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The Lost Symbol - A Book Review

Updated on April 13, 2015

The Wait is Finally Over - See What The Lost Symbol is All About!

When it comes to Dan Brown books, I need ZERO convincing to buy or read them. So when I heard that Dan Brown's follow-up to the DaVinci Code was going to be published on September 15, 2009, it was bumped to the top of my fictional reading list. I've read all of Dan Brown's other books and have never been disappointed. My favorite is Angels and Demons and I'd highly recommend it to anyone that likes a good suspense/thriller novel.

I pre-ordered my book and eagerly awaited its arrival in September. I read it in 4 days and in this lens, I'll share my personal review as well as reviews from industry professionals. If you've read The Lost Symbol, please share your thoughts about the book. I love to hear what others REALLY think!

The Lost Symbol - Amazon's Review - Order The Lost Symbol at Amazon Today!

Let's start with the question every Dan Brown fan wants answered: Is The Lost Symbol as good as The Da Vinci Code? Simply put, yes. Brown has mastered the art of blending nail-biting suspense with random arcana (from pop science to religion), and The Lost Symbol is an enthralling mix. And what a dazzling accomplishment that is, considering that rabid fans and skeptics alike are scrutinizing every word.

The Lost Symbol begins with an ancient ritual, a shadowy enclave, and of course, a secret. Readers know they are in Dan Brown territory when, by the end of the first chapter, a secret within a secret is revealed. To tell too much would ruin the fun of reading this delicious thriller, so you will find no spoilers here. Suffice it to say that as with many series featuring a recurring character, there is a bit of a formula at work (one that fans will love). Again, brilliant Harvard professor Robert Langdon finds himself in a predicament that requires his vast knowledge of symbology and superior problem-solving skills to save the day. The setting, unlike other Robert Langdon novels, is stateside, and in Brown's hands Washington D.C. is as fascinating as Paris or Vatican City (note to the D.C. tourism board: get your "Lost Symbol" tour in order). And, as with other Dan Brown books, the pace is relentless, the revelations many, and there is an endless parade of intriguing factoids that will make you feel like you are spending the afternoon with Robert Langdon and the guys from Mythbusters.

Nothing is as it seems in a Robert Langdon novel, and The Lost Symbol itself is no exception--a page-turner to be sure, but Brown also challenges his fans to open their minds to new information. Skeptical? Imagine how many other thrillers would spawn millions of Google searches for noetic science, superstring theory, and Apotheosis of Washington. The Lost Symbol is brain candy of the best sort--just make sure to set aside time to enjoy your meal. --Daphne Durham

Publisher Weekly's Review of The Lost Symbol

September 14, 2009

After scores of Da Vinci Code knockoffs, spinoffs, copies and caricatures, Brown has had the stroke of brilliance to set his breakneck new thriller not in some far-off exotic locale, but right here in our own backyard. Everyone off the bus, and welcome to a Washington, D.C., they never told you about on your school trip when you were a kid, a place steeped in Masonic history that, once revealed, points to a dark, ancient conspiracy that threatens not only America but the world itself. Returning hero Robert Langdon comes to Washington to give a lecture at the behest of his old mentor, Peter Solomon. When he arrives at the U.S. Capitol for his lecture, he finds, instead of an audience, Peter’s severed hand mounted on a wooden base, fingers pointing skyward to the Rotunda ceiling fresco of George Washington dressed in white robes, ascending to heaven. Langdon teases out a plethora of clues from the tattooed hand that point toward a secret portal through which an intrepid seeker will find the wisdom known as the Ancient Mysteries, or the lost wisdom of the ages. A villain known as Mal’akh, a steroid-swollen, fantastically tattooed, muscle-bodied madman, wants to locate the wisdom so he can rule the world. Mal’akh has captured Peter and promises to kill him if Langdon doesn’t agree to help find the portal. Joining Langdon in his search is Peter’s younger sister, Kathleen, who has been conducting experiments in a secret museum. This is just the kickoff for a deadly chase that careens back and forth, across, above and below the nation’s capital, darting from revelation to revelation, paus-ing only to explain some piece of wondrous, historical esoterica. Jealous thriller writers will despair, doubters and nay-sayers will be proved wrong, and readers will rejoice: Dan Brown has done it again.

Have You Read The Lost Symbol?

What did you think of Dan Brown's Latest Novel?

Finished Reading The Lost Symbol? - Rate it, if you dare...

On a scale of 1-7, what did you REALLY think?

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Janices7's Review of The Lost Symbol

Personally I enjoyed reading the book, but I have to say that I am a big fan of Dan Brown books. If I were forced to give it a star rating, I'd probably say 3.5 stars out of 5. I guess I'd have to sum it up by saying that the book wasn't BAD, but it definitely wasn't Dan Brown's best work either. If you haven't ever read Dan Brown, I'd definitely suggest Angels and Demons or The DaVinci Code before I'd recommend reading this one.

The action packed book is full of twists and turns as Dan Brown's symbologist character (Robert Langdon) must follow clues to track down his mentor and friend (Peter Solomon) who has been kidnapped by a villain known as Mal'akh. During the journey, Brown mixes in a little fiction with some facts about the mystical symbols and sacred buildings that dot Washington D.C. One interesting, albeit controversial, aspects of the book was Dan Brown's exploration of the idea that our Founding Fathers were Deists rather than Christians.

To me, the book felt like it was based on a familiar formula that Dan Brown seems to use again and again. Essentially, I felt like I was reading the Da Vinci code (only it wasn't as well-written and it was set in Washington D.C. instead of Rome). The book did have some great twists and turns. However, I did find it odd that after the last twist, no time was spent delving into the reactions of the various characters to that particular twist. I wish I could say more, but I don't want to ruin the book for anyone that hasn't read it yet. In addition, I felt like the book should have concluded after the last twist instead of having another 50 or so pages just hobbling along to reveal secret ancient mysteries which ended up leading to an anti-climatic finish.

If you are looking for a light, entertaining read, this book is a good choice. However if you are looking for a book that is on par with The DaVinci code or a book with multi-layered depth, you will likely be letdown in my humble opinion. I read it while lounging at the pool on vacation so it was perfect for my situation. If you have an e-reader like the Kindle or Nook from Barnes & Noble, it is definitely worth the affordable downloadable book prices.

Buy The Lost Symbol For Your Kindle

The Lost Symbol: Featuring Robert Langdon
The Lost Symbol: Featuring Robert Langdon

At this affordable price, you should definitely be downloading The Lost Symbol to read at home, on vacation, or on the airplane during business travel!


Dan Brown's The Lost Symbol Website - Check it out!

Visit this official website to get a synopsis of the book as well as an excerpt directly from the book itself. Discussion questions and information about the mystical sites in Washington D.C. are also included on the site.

MSNBC's Dan Brown Interview - 6 Part Series on The Lost Symbol

Matt Lauer interviews Dan Brown about his latest novel, The Lost Symbol. He discusses various aspects of the book including science, free masonry and their connection to the founding fathers of the United States. He retraces the steps of the fictional Robert Langdon character in Washington D.C.

SPOILER ALERT!! If you haven't read the book yet, you may not want to watch these videos. They discuss A LOT of the plot.

DaVinci Code Movie - No time to read, but interested in seeing a great movie....check this out!

The Da Vinci Code (Full Screen Two-Disc Special Edition)
The Da Vinci Code (Full Screen Two-Disc Special Edition)

You can't go wrong when you combine the acting skills of Tom Hanks with the thrilling Da Vinci code book from Dan Brown. If you are not an avid reader, then watching the movie version of the Da Vinci code is a great option. Better yet, read the book and watch the movie!


Tom Hanks as Robert Langdon in The DaVinci Code

Tom Hanks as Robert Langdon in The DaVinci Code
Tom Hanks as Robert Langdon in The DaVinci Code

Postscript of utmost importance

If you buy any of the books recommended above, this page automatically makes a donation to the incredible nonprofit, Donors Choose, which helps provide classrooms and students in need with resources that our public schools often lack.

Big Fan of Dan Brown? - Share Your Thoughts....

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    • junecampbell profile image

      June Campbell 

      8 years ago from North Vancouver, BC, Canada

      I'm a fan. I read them all. This one interested me in particular because my parents were Masons and Eastern Stars. Not that they knew anything about lost symbols. At least, not that I know of. LOL

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      Love the countdown you have going on this page!! :D Do you know if/when they might be doing a movie of it? Btw, just posted a few interesting little notes about him on my blog - have a look!

    • Dianne Loomos profile image

      Dianne Loomos 

      9 years ago

      Haven't read any of his books but I like the movies!

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      I love Dan Brown books -- I'll probably wait to see the movie for this one. Enjoy!

    • aka-rms profile image

      Robin S 

      9 years ago from USA

      I'll be looking for this one too! Nice work.


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