Let's start with the question every Dan Brown fan wants answered: Is The Lost Symbol as good as The Da Vinci Code? Simply put, yes. Brown has mastered the art of blending nail-biting suspense with random arcana (from pop science to religion), and The Lost Symbol is an enthralling mix. And what a dazzling accomplishment that is, considering that rabid fans and skeptics alike are scrutinizing every word.
The Lost Symbol begins with an ancient ritual, a shadowy enclave, and of course, a secret. Readers know they are in Dan Brown territory when, by the end of the first chapter, a secret within a secret is revealed. To tell too much would ruin the fun of reading this delicious thriller, so you will find no spoilers here. Suffice it to say that as with many series featuring a recurring character, there is a bit of a formula at work (one that fans will love). Again, brilliant Harvard professor Robert Langdon finds himself in a predicament that requires his vast knowledge of symbology and superior problem-solving skills to save the day. The setting, unlike other Robert Langdon novels, is stateside, and in Brown's hands Washington D.C. is as fascinating as Paris or Vatican City (note to the D.C. tourism board: get your "Lost Symbol" tour in order). And, as with other Dan Brown books, the pace is relentless, the revelations many, and there is an endless parade of intriguing factoids that will make you feel like you are spending the afternoon with Robert Langdon and the guys from Mythbusters.
Nothing is as it seems in a Robert Langdon novel, and The Lost Symbol itself is no exception–a page-turner to be sure, but Brown also challenges his fans to open their minds to new information. Skeptical? Imagine how many other thrillers would spawn millions of Google searches for noetic science, superstring theory, and Apotheosis of Washington. The Lost Symbol is brain candy of the best sort–just make sure to set aside time to enjoy your meal. –Daphne Durham
More from Dan Brown
|The Da Vinci Code||Angels & Demons||Deception Point||Digital Fortress|
User Ratings and Reviews
3 Stars Not worth the wait.
I was disappointed with this latest book. After his first two with Robert, I was expecting more. I thought it had a weak ending and the bad guy was prodictable.
5 Stars They keep getting better!
Outstanding, all his books are good and they keep getting better. I can't wait until his next one. They really make you think!
5 Stars As Good as "The DaVinci Code!"
I've just finished reading this, and as with The DaVinci Code, I didn't want it to end! I thought it was extremely thought-provoking, it sparked my interest in noetic science and the Masons, and it made me eager to take a trip to Washington, D.C. and wander about with this book in hand. It was a great read. I don't know why others are so negative about it. I thoroughly enjoyed it. What sets Dan Brown's novels apart from others is his meticulous and thorough research. To me, that is the mark of a great writer. If I could, I would give it more than 5 stars!
1 Star Are you kidding me?
Warning: This review has a tendency to come off as a biased rant.
I'll begin by saying I am a huge fan of Dan Brown and his previous novels. I am so much of a fan that I bought this on its release day, pre-ordered and all. So no, I'm not just hating. If you just want to know what I think about the novel, I'll get to the point; I did not like it.
If you are still interested though, I would like to share how I imagined Dan Brown's notes for this book to be like. I'm pretty sure it will look something like this…
HOW TO WRITE MY NEXT #1 INTERNATIONAL BESTSELLER:
1. Start with a renowned expert dying a hideous and morbid death. *next chapter* The phone rings in the middle of the night, waking up our main character, informing him about sudden, shocking, unexpected events that just happened. Our protagonist would then need to take an unexpected flight to nowhere. Once destination is reached, he will then have to face hours of grueling mystery and dangerous adventures, uncover historic secrets, and solve the problem hand in hand with a bunch of random other characters…… or else.
2. DESCRIBE DESCRIBE DESCRIBE. (in full detail)
– talk endlessly about main character's brooding looks, clothing (turtleneck, Harris Tweed jacket, khakis, and collegiate cordovan loafers), six pack swimmer and water polo abs, and Mickey Mouse watch. (also: talk nonstop about how the other characters' use their iPhones and Blackberry< – very important!)
3. Have different variations of these:
Character 1: A lot of people don't know but `X' can be seen throughout history.. even famous landmarks and monuments.
Character 2: I don't understand what you mean…
Character 1 shows Character 2. For a moment there, Character 2 could not grasp what Character 1 meant. And then all of a sudden… *GASP* it dawned on him.
4. Talk about Christianity/God/Jesus/Catholicism/Buddhism/Muslim/ancient groups/secret orders/secret cults/science/The Bible, etc.
5. Add a beautiful, wealthy, sexy, smart scientist (aka love interest. gender: female) who has ground-breaking secret inventions, research, and experiments that could forever change the course of history!
6. Add a villain. Tall, freakish looking, psychotic, bald, and rich. (come up with smarter adjectives ASAP)
7. The Ending. Something big. Something crazy. Something drastic. Add a twist. Something inspiring. Anything jaw-dropping.
8. One last thing. Add cliffhangers in EVERY chapter. And then make the readers wait for the revelations. They don't have to make sense. They don't have to advance the plot, or count for anything.They just have to be shocking!
IMPORTANT NOTES: 1.)Write about 500 pages to satisfy my editor's requirements. 2.) End it with a bang (talk about faith, hope, OR even love. I don't know and I don't care what it is as long as it is inspiring)
NOT-SO-IMPT NOTES: Just copy/paste from previous novels if lost. Nobody will notice.
Consensus: Personally, I thought it was boring, lengthy, dragging, uninspiring, and completely unnecessary.
Believe me, I really wanted to love this one. But it pretty much failed on so many levels. Please don't waste your time.
3 Stars Disappointing
The story kept me interested but he was quite repetitive. Yes, we got it, 33 is an important number, the masons are misunderstood people, etc etc. The last 50 pages were a snoozefest. I have read all his books and this one is definitely my least favorite. Oh well, maybe his next one will be better.