Warning: Possible spoilers for Angels & Demons and The Davinci Code.
Robert Langdon must put his mind to the test once more when an old friend and mentor is threatened, and the ramifications put the entire country at risk.
Compared to The Davinci Code and Angels & Demons, The Lost Symbol falls short. Neither the pacing nor the sense of impending doom is quite as intense. While mystery fans should still enjoy puzzling out the answer and history buffs might enjoy information on their favourite topics, I personally did not take anything from the book except for a sense of American entitlement.
The Lost Symbol follows a similar model as Brown’s other Robert Langdon books. The short chapters make it easy to keep reading, though sometimes I found them to be unnecessarily choppy. For example one chapter would end and the next chapter would begin a second later from the same character’s perspective. It made me really uncertain as to why a new chapter needed to be started at all and only disconnected me further from the story.
The characters are more of the same archetypes you’ll find in any mystery novel. The smart (yet vulnerable) woman. The male hero. The bitch. The troubled genius. You know the drill. This is definitely not a character-driven book despite the recurring character of Robert Langdon. Any of his character development is rehashed (yes, we get it. Langdon has a fear of small spaces. Thank you.) and seeing as the entire book happens in one day it makes sense that character-wise, not much will happen.
That being said, I felt the book itself didn’t go anywhere all that interesting. Unlike the previous novels whose focus on religion I remember finding quite interesting, The Lost Symbol feels like much more of a United States thing. There’s this underlying feeling of overdone nationalistic pride, and that’s great. National pride is great. But it also felt as if United States was being equated with the entire world, and while I get that America is a whole world force and everything, going out and bragging about it just seems in poor taste.
I don’t know, I feel like National Treasure did it better.
Don’t just take my word for it!
“The Lost Symbol reads like a 500-page shaggy-dog story—full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.” – Rosi’s Doors
“The short chapters help the novel move along quickly, and the major twist toward the end is breathtaking.” – Lara’s Book Club