Saturday, 10 October 2009

GoodRead - "The Lost Symbol" Review


A few weeks ago, Dan Brown finally released his sequel to his bestseller “The Da Vinci Code”, “The Lost Symbol”. And, getting a little curious about all the hype and all the intrigue behind it, I got myself a copy and started reading it.

Took me a while but I have literally just finished and I'm writing this review about the book.

Without giving too much away, this is how “The Lost Symbol” starts up. After arriving at Capitol Building in Washington DC, Robert Langdon comes across a disturbing find. Because of this find, Robert finds out that his old friend, Peter Solomon, has been brutally kidnapped, our hero finds himself getting involved in yet another mystery to save his friend's life.

Now, before we go any further, I need to say something. I haven't read “The Da Vinci Code”. Apart from “The Lost Symbol”, the only other Dan Brown novel I have read is “Angels and Demons”. (I have watched the films but, like most film adaptation of books, there never truly live up to how good the book was.)

So, where to start with this review?

Let's start with the good points of this book and then the negavite.

This book is an enjoyable read. The chapters are short so it feels like your reading more of the book than you actually are. And because of the idea that this story takes over a 12 hour timespan, these short chapters work very well. Also, once you get into the story, it's a fast and enjoyable read.

Ah, you noticed that I said “once you get into the story”. Well, one of the flaws I found with Lost Symbol that, for a thriller novel, it took a long time before the story finally started to get started. The Prologue got my attention with the idea of a secret society and a soon-to-happen betrayal, but after that, it took almost twenty chapters before things seemed to go up a gear.

Another flaw (if you can call this a flaw) is that Dan Brown sticks to what works for him. He stuck to his checklist – smart hero, a smart female assistant with a personal involvement with the mystery, a secret that will shock the world, a baddie, a high-organization that chases our two heroes down. Check to them all! So, some people might read Lost Symbol and go “I've read this before.”

I have one small fault. It's nothing, seeing as this is a thriller so my fault really doesn't mean much. But because you got caught up with the thrill of the chase, there wasn't much emotion in the story. For our strong female lead, Katherine Solomon, she could have truly shown us the emotion that the story could have had. But the emotion wasn't there. Now, whether I missed that through getting caught up with the story or because the language used, I can't possible say.

But saying that, she is possible one of the most interesting characters within the book. Her and the bad guy, Mal'akh. Because they held my attention, they made me read the story.

So, how can sum up this novel? At times, it's a smart thriller. Then, at times, it goes into the realms of the slightly ridiculous. But it was a fun story to read, though at times, you did feel a bit overloaded with information. But it's an okay read. Just not my kind of read, sadly.

But, at least I sat down and read it. And I finished it!

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