Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Book Review -- The Lost Symbol

The Lost Symbol (Robert Langdon, #3) The Lost Symbol by Dan Brown

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The first thing you will do after finishing The Lost Symbol, is start making your summer vacation plans to Washington DC. Or, in the case of our family, Spring Break! (Seriously, there is a web site to help plan your trip).

Dan Brown has once again turned history, legend, symbols, mystery, art, and religion, into an engrossing, pulse-quickening, “can’t put the book down,” best-seller.

Robert Langdon has been summoned by long time mentor, Peter Solomon, to DC as a substitute key note speaker for a gala benefiting the Smithsonian Institution. Once he arrives, it is immediately evident that there is no gala, no key note speech and no Peter Solomon. Well, that’s not entirely true, because a part of Peter Solomon is found, in the middle of the Capitol Rotunda. And thus begins the 24 hour race against a maniacal, tattooed, eunuch (who makes the Albino in The DaVinci Code, look like an altar boy), who is determined to bring down the United States Government.

This story line was a lot more confusing than his previous novel and a lot less WOW compared to The DaVinci Code (how can you top Jesus being married to Mary Magdalene for WOW factor?). I had a hard time keeping track of the Masons, their symbols and rites. But I am biased towards anything set in DC – my home for 5 years and where my husband and I got married. I loved racing through DC with the characters, even when they were in danger – The Capitol, The Library of Congress, The Folger Library, Union Station – I know them all intimately. Even some of the private, “off-limit” places – heck, I was in the basement of the Capitol in a “hideaway” office in January for the Inauguration! So this book hit home.

Symbol is not without a significant layer of evil – Mal’akh – the tattooed, eunuch – he is one freaky, wicked, dude. But his relevance to the story line was one of those, “No way!” moments at the end of the book. Gotta like being stunned (or I was, maybe he was obvious to others). However, I was surprised that I agreed with much of the religious doctrine incorporated into this book: Humans as divine (yep!), group prayers and fasting having positive effects (yep!). Maybe the missionaries need to visit Dan Brown’s house!

The Lost Symbol is exactly what it is marketed to be – an exhilarating, albeit, formulaic, sequel to Angels and Demons and The DaVinci Code. But if he were to write another one, I’d read it too.

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Jeanette said...

I did not enjoy this one too much. I thought it was slow and I got bored with it.
I did like the setting and that Brown showed how much art and architecture there is in our country and that we don't have to travel to Europe to see great things.
Did you know Brown actually did some research for this book in the LDS archives in SLC? Since Joseph Smith was a Mason I am guessing there are some records pertaining to the Masons he was interested in.

Gerbera Daisy Diaries said...

I think if I didn't have my "DC life," I would feel the same way you did. And I was expecting a WOW ending...like Nicholas Cage at the end of the 1st National Treasure. It was much more subtle.
I just wish he had gotten his reference to Batisms correct -- it's FOR the dead not OF the dead. Like we baptize dead people.

Booklogged said...

I just read a negative review of this book so I'm glad to see you enjoyed it. I suspect I will, too.

Jenny said...

I love DC! My husband read this but didn't mention it was set there. I would love to take another trip there. I'll have to read this as soon as my parents read it and give it back. =)