Review: The Lost Symbol – Dan Brown

the lost symbol book cover

Robert Langdon #3

Symbologist Robert Langdon is surprised to receive a call from his old friend and sort-of mentor Peter Solomon. Solomon is a famous and renowned Freemason, too, and when Langdon misses the call, he is not at all surprised that he gets into contact with Solomon’s assistant when he rings back. Asked to guest lecture in Washington that evening, Langdon rushes to get his things together and catch his flight to deliver his speech. However, upon arrival, Langdon’s whole evening goes wrong. Arriving at the Capitol Rotunda, he realizes that there is nobody to hear his speech, and that Solomon may be in terrible danger. Langdon has been given a Hand of Mysteries invitation which has sickeningly been crafted from Solomon’s severed hand, as well as a wicked phone call from a mysterious man, demanding that Langdon locate the Masonic Pyramid as well as unlock the Lost Word that is theoretically contains.

Shortly after the gruesome discovery is made, CIA’s Office of Security head Inoue Sato turns up, demanding that Langdon assist her, and that it is a matter of national security. However, it seems other higher up 33rd degree Masons want Solomon to be safe, but refuse to let Langdon solve the mystery with Sato, and Capitol Architect Warren Bellamy swoops in to rescue Langdon from Sato’s clutches shortly after they find a pyramid in Solomon’s private vault beneath the Capitol. Now on the run and sought for national security purposes, Langdon runs. Knowing that Solomon is in mortal danger, he contacts Katherine Solomon, Peter Solomon’s sister who work in the field of Noetic Sciences.

After being informed that her brother is in danger, Katherine needs to get out of her lab, but encounters a problem when a giant of a man by the name of Mal’akh, who is also Solomon’s kidnapper. Langdon feels the family has suffered plenty enough what with the death of Solomon’s son Zachary at a terribly young age as well as their parents over the years. However, Katherine has more than one issue at hand when the madman is infuriated by not being able to capture her, but continues to blow up her lab, which is her life’s work. Every bit of research she has ever done on thoughts, mass, the weight of a soul, all gone. Meeting up with Bellamy and Langdon, she demands answers, and will not take it for an answer that she may not assemble and decipher the Masonic Pyramid even though her brother is in mortal danger.

However, fate is not with them, and Bellamy sacrifices himself for capture to get Langdon and Katherine out and hoping that they will hide the pyramid. Instead, they assemble it and find a whole new section of riddles and symbols to interpret. Sato has not given up the hunt for them, and is intent on finding Langdon and having him decipher the pyramid for her. Will the CIA’s Office of Security catch up with Langdon and Katherine? Will they be able to either figure out how to work out the pyramid and contact Solomon’s kidnapper for the fair trade that was offered, or will they have to abandon the Masonic hunt in favour of hunting Solomon himself, attempting to figure out where he is being kept?

GRADE 5Everything about this book irritated me. Dan Brown has never been a fantastic writer, but he has been capable of conveying his story. However, there is nothing new to it. Some sissy from Cambridge (yes, Langdon, I am talking about you) gets whisked away for another one-night-stand adventure that nobody throughout history has been able to conclude in decades. Another girl is brought in, another conspiracy; another fast paced few hours and, naturally, another escape from the authorities to pull it all together. There was nothing new here, and though Langdon’s character has always annoyed me a little bit, this book really did him no winning favours. Do not go into this book expecting your world to be rocked. It was not particularly well written or well laid out. Dan Brown tried far too hard to be suspenseful, and the writing style just grew grating and did so quickly. Not what I would recommend. Angels and Demons may not have been the most well written book of all time, but the story was interesting. The Da Vinci Code was again not fantastically written, but the story was engaging, albeit not as charming as its predecessor. The characters were stunted in here, too, and while I know that Brown has never really been into the character growth thing, this was just atrocious. I was deeply unimpressed. It is an alright read for in between things, but not necessarily to put on a must-read list.

8 thoughts on “Review: The Lost Symbol – Dan Brown

  1. I agree completely. I actually really like Angels and Demons, and Da Vinci Code is at least interesting and controversial, but The Lost Symbol is a massive disappointment. A carbon copy of the basic Dan Brown formula with several downright silly moments. Inferno is just as painful. I’m roughly 120 pages in, and I haven’t been able to touch it for a week. Dante’s Inferno is so interesting to me, and I really wanted to like this book, but I just can’t. Dan Brown had such promise, but he’s become so blah…


    1. I am so glad I am not alone in this boat. It is like his books went into a solid decline after he began. I haven’t even started Inferno, I am actually dreading it to be honest! You have gotten me to delay it a while I am sure though!

      He really never was the greatest writer but he had potential. Now? Same old thing. Nothing new. What a disappointment.


  2. Nice review. I agree with you rating and also about Dan Brown in general. I enjoyed reading The Da Vinci Code and Angels and Demons but they don’t have great writing. As you said, The Lost Symbol is repetitive and uninspired.


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