Dear Mr. Brown,
I am writing to you as I begin chapter 16 of your latest novel, Inferno. I am writing you to ask that this book be great.
I want you to understand, I am a fan. I first discovered you when I read Angels & Demons way back in the day (the day, in this case, being before The Da Vinci Code was published). I instantly fell in love with Robert Langdon (as a friend) and this genre which had been undiscovered by me before that time. I loved the intense action and suspense mixed with the history, art, and architecture. I immediately went out and bought everything you’d written. Ok, maybe not “anything”, I have not read any of your term papers from college. I did, however, pick up Digital Fortress and Deception Point.
Deception Point proved to me that you were an author I wanted to keep reading (something Keith Ablow has yet been able to prove to me). Digital Fortress was weak, but I gave it the benefit of the doubt because it was your first novel. Then I dove into The Da Vinci Code. Oh boy, was I excited! Another Robert Langdon novel, pure bliss! By the time I had finished the book I was completely and utterly underwhelmed. This was not the hero promised to me by his previous adventure. This was a boring, sleeper of a novel. My heart sank.
Then, I rejoiced as it was announced that Robert Langdon would symbologize again! And this time in our nation’s capitol! How could this not be amazing?! I’ll tell you how: it could be The Lost Symbol. Oh, Mr. Brown, how far you’d fallen. There was no true suspense, there were no fun characters, there wasn’t even a believable, frightening villain. I finished it only out of need. What need? A certain, OCD-type mentality that urges me to continue buying material put out by artists that no longer live up to their own name.
I did it with Live until they broke up (thank goodness). I did it with Michael Crichton even after all his novels became first drafts for screenplays (thankfully, he died [before you ruffle your feathers, I’m kidding]). And now, I’m doing it with you. Fifteen chapters down and I’m so far, impressed. It has all the things that made Angels & Demons great: Italy, great Rennaisance artists, a beautiful woman with an elderly mentor, a powerful bomb (I think) hidden in a cavern, a shadowy villain, and a blood-thirsty killer thrown off their mark by a stumbling art historian; I’m ready to believe in Langdon again.
So far, though, the book has all the things that made the last two unbearable: great artists, a beautiful woman with an elderly mentor, a powerful _____ with Earth shattering consequences, a shadowy villain, and a blood-thirsty killer thrown off their mark by a stumbling art historian; you beast, you’re going to do it to me again, aren’t you?!
Just, promise me it gets better?