Wednesday, July 31, 2013

The Lost Symbol

In the third book of the Robert Langdon series, we're taken through the streets of Washington DC while the symbology professor solves another mystery. This one felt like a bit of a stretch to me, and it was actually hard for me to put the thoughts together I needed for this review. I couldn't really remember the story line as well as I wanted to, if we're being completely honest. So I went back to the book and did a little research.

One of the things I did like was the transition of the setting from Europe to Washington, DC. I know it's not quite the same, but I do appreciate the links and ties to our American history. The incorporation of the Masons was good too, I felt like it added an interesting level to the details of the story. Secretive groups are always fun to add to mysteries.

As with the other books in the series, there is a religious aspect to the search. The search is not only for the missing man but for the meaning behind what is happening in the moment and what's happened to lay the foundation in the past. There's also a point where the discussion turns to whether or not the Bible can be taken as a literal text or if it's really just an allegory for how people should behave and what they could achieve if they were able to reach their full potential.

It's interesting how the things that happened a few hundred years ago can still resonate with people today. Really it's not like our motivations have changed that much. Sure the specifics have, but the underlying emotions and needs are the same no matter where or when you happen to be.  

I didn't see the twist at the end coming. I totally should have- it's the type of thing I can usually spot in the first chapter or two. Spoiler alert- he's the supposedly dead son of the man he's taken captive. 

Having said that, again this one was a little too far fetched for me. I didn't get a good sense that there was any real logic behind the actions of the main characters. Things just fell into place too easily. It felt like a stretch and it felt like Langdon was able to put things together too quickly. I know that he's good and all, but some of the things he figured out wouldn't have come without copious amounts of research and access to some of the best libraries.

Something kind of interesting that I didn't realize about this book- it was released on 9-15-09, which when added together equal 33. Also the highest level with the Masons, as referenced in the book. Well played Dan Brown and publisher, well played.

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