek and ye shall find’ seem more and more real, but Langdon has no idea what they mean! However, Langdon’s ponderings and confusion is soon ended as a blonde spiked haired woman wearing black motor cycling leathers, bursts into his hospital room and tries to shoot him! Luckily, his quick thinking doctor manages to whisk Robert away to the safety of her flat and tries to explain what is going on, revealing to Langdon that when he arrived at the hospital he was carrying a very peculiar object with him.

The object is a long metallic tube with a biohazard symbol on it that looks like it will only open with the use of a specific person’s fingerprint. Again, Langdon has no idea how he got it, however, when he places his finger on the device it opens. Luckily the item inside is not radioactive but is instead a small projector which when turned on, projects one of the most famous images of the Renaissance era, the La Mappa dell’Inferno by Sandro Botticelli. After this revelation, Langdon and Sienna are taken on a journey through Dante’s Inferno and discover that the person behind the projector and the reason for Langdon’s presence in Florence, is an extremely rich and powerful biogenetic scientist who believes that the human population needs to be culled for it to further evolve. Langdon and Sienna must work out the mad-scientist’s riddles and puzzles to discover where he has hidden his ‘solution’ to the problem of overpopulation and prevent it from been released to the world!

Botticelli's La Mappa

Once again Dan Brown has produced an astounding, bum on the end of your seat thriller! I’m always amazed at how he manages to consistently produce a remarkable plot but at the same time fill his books with so much historical detail, which I think Inferno has the most of. Brown’s understanding of Dante’s Divine Comedy is apparent throughout the novel but I really like how he manages to convey the information and story and twist it to his own plot.

Overall this was a great book and I’d suggest it to anyone who likes Brown’s other novels or to anyone who just wants to read a great novel!

For author’s official website click here.

P.S. Don't forget to enter my Book of the Month Competition for a chance to win a FREE copy of The Hundred-Year-Old Man Who Climbed out of the Window and Disappeared by Jonas Jonasson or The Iron King by Maurice Druon. To enter this great competition just follow the instructions on this link

Tuesday, 4 June 2013

Book of the Month Competition- June

It’s back, yay!

That’s right my Book of the Month Competition is back and this month I’ve not got one but TWO great books to giveaway to make up for the last two months absence! The reason there has been no competition during April and May is because I had to write my dissertation and revise for my exams and didn’t want the added work of running a competition on top of that. But now I’ve finished university I can restart the competition and give you guys an opportunity to win some great books!

So what are these great books you may ask? Well, the first novel is The Iron King by Maurice Druon. George R. R. Martin called this book one of the biggest influences behind A Game of Thrones. The novel is based in 13th Century France and tells the tale of the decline of the Capet dynasty over a seven book series. The Iron King is the first book in the series and well worth entering my competition to win!

The second novel is The Hundred-Year-Old-Man Who Climbed Out of the Window and Disappeared and is based around the adventures of Allan Karlsson, a hundred-year-old man who wants some action in his life and climbs out of his retirement home window to find it! Again, this is a great novel so why not enter the competition to try and win it? There will be two winners (one for each book) however if you have a preference of the book you’d like to win(maybe because you’ve already read the other one) then feel free to send me an e-mail at and I’ll make sure you get that book if you win :) 

So, if you’d like a chance to win these two great novels, all you have to do is click on this link to my Facebook page, ‘like’ my page and then write a comment saying you would like to enter the competition. If you are not on Facebook but are a member of Blogger, you can enter the competition by following my Blog directly through Blogger, by clicking on the ‘join this site’ button on the right hand side of the page. You can also enter by subscribing to my Youtube page by clicking on this link here. If you're already a member of one of my various social media sites, all you have to do is leave me a comment on one of them saying you'd like to enter- it's that easy!

Remember it’s FREE to enter and it will not cost you a penny to get the book in the post. So why not have a go? You could win one of these excellent novels for absolutely FREE!

Good luck to everyone that enters, I hope you’ll have as much fun with the competition as I will.

I'll be choosing the winner on the 30th June. For further details on the competition, such as how the winner will be chosen and how the winner will be announced please click here

Also don't forget to check out my Youtube video for more info!

Monday, 3 June 2013

The Hundred-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out of the Window and Disappeared, Jonas Jonasson

Publishers: Herperus Press Limited

Pages: 387

Main Characters:

Allan Karlsson, Julius, Benny, Bosse.

I’d noticed this book on bookshelves many weeks before I actually purchased it. For some reason I’ve always held a prejudice against novels with really random names such as The Hundred-Year-Old Man Who Climbed out of the Window and Disappeared, because I always think that the random titles are just a marketing scheme to get readers to buy the books, but I suppose all book titles do that… Anyway, for that reason I decided not to give this novel a read, however, after a friend of mine suggested this book I thought I’d give it a go- and when I saw the novel was on a ‘buy-one-get-one-half-price’ deal I decided, ‘why not’? And to be perfectly honest, I’m so glad I picked this book up, it was great!

The novel is split into two parts based around the adventures of Allan Karlsson, a ninety-nine year old Swede who decides his mundane life in a retirement home is not the life for him. The first story is that of Allan’s escape from the home (through his window) and his accidental theft of a suitcase from a rude man in a bus station. Allan has no idea that the rude man is in fact a notorious Never Again gang member or that the suitcase has 50 million Swedish Krona in it! Needless to say, when the gangster finds out Allan has stolen his suitcase, he immediately groups all of the gang's resources to hunt down the hundred-year-old man. However, what the gangster doesn’t realise is that though Allan is old, he is also very resourceful and manages to make new friends to evade the gang members and even the police! Nevertheless, when the leader of Never Again gets involved, Allan and his friends have to be careful or they could end up losing their lives!

The second story (and the one which I preferred) is that of Allan’s life. What’s so interesting about Allan’s life is that he seems to have been at nearly every major historical incident in the 20th Century! Whether that be a friend of Franco’s in the Spanish Civil War, working on the A-Bomb, working with Stalin, been thrown into a Soviet Gulag, been in the Korean War and working for the CIA, Allan seems to have been a major influence on all of these events. I really loved this side of the book because one I love history and two because it makes you think about older people and some of the major events in world history which they have lived through. I think this novel makes this a key point in a sort of ‘don’t judge a book by its cover’ way. Many people judge the older generation as been boring and sometimes a bit of a nuisance, but in reality they have all lived through these extraordinary events and many (like Allan) may have taken part in them, which I think is amazing!

All in all, this was a great book and I’d highly recommend it to anyone who wants to read an interesting and humorous novel with a bit of history thrown in on the side! I don’t know what books to compare it to because I’ve never really read anything like it before, but it has definitely persuaded me to give books with really random names such as Salmon Fishing in the Yemen, The Monk who sold his Ferrari and A Short History of Tractors in the Ukraine a chance! In fact, if you can think of any other books with really unusual names please leave them in the comments below!

For author's official website click here.
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