Title: The Lost Symbol
Author: Dan Brown
Series: Robert Langdon: Book 3
Genre: Mystery, Thriller, Historical Fiction
First Publication: 2009
Major Characters: Robert Langdon, Katherine Solomon, Peter Solomon, Inoue Sato, Warren Bellamy, Zachary Solomon, Turner Simkins
Setting Places: Washington, D.C. (United States)
Book Summary: The Lost Symbol
As the story opens, Harvard symbologist Robert Langdon is summoned unexpectedly to deliver an evening lecture in the U.S. Capitol Building. Within minutes of his arrival, however, the night takes a bizarre turn. A disturbing object —artfully encoded with five symbols—is discovered in the Capitol Building. Langdon recognizes the object as an ancient invitation . . . one meant to usher its recipient into a long-lost world of esoteric wisdom.
When Langdon’s beloved mentor, Peter Solomon—a prominent Mason and philanthropist —is brutally kidnapped, Langdon realizes his only hope of saving Peter is to accept this mystical invitation and follow wherever it leads him. Langdon is instantly plunged into a clandestine world of Masonic secrets, hidden history, and never-before-seen locations—all of which seem to be dragging him toward a single, inconceivable truth.
As the world discovered in The Da Vinci Code and Angels & Demons, Dan Brown’s novels are brilliant tapestries of veiled histories, arcane symbols, and enigmatic codes. In this new novel, he again challenges readers with an intelligent, lightning-paced story that offers surprises at every turn. The Lost Symbol is exactly what Brown’s fans have been waiting for . . . his most thrilling novel yet.
Characters List: The Lost Symbol
Robert Langdon: A professor of symbology at Harvard University and the protagonist of the novel.
Mal’akh: A Mason whose body is covered with tattoos and the novel’s main antagonist.
Peter Solomon: A Smithsonian secretary, billionaire philanthropist, Freemason, father of Zachary Solomon, and close friend of Robert Langdon.
Katherine Solomon: Noetic scientist, sister of Peter Solomon, aunt of Zachary Solomon.
Trish Dunne: Katherine’s metasystems analyst.
Isabel Solomon: mother of Peter and Katherine Solomon and grandmother of Zachary Solomon.
Warren Bellamy: Architect of the Capitol and fellow Freemason to Peter Solomon.
Inoue Sato: the second-generation Japanese-American Director of CIA’s Office of Security
Reverend Colin Galloway: Dean of Washington National Cathedral and fellow Freemason to Peter Solomon and Warren Bellamy.
Trent Anderson: Capitol police chief.
Jonas Faukman: Langdon’s New York editor
Nola Kaye: CIA analyst.
Book Review: The Lost Symbol
The Lost Symbol is the third book in the Robert Langdon series, and I was glad to see that Brown brought this dynamic and entertaining character back to the United States from Europe and the UK in his previous books. The book starts with a bang, pulling us in within the first few paragraphs.
Robert Langdon once again finds himself mixed up with a secret society and someone with nefarious purposes which led to some enjoyable moments where Langdon had to get himself out of the crazy situations he found himself in. While the other books in this series take place in variety of locations, The Lost Symbol is centered in Washington, D.C. with only a minor scene taking place at Harvard before Langdon journeys to D.C. I liked this change from the other books with only the one location and thought it was a great choice for this particular story.
“Great minds are always feared by lesser minds.”
As with first two books in the series, there’s a format to the story: Robert Langdon, Harvard professor and expert on symbology and religious iconography find himself embroiled in the middle of a high-stakes religious mystery, where a long-debated and highly protected secret is on the verge of being exposed to the masses and ruined for those who have long stood to protect it.
There is, of course, the supporting female character, a smart and capable woman who helps fill in the gaps where Langdon’s knowledge leaves off. As was true to the past two books, there is physical and emotional danger, as well as a deranged villain who is at once brilliant, physically superior, and acting in what he believes to be the best interest of the world.
“To live in the world without becoming aware of the meaning of the world is like wandering about in a great library without touching the books.”
There are the standard weird characters, strange occurrences throughout history that maybe aren’t that strange after all, and quite a bit of thought provoking facts as well as unusual similarities that are highlighted between world religions. Dan Brown also talks about the science of Noetics which certainly makes you ask yourself a lot questions. Some parts about that read like Rhonda Byrne’s The Secret. It’s apparent that he’s done extensive research to make this story come together so seamlessly.
In The Lost Symbol, you get a lot of information about the Masons and Brown debunks a lot of misconceptions about them too. There are some very creepy and disturbing scenes throughout story all vividly told. He does leave many questions (not about the story but about history) unanswered and just something for the reader to consider or at least send some tingles down your spine.