Saturday, January 30, 2010

The Lost Symbol by Dan Brown

This was the first book I had wirelessly "beamed" to my Kindle at 12:01 am the day it came out. It was pretty cool to have access to a new release pretty much immediately. However, I just got to read it last week! In my defense, it came out on September 18th. I was a little busy then.
As someone who truly enjoyed Brown's previous novels The DaVinci Code and Angels and Demons, I was excited to read his most recent work. Set in Washington D.C., The Lost Symbol again joins Robert Langdon as he is unexpectedly swept into the mysterious world of secret societies, legend, and mystery. Langdon is tricked into coming to the nation's capital and finds himself at the center of a madman's errand. Expected to help discover the long-long treasure of the Freemasons, Langdon must decipher codes, travel deep into the underground vaults of the U.S. Capitol, and evade pursuit by the CIA.

I particularly liked the cast of characters in this book. The antagonist is seriously B.A. (email me if you don't know what that stands for) and is crucial to making this book so special. He is mysterious, dangerous, intelligent, and his cunning makes him the ideal villain in this story. As is typical for Dan Brown, he provides Langdon with a female sidekick. Katherine Solomon fills this role nicely, but she's more gullible and sappy than she is fierce or interesting. The real star of the show in The Lost Symbol is Director Sato, the CIA director who makes up for what she lacks in stature with a raw grit that strikes fear into the bones of any man she crosses.
Brown's writing style works well in this novel, as he leaves little mini-cliffhangers at the end of each chapter. It always makes you want to keep reading, regardless of the late hour. There is one particular plot twist that hits you like a ton of bricks and may force you to make a frantic call to your spouse at work, just to express your shock and awe at the situation. The final climax is unexpected and jaw-dropping.
Unfortunately, there was still quite a bit of book left after the climax that left me feeling a bit disappointed. The Epilogue feels like a bit of an afterthought and what is supposed to be the resolution to the big mystery that had caused so much hoopla throughout the novel feels somewhat anti-climactic.
All in all, another good one by Dan Brown. I'd still rate Angels and Demons as my fave, but I'd have to put this one below The DaVinci Code.

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