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Alastair Reynolds
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The Lost Symbol

The Lost Symbol - Dan Brown

Synopsis: Robert Langdon chases down another ancient mystery.

 

I'm gonna say it right now, Dan Brown: turds need to stay in the toilet; not be fished out, bound into hardcover books and be sold at exorbitant prices. I don't like to DNF. I avoid doing that as much as I can. But this book seriously tested that resolve.

 

The Davinci Code was a good read, I'll admit that. But the truth is Brown got lucky. He won the writer's lottery and that's a fact. Whether or not you think he plagiarized Holy Blood, Holy Grail he certainly hit the jackpot with it.

 

But like many writers or artists lacking real creative ability, Dan Brown has attempted to recreate his success with the Da Vinci Code...by rewriting The Da Vinci Code all over again. It's literally the same story. Same protagonist, Robert Langdon, there's a crazy fanatic who happens to look really weird, a woman who follows Langdon around, a bunch of secrets, and an ancient organization... Langdon runs all over the place getting chased by the CIA and a tattooed crazy person.

 

The differences are that instead of Paris or the Vatican this time its Washington D.C. and Brown has swapped in Freemasonry for the Vatican or whatever it was in the last book. In addition we also have hokey pseudoscience Noetics, which Brown appears to be a big fan of taking a major, though pretty unnecessary, role within the book.

 

The twists were a mixture...one was good, but not a huge shocker either. The other one was so lame that it almost caused me to DNF on the spot. The book's ultimate twist in the last 30 or 40 pages, I also found pretty lame for a thriller. It would have felt much more at home in a work of liberal theology or philosophy.

 

In terms of epic, it does do some things right. It was a page turner alright, if only to be done with the whole thing. Some of the mysteries and questions with the plot seriously contributed to that, but I felt they were ultimately a let down when they were answered.

 

On the whole I hated this book immensely. The uncreative, retrodden plot, mediocre characters (apart from the bad guy who was somewhat interesting), pointless agenda laden advertisement of bullshit pseudoscience, and shitty twists all made me hate this book. God help me if I ever find myself wanting to read Dan Brown again after this.

 

General rating: 1 1/2

Epic: 2