Friday, October 30, 2009

Jenn & Julie's Review: The Lost Symbol

Summary: As the story opens, Harvard symbologist Robert Langdon is summoned unexpectedly to deliver an evening lecture in the U.S. Capitol Building. Within minutes of his arrival, however, the night takes a bizarre turn. A disturbing object--artfully encoded with five symbols--is discovered in the Capitol Building. Langdon recognizes the object as an ancient invitation... one meant to usher its recipient into a long-lost world of esoteric wisdom.

When Langdon’s beloved mentor, Peter Solomon--a prominent Mason and philanthropist--is brutally kidnapped, Langdon realizes his only hope of saving Peter is to accept this mystical invitation and follow wherever it leads him. Langdon is instantly plunged into a clandestine world of Masonic secrets, hidden history, and never-before-seen locations--all of which seem to be dragging him toward a single, inconceivable truth.

Julie's Review: The Da Vinci Code is probably one of my all time favorite books. I loved the way it unfolded and how the story was told. It was a thriller and adventure but it made you think. While my ending rating isn't as high as Da Vinci Code, The Lost Symbol is in no way a let down or disappointment. In fact, I enjoyed most of the story about the Freemason's but in my opinion, that is not the true focus of the book. I know a lot of the hype for the book has been on the Secret Society of Freemason's but in the last 100 pages of the book you come to realize that is not the purpose. The Freemason's served their purpose in the book and in the mystery. What the book is about is knowledge. That's all I'll say so I don't ruin it. I'm sure in some ways this book disappointed Conspiracy Theorist.

Of course Robert Langdon is fantastic in this book. It amazes me how he always knows a lot about a lot of subjects. Is there such a things as "Jack of all trades, Master of all of them?" If so, this would be Professor Langdon. Amazingly even though I saw Tom Hanks play Langdon, that isn't who I picture. I think that's a good thing though. It doesn't mean I think Tom was a bad Landgon but he's not whom I see when I read the books.

As is typical with Dan Brown books you don't know who to trust and I certainly didn't. I was definitely focused on one character that I didn't believe to be trustworthy. In fact, I think I questioned the trustworthiness of all the characters except for Langdon and Peter Solomon. It is a whirlwind of an adventure. There is so much thrown at Langdon and the reader that you do have to pause and pull your thoughts together.

I really don't want to give a lot away with this book since it was kept under secrecy for months but I will say there was one twist I didn't see coming and it was a "duh" moment. Although I would have hated if I had guessed it. If you want an adventure but one that will make you stop and think, go and grab The Lost Symbol.

Final Take: 4.75/5

Jenn's Review: Another great Dan Brown novel. There was plenty of suspense and lots of twists and turns. (I did see the final twist coming, but Brown had me convinced that I was wrong for a while, which is something.)

Also, I always forget how easily Brown will kill off characters and he got me a couple of times. No one is safe and no one can be trusted. His new characters are all interesting and there is plenty of symbology and historical references to please his avid fans. My grandfather was a Mason and I always find a Masonic theme fascinating. I'm glad Brown didn't go the conspiracy route with it, because, as 'Langdon' is quick to explain, there are a lot of misconceptions out there.

Brown also brings to light Noetic science, the study of mind and intuition and its relationship with the divine intellect, which I found intriguing. (For more information on this, visit the website for the Institute of Noetic Sciences.)

Julie's right it's hard to review this without giving things away, so suffice it to say:

Though I loved Da Vinci Code, Angels & Demons is by far my favorite Brown novel, and I am placing The Lost Symbol a close third to Da Vinci Code.

Final Take: 4.5/5

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I loved the DaVinci Code and Angels & Demons, so I'm looking forward to this one. Looks like I won't be diappointed.