The Lost Symbol Review

By | January 27, 2011

The Lost Symbol
By: Dan Brown
Paige’s Rating: (4.5) of 5 Stars
Recommended for: Fiction/ History Readers

The Lost Symbol is a masterstroke of storytelling—a deadly race through a real-world labyrinth of codes, secrets, and unseen truths . . . all under the watchful eye of Brown’s most terrifying villain to date.

Let me be honest: this is the first Dan Brown book I have read, so I am unable to compare it to his other works like The DiVinici Code or Angels and Demons. However, many of my work colleagues have stated that they prefer those works to this one, simply because this latest book is similar to those previous. It appears that Dan Brown does have a formula for his books: history, philosophy, secrets, codes and adventure. So if you like that, and if you take this book alone for what it is worth, I would say that it’s a damn good read!

My initial first concern with this book would be that because I have not read the previous books in the series, that I would be the one “lost” in this book. However, Dan Brown clearly starts a new story which anyone can jump into and pick up on. In addition, I was afraid that with all the historical, philosophical and religious facts, I would end up being overwhelmed. Yet again, the author clearly and simply broke down the facts and information in a way that was so simple, it could be contrived by some as insulting to their intelligence.

The characters are not very interesting in and of themselves, and I don’t believe they have to be considering the constant movement of the plot. Professor Langdon is back again, this time in Washington D.C. to help save his mentor, Peter Solomon. Peter is a Mason of the highest degree, the 33rd, and holds the key to unlocking ancient wisdom so astounding, it has been hidden for hundreds of years in the Order of the Freemasons. Peter’s ownership of this secret, however, has him kidnapped by a powerful villain who is intent on having Professor Langdon unlock the code and give him the location of the ancient wisdom in exchange for Peter’s life.

The plot is fast moving and the book is made up of many short chapters which allow the reader to look at the next chapter and decide to “keep going…”  This makes the book a quick and easy read. There is one key, “Oh my God,” moment where I literally said it out loud while reading. The plot is nail biting most of the time, while a few times the plot is relatively obvious. The worst part is actually the last twenty pages of the book, where the final event unfolds and things are explained to Langdon. I guess I found this a bit boring and skimmed through those final pages to get to the end.

I can’t quite give this book 5 stars because at times, Langdon’s character is too skeptical. While a skeptic in the book is surely needed in order for the reader to feel attached to reality, the bit gets old toward the end. In addition, Langdon seems to be rather sure he is not intelligent enough to solve the code, although over the course of the book he does. His continued “shock” at figuring out the next step seems slightly cheesy.

Even if the book isn’t as great as the others, it still is a great read and one I recommend to just about anyone who is interested in intrigue and action.