Dante's Journey

Dante's Journey - J.C. Marino Dante's Journey is based on Dante's Inferno from the Divine Comedy if you haven't guessed by the name. It's an updated version which takes you through a sci-fi version of hell. One with demons who are simultaneously trapped themselves while they run hell and keep the souls in their punishments. Joe is lead by Virgil as in the original version, but there is a twist. Joe doesn't immediately trust him or anyone else at that time. We also don't know Virgil's true reason for ushering Joe through hell or who exactly Virgil is in this story. Joe, unlike the character in the Inferno, is dead. Unfortunately, Joe can't even imagine that he is dead and only has one goal and thought, to find Argenti, the man who killed his family. This singular thought keeps him on his journey through the levels of hell. As Joe travels through hell, he is transformed through truth, memories and running for his soul. This journey helps him find what is really important to him.

This was a fast and interesting read. Although it has been a long time since I read the Inferno, I enjoyed comparing what I remembered with the updated twists and turns of Marino's version. I also enjoyed the ride through hell in itself. The punishments are those of the damned's own making instead of being sentenced by an all knowing power. So, the irony of the punishments were interesting on it's own. My only criticism of this book is also something I appreciated as well. The author made hell more of a place where anyone no matter what their beliefs or religion could go. It wasn't because they were of a different religion, but because they sinned against their own beliefs and religion. So, I was glad to see that they weren't punished just because they believed differently, and I appreciated that a lot. However, since this was based on more of a Catholic book and the main character was Catholic, I think it would have been better to keep it within the Christian and Catholic realm. One reason is because not all religions believe in hell and the symbolisms could stay consistent for the main character since it was his own journey through hell we were following.

I give this book 4 stars. I think this is a great book for discussion. I think it is an interesting concept that hell is one of our own making. I think it could really springboard some interesting discussion from many points of view.