I managed to finish up The Lost Symbol yesterday. Dan Brown keeps his fast paced style that sucks you along like a riptide. My earlier review of the computer characters might have seemed a touch harsh. The fact is Mr. Brown seems to have to have tried to create characters out of Google, search engines in general and lackluster computer nerds. These are all supporting cast members and might as well be part of the voiceless crowd of extras. He could have left out the cheese puff eating computer geek and no one would have noticed. The character is lightly developed and before you realize it the last page has been read and our IP cracking geek has disappeared like smoke wisps from a freshly extinguished candle.
Brown does spend time developing his main characters, a bizarre mix that does not easily lend itself to knowing who to trust. He maintains his fast paced romp through Washington DC, history, noetic science and a little religion – you might forget that this all occurs in only a twelve hour time frame. With each turn of the page there is the chance that the reader will think, “I didn’t see that coming,” and Brown does his absolute best to continue to surprise page after page.
He also seems to be making amends for the religious backlash to his prior works. I’m not sure if it was purposeful or if the Masons truly believe the concept of a “universal god”, but Brown lays it on thick through the character dialog.
In the end, the writing is fast-paced and engaging with more than a jolt or two on the psyche. Don’t read this book in bed, you won’t want to get to sleep.