In the wee hours of the morning, I finished reading The Lost Symbol by Dan Brown. I have had several thoughts on this book. This book was put-down-able. The other Dan Brown books were fast paced and I had to read it all. It was impossible to tear me away from The Digital Fortress or Angels & Demons or the Da Vinci Code or Deception Point. However, with this novel, I was able to put it down and walk away from it without coming back for several days. I wish that it wasn’t this way, because I love Dan Brown’s novels, but alas, I feel like he is losing his touch.
I think that this happens to a lot of author’s once they become well known and popular. Lets look at J.K. Rowlings. After the first several books came out, she became well known. Hence she came out with book number five, which was one of the most painful books I have ever read in my life. It took me two – three months to get through it. Luckily I am such a faithful follower that I returned, and book six redeemed it. But even book seven, you were left wondering how much better it would have been if there hadn’t been pressure from publishers and expectations from adoring fans. Another example of this can be seen in Stephanie Meyer. The first book of twilight was amazing… the second two were okay, but the forth book, when she became a megastar, was horrible. It took twists that made me vomit in my mouth. I stopped reading it at page 400 because, even considering it was about vampires and warewolves, it had crossed a line so unbelievable for the world she had created, that I couldn’t accept it anymore. So Dan Brown is in good company… lets just hope that he his next novel is better.
Now, all of that said and done, I still give the book a 3.5/5 stars. Lets face it, it was a Dan Brown, so it still had the mystery and scandal and conspiracy theories that make all of his novels so wonderful to read. I found myself wanting to know more and more about the Freemasons and the world that they live in. I wanted to somehow sneak into their secret meetings and find out their secrets. I know, I know, it is like they are a cult or something else horrible, but what can I say… I am human and I when I hear about secrets, I just have to know what it is all about.
Another positive side about The Lost Symbol is that, for once, Robert Langdon’s female counterpart was significantly older and she was portrayed more as a friend then as a lover. I for one was starting to get tired of Landon always hooking up with the lady at the end of the novel.
Now, lets talk about what went wrong… Is it possible that Robert Langdon got stupider??? I mean in the other novels, he seemed to figure things out fairly easily, but in this one, someone was always guiding his hand and having to explain things to him. I was very frustrated with him. There were times when I was figuratively screaming at him telling him to wise up! And could he get any more stubborn? It seems like he had all of this evidence put before him throughout the entire novel, and he refused to budge, or even to reevaluate his stance on the Free Masons. It was annoying.
Now another problem that was in this novel was the last 50-75 pages. It was so anti-climatic. Why did they have to go to the secret location? There was no point in it. Everything could have been explained to Langdon without going there. And upon finding out what the great secret word was, I was left wondering why was it so secret? What was so important about that secret that it was worth risking everything to protect. It was a huge let down. And I was also left wondering how Peter Solomon seemed to know everything about it, when no one had decoded the pyramid before.
Overall, this novel was a huge let down that I am still trying to recover from. But I guess that with all the hype surrounding it, I shouldn’t have expected as much as I did… It wasn’t really fair to Dan Brown. So the question is, if Dan Brown puts out another novel, will I rush to the bookstore and pick it up and read it??? Answer: In a heartbeat!
Did any of you read this novel? What are your thoughts?