A Book Review: The Lost Symbol

A Book Review: The Lost Symbol

A Story by ArchAngeL009
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A book review for The Lost Symbol by Dan Brown.

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A Book Review: The Lost Symbol by Dan Brown

 

            Intro: Having finished reading renowned novelist Dan Brown’s latest installment, The Lost Symbol, I have decided to write a review for this novel. The Lost Symbol is Brown’s third novel featuring Harvard symbologist Robert Langdon who also appeared in ‘Angels and Demons’ and ‘The Da Vinci Code” (both were made into Hollywood blockbusters with Tom Hanks as Robert Langdon). Like the four other heart-racing thrillers written by Brown (Deception Point, Digital Fortress and the other two mentioned above), The Lost Symbol is also a fascinating and fast-paced read.

           

Plot: Well, the story begins with the protagonist Robert Langdon being summoned to Washington D.C. by his mentor Peter Solomon, who is a prominent 33rd degree Mason (aka Freemason) to deliver a lecture in the US Capitol Building. However, upon his arrival, it turns out that Solomon’s kidnapper is the one who summons Langdon to DC to help him gets his hands on the Legendary Masonic Pyramid in order to get access to the Masonic secrets (aka the Ancient Mysteries). With the assistance of several Masons, Langdon and Solomon’s sister Katherine who is a Noetic scientist manage to escape from the agents of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). The encryption on the Masonic Pyramid is successfully decrypted by the pair and the information is given to Solomon’s kidnapper subsequently. In the end, the real identity of the relentless kidnapper is revealed, he is Zachary Solomon (he called himself Malakh), the long-believed dead son of Peter Solomon. The decryption leads Zachary to the House of Temple but he is later killed when the CIA arrives. The injured Peter Solomon (whose hand is cut off by Zachary in the beginning of the novel) guides Langdon and Katherine to the spiral stairway hidden in DC and it is revealed that the Bible holds the long-lost wisdom of the ancient. The Bible itself is the Ancient Mystery.

 

Pros: The Lost Symbol is no literary masterpiece, but it is definitely an entertaining novel by the great story-teller. I have heard of Freemasons from various sources (including a movie: National Treasure starring Nicholas Cage) but didn’t know much about the brotherhood. From this novel, I learn about their rituals, the degrees within the fraternity and so much else about Freemasonry, and now, I want to learn even more about them. Other than the fascinating facts about Freemasonry, Brown’s tantalizing and thundering style of writing makes the novel an extremely fun and exhilarating ride.

 

Cons: The Lost Symbol is a good read, but, not as good as the previous ones. Brown’s fast-paced writing style and interesting plot-development are the reasons why readers love his novels. His signature plot-twist is always unexpected, sending shocks to his readers upon revelation of certain conspiracy or the real identity of some prominent figures (Angels and Demons: the chamberlain turns out to be the pope’s son and he is the one who murdered the pope. Deception Point: the director of NRO who is the good guy in the beginning turns out to be the bad guy in the end.). The plot twist in The Lost Symbol is the revelation of Malakh’s real identity. It was suprising and unexpected, who would think that Peter Solomon’s long-believed dead son is still alive and he is the one who kidnapped his own father? The twist is a good one, but, a single plot twist isn’t adequate to satisfy the readers, given that his previous novels often had 2-3 plot-twists.

 

The character development is weak in this novel. Characters are under-developed and Robert Langdon appears to be skeptical in almost everything, which is annoying. He keeps on saying “I don’t believe this, I don’t believe that, this is not possible”, blah, blah, blah. In the end, everything he doesn’t believe in turns out to be a hundred percent true, making him look like a total dim-wit. Besides, the dialogue is lame and uninteresting. The conversations are repeated from time to time.

 

A few parts of the plot aren’t logical, for instance, the fact that Zachary Solomon (just got out of the Turkish Prison) went back to the Solomon Manor to steal the Masonic Pyramid when he could simply accept his father’s offer of receiving the “wisdom” (looking after the Masonic Pyramid) instead of the “wealth”. Other than that, Peter Solomon did not seem to be upset when his son died. Wouldn’t a father cry or even pass out when he sees his own son die in front of him? No, not in Peter Solomon’s case, he did not shed a tear when he lost his son and was still able to speak calmly and even guide Langdon and Katherine to the location of the Ancient Mysteries with no problem. In addition, the ending is rather dissatisfying and the revelation of the Ancient Mysteries doesn’t seem convincing either.

 

Conclusion: The Lost Symbol has its pros and cons. I’d rate it 3.5 over 5. Although it isn’t as good as the previous thrillers written by Dan Brown, it is still an entertaining novel worth buying.

 

© 2011 ArchAngeL009


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Hey!

I am very embarrassed to say that I didn't finish Angels and Demons. D= I was so caught up in a lot of things that I stopped halfway!
However, I will pick that book up again one of these days. That is if time permits me too. :)
Very good review of this book, I would certainly read it when I'm done with Digital Fortress and Angels & Demons. Take care, and do keep on writing!
Will continue reading your work. Just as long as you can bear with my lengthy comments! Haha!

Sofea

Posted 11 Years Ago


Oh, thankyou for sharing it! I realize I am the only one who hasnt read it before! Thankyou for telling me whats happening, sure I think I can read the ones he wrote before, but of course, I think this one is good too! I love this book review, it give many opinions.

Posted 12 Years Ago


Thank you. I like Dan Brown books. The movies are OK only. Hard to make the movie as good as the book. I will read it in your advice. I need a good book to read.
Coyote

Posted 12 Years Ago


I read this book and absolutely loved it. I guess a good review sparks a reader to think about their own opinion, and you definitely did that. It seems I could argue with you for hours over the literary techniques that this book had. I agree that some of the conversations were repetitive, but I disagree with you that the characters were underdeveloped. The fact that Langdon was so skeptical about the Mason's ideals only emphasizes the underlying characteristics created in the previous two books, and the fact that Solomon wasn't upset when he saw his son die (for real) was mainly because he had focused for years on how the (fake) death was his own fault and inevitably accepted it by the end of the novel. I do agree that the plot twist's volume didn't live up to the previous two, but overall, I would rate this installment higher and closer to the other two. But like I said, that's what a good review is, right? Fiction is opinion based.

Posted 12 Years Ago



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Added on January 13, 2011
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ArchAngeL009
ArchAngeL009

Klang, Malaysia



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-Bryan -Medical Student -Moscow, Russia -All the days that you wake up, you have got one job, and that's to get better every single day. more..

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