The Lost Symbol by Dan Brown
Hardcover: 528 pages
Publisher: Doubleday Books
Because I was such a fan of The Da Vinci Code, I had eagerly awaited the release of this book. Dan Brown has a way of writing a thrilling tale that keeps you on the edge of your seat. That being said, The Lost Symbol is a thrilling page turner and Brown's historical research is evident. The problem is, this book is not as deep as it could have been nor as insightful.
After the 400+ page build up, I was quiet disappointed with the last 100+ pages. I was expecting the great ancient mystery to be just that, a great ancient mystery. Although I knew before I read the book that the major theme was to revolve around religious and philosophical subjects, I don't think I learned anything new other than the nation's capital is filled with mystical symbols and sacred buildings.
Robert Langdon - who started out in Angels and Demons as a wonderful hero - has been reduced to nothing more than a student. He spends more time being lectured to and making wrong guesses than he does solving anything. What happened to the fantastic symbologist from the prior two books? I was disappointed in the lack of growth his character took and the back sliding steps he did take. Although I was reduced to tears when I thought the unthinkable had happened (no spoilers here), even his fortunate outcome couldn't raise my growing opinion of him.
I did enjoy reading about the science of Noetics, but I'm not sure what it added to the actual plot. As for a secret laboratory in a Smithsonian storage facility, I found this very hard to believe. Apparently, part of the research for Noetics is trying to weigh the human soul but the inconsistencies in this scientific method were shocking.
As I mentioned earlier, this book was a page turner and considering the main plot takes place over a 12 hour period, this is understandable. The Lost Symbol is not a "bad" book, but I was just expecting more from a Dan Brown novel we've waited over 6 years for. Of course, I can see this book being adapted to the big screen and I can't wait to see Tom Hank's reaction to the water torture scene. I'm sure it will be a blockbuster.