Monday, September 21, 2009

Book review: "The Lost Symbol" by Dan Brown

This is the third in the Robert Langdon series by Dan Brown.  If you've read Dan Brown's other Robert Langdon novels, "Angels & Demons" and "The Da Vinci Code", you're probably expecting the third in the series to be a fast moving, tour-de-force of ancient wisdom and secrets. You would be 100% correct.

"The Lost Symbol" reads like a movie with colorful characters and Robert Langdon is again running against the clock. This time he finds himself in Washington, D.C. in search of the Ancient Mysteries hidden by the Masons. As in the other Dan Brown books, this is a matter of life and death with his mentor, Peter Solomon, in dire need of Robert to solve the puzzle before it's too late.  Oh yeah, and of course the love interest for Robert as well.

While reading the book I felt that it was great, but that it seemed too close to the other two in the series. But with further thinking, I came to the conclusion that how else could he do it?  To make his stories as interesting and heart-stopping as possible he needs to have a unique and controversial topic, a life-or-death situation depending much on time, new and smart characters and a pace that rivals any other novels.  He has done that again with "The Lost Symbol", a great page-turner that has many unforeseen twists.  It makes you think about your beliefs and the need for more research on the matter

There are however, two things you need to know and do before reading:
1) Remember that this is just a novel and nothing to take personally.  He says he writes his stories to push readers to open their eyes to other possibilities and to get people to discuss these topics.  This book may make you want to research Masons more as well as the Bible.
2) Have a pencil and paper handy.  There may be items you will want to look up as well as puzzles and other little things you may want to solve or figure out for yourself.

All of that being said, I would definitely recommend this book to anyone who liked the other two books in the series.  As long as you follow the above 2 "rules" you will thoroughly enjoy this novel.  The only thing that took away from this great read is previous reading the first two in the series, "Angels & Demons" and "The Da Vinci Code".  They are so good and cast such a big shadow, it is hard for Dan Brown to escape from it.  He has done a remarkable job in doing that with "The Lost Symbol" and after reading it you can see why it took him years to get it finished.  We will probably have to wait many more years until his next one.  Be patient.

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